RSF: Ukrainian media landscape more transparent 10 years after Euromaidan
In a decade, the working environment for journalists and the media landscape in Ukraine have improved significantly, despite the war waged by Russia on its territory, according to the RSF statement released to honor the 10th Revolution of Dignity anniversary, which is celebrated today, November 21.
"Since Euromaidan, Ukrainian journalism, a reflection of society, has come a long way. The proliferation of independent media, legislative reforms and greater media transparency have improved the situation for press freedom. Despite the war that is putting journalism under pressure, and despite the many challenges that remain in terms of pluralism and economic viability, RSF welcomes the progress that has been made in ten years in the right to information in Ukraine," said Jeanne Cavelier, the Head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.
The RSF pointed out the main achievements Ukraine has made since the start of the 2013 pro-European demonstrations on Independence Square in Kyiv:
Many legislative reforms reinforcing press freedom and the right to information: The creation of a public broadcast media group, Suspilne, in 2017; a new media law passed in December 2022, which brought Ukraine into line with European standards and increased transparency about media ownership.
Tenfold increase in investigations into attacks on journalists: The RSF points out that he police investigate violence against journalists more thoroughly, increasing journalists’ confidence that their complaints will be taken seriously. Local press freedom organizations report that, since 2013, the authorities have become more transparent about ongoing cases, and provide more information about them.
Increased media transparency: Media transparency has improved considerably in Ukraine in the past ten years, which is crucial for strengthening the public’s trust in the reliability of the news and information they see. The RSF cites an IMI survey which showed that 68% of media are now transparent, particularly about their financial and editorial situation, compared with just 14% in 2018. Twenty-five Ukrainian media outlets recently published transparency reports in the framework of the RSF-launched Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI), which shows they are paying close attention to the reliability of the information they produce even in wartime.
Emergence of strong independent media outlets: The RSF notes that thanks to their investigative reporting on corruption, politics and even international stories, around ten media outlets have established themselves as major, reliable news sources. They include the investigative website Slidstvo.info and Hromadske, a website that publishes a lot of long-form journalism.
At the same time, the RSF notes, against this backdrop of notable improvements, with a growing decline in the influence of the oligarchs on the media landscape, Ukrainian journalism is nevertheless weakened by a deteriorating security situation resulting from the war. In recent months, attempts by the government to control the media have also led to fears that the real progress made in press freedom and the right to information over the last ten years will be undermined.
The organization also remarks that the uprising toppled Viktor Yanukovych’s presidency and paved the way for major improvements in the working environment for journalists. Ukraine’s ranking in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index has gone from 126th in 2013 to 79th in 2023.