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The Paradox of Ukrainian Media

Since the start of the war in February 2022, media handling in Ukraine has changed significantly. 


A former journalist tells the story of how these changes have been implemented and how they are being perceived in Ukrainian society. 


“For long, Ukrainian media programs have been financed and influenced by powerful oligarchs.” She explains that even though there are no specific guidelines on what to cover, if a journalist writes something that goes against their interest, their piece will not be published. 


Moreover, she states that most Ukrainian oligarchs were generally financed by Russia, though many of them have now overtly condemned Russia for its actions.


After the start of the war, the six main news channels in the country united and had common broadcasting. As a result, they each have several hours shared evenly. 


This initiative was started for them to have a more robust and louder voice against Russian media. 


However, she claims that Ukrainian media has lost diversity due to this unification. The channels all share the same points under slightly different lights. 


There are also three official government channels, and there recently was a mention of a possible fourth channel being introduced. However, the interviewee considers this measure to be unnecessary at best. 


She explains many journalists have been leaving their jobs as their salary was cut in half. This was mainly due to the lack of advertisement in Ukrainian media, which was cut off to show respect for the current situation in the country. 


Without advertisement, Ukrainian tv has fewer funds, so journalists are forced to leave their jobs or work on a meager salary. 


With the increasing inflation rate and an ongoing conflict, this situation is far from sustainable, not only because it means that people are not able to live off their jobs anymore but also because it can potentially distance journalists from their art and discourage them from practicing their profession. 


Many have also taken on voluntary initiatives to help the Ukrainian society and army. However, despite this being undoubtedly helpful, it means that when the war ends, former journalists will have to decide whether to return to their previous jobs or start a new career altogether. 


The interviewee expresses her wish to return to journalism when the circumstances allow it. Eventually, the war will end, and the country will restore a relatively normal order. Then, Ukrainian media will have to reorganize efficiently to grant journalists the space they need to work as best as they can. 

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Tags: #War #Media #Journalism #Ukraine #Ukrainianwar


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