First Case Initiated by Independent Media Council on Discrimination and Xenophobia in Media Coverage

April 12, 2016

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Independent Media Council on its own initiative has studied the ethics and justification of the Ukrainian media coverage of refugees and asylum seekers. The reason for this was the coverage of several Ukrainian media layouts the activities of a temporary asylum center in Yagotyn, Kyiv region during February – March 2016.

Yesterday, 4 April 2016, Independent Media Council unanimously approved the conclusion of the first case initiated by the members of the Council.

The case deals with the materials that are broadcasted by the majority of national TV channels with the largest audience that mainly negatively depicted the attitude of the local people to opening of an asylum. Adjacent to this, a typical storyline was rich on distorted terminology and the images of refugees depicted as marginal people who only creates problem and spread diseases, and the dissemination of other similar negative stereotypes.

The members of Independent Media Council concluded that the majority of Ukrainian media that covered this topic that breached the international and national legal norms  on the inadmissibility of discrimination and dissemination of hate speech, and serious breaches of relevant professional and ethical standards.

Furthermore, among other things such conclusions are based on the results of monitoring media coverage on refugees authored by Serhiy Lefter “Intimidate by Syrian refugees. Masterclass Ukrainian Media ” that was published on Media Detector (from the end of February till the beginning of March 2016).

Independent Media Council strongly condemns such practices in the Ukrainian media and hopes that Ukrainian journalists will refrain from discrimination and dissemination of xenophobia and hate speech in the future. Instead, they will become the guardians of tolerance and humanity, and thus, will contribute to finding not only effective but also moral solutions to such challenges of modernity as migration crisis.

You can read the whole decision in Ukrainian here.