Trends of Fake News Distribution and Counteraction in Ukraine (Part-2)
Author: Oksana Hudoshnyk
Since the beginning of Russia’s large-scale military aggression in Ukraine, journalists, cameramen, and fixers have become a target for the occupiers. Murders, wounds, targeted fire on film crews, hunting and abductions, threats and persecution, interrogations and torture of journalists in the occupied territories have become a terrible sign of the “Russian peace” that the invaders brought with them.
According to the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, as of May 8, 2022, 10,373 crimes of aggression and war crimes were committed in the country, including 15 cases of propaganda of war.
Fig. 1. From the official website of the Office of the Prosecutor General.
The interactive map of Reporters Without Borders presents an up-to-date list of attacks on journalists. According to the organization, 7 journalists and employees were killed and 11 were injured.
Fig. 2. Guerre en Ukraine : la liste des journalistes victimes d’exactions s’allonge de jour en jour.
Data from international organizations coincide with the information provided by The Institute of Mass Information (https://imi.org.ua/). According to its monitoring, 155 crimes against the media in Ukraine were committed during the first month of the war:
- 6 journalists were killed (3 of them were representatives of foreign media), 6 were injured, more than 10 were abducted;
- journalists and film crews of 5 channels came under fire;
- in the first month of the war alone, the occupiers fired on 10 TV towers;
- 70 media outlets stopped working due to attack and occupation;
- in the occupied territories of the Kherson region, Ukrainian broadcasting was forcibly turned off and Russian propaganda was launched.
Cybercrime has become a separate group of crimes against the press: DDoS attacks on the sites of Ukrainian online media and public organizations, phishing attacks on Ukrainian newsrooms and journalists (monitoring data https://imi.org.ua/monitorings/rosiya-skoyila-148-zlochyniv -proty-zhurnalistiv-ta-media-v-ukrayini-za-misyats-napadu-i44595). Since February 2022, the OPORA public network has been monitoring social media that promote Russian propaganda in Ukraine. A list of 225 relevant sites is freely available (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1o_c9Wq-G6tyWqyY-iDvk50BjPCTK2TUI4O5vGHJ3Fh8/edit#gid=0). According to the analytical report of the organization, 225 Facebook pages distribute the content of these sites, including media and bloggers from Portugal, Vietnam, Bosnia and Syria.
On March 22, 2022, European journalists and media associations addressed Russian journalists engaged in military propaganda with an “OPEN LETTER FROM EUROPEAN JOURNALISTS, MEDIA ASSOCIATIONS TO RUSSIAN JOURNALISTS, WHO ARE ENGAGED IN WAR PROPAGANDA”: You, the employees of the Russian media, are clearly and directly responsible for one more war started by the Putin regime. For many years you ignored an important postulate of journalism – verification of information. You broadcast lies from Kremlin and escalate its degree by arranging long-running pseudo-discussions, while not allowing any dissent in essence…Now the blood of children and elders of Ukraine, the crippled fate of besotted Russian soldiers is on your conscience.
Source Link: shorturl.at/grBP7
Candidate of Philological Sciences, (PhD), Associate Professor, Mass and International Communication Department, Mass Media Faculty of Oles Honchar Dnirpo National University, Dnipro, Ukraine