Journalists call censorship of media owners, low qualification of colleagues main threats to freedom of speech in Ukraine – poll
KYIV. June 21 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Journalists called media owners' censorship, as well as a low qualification level of their colleagues among the main threats to freedom of speech in Ukraine, according to data from a survey of the Ilko Kucheriv Initiatives Foundation.
According to the poll, presented at the Interfax-Ukraine agency on Thursday, journalists see censorship from the owners of the media (70%), low qualifications of journalists (53%), as well as physical threats or threat to life associated with journalistic activities (41%), the main threats to freedom of speech and the work of journalists in Ukraine at present time.
Responding to the question what violations of freedom of speech and information respondents had to face, 78% of journalists answered that officials refused to provide publicly important information, 42% faced censoring of ready-made materials or prohibiting public disclosure of information to discredit a certain person, 19% faced harassment. Only 7% did not face violations of freedom of speech.
Speaking about the issue of censorship in Ukraine, 12% said it was a systemic problem; 68% are sure that censorship exists only in certain media; 16% noted that censorship exists only in individual cases. Only 2% believe that there is no censorship in Ukraine.
At the same time, 94% of respondents see restrictions in the work precisely on the part of media owners.
Also, 65% of respondents agreed that the war increased the cases of self-censorship by journalists.
The survey was conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation from May 30 to June 14, 2019 at the request of the ZMINA Human Rights Center with the support of Freedom House in Ukraine. A total of 127 journalists were interviewed.