In Depth Society, 26/04/2018

Google Ukraine and Freedom House Promote Freedom of Speech in Ukraine

On April 18 – 19, seminars for journalists and civil activists supported by Google Ukraine and Freedom House took place in Kharkiv and Sumy. The participants were invited to talk about the challenges they face while trying to investigate new facts on controversial issues such as corruption, impunity of authorities and legal bodies, etc.

The rise of democratic movements started at the beginning of the year 2014 when after Maidan many media initiatives appeared. Nowadays this movement is tending to decrease and journalists face several restrictions while collecting materials for their reportages.

According to the recent data by Freedom House, Ukraine can be regarded as a nation in transit, together with such countries as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, and Georgia. It means that these countries have made significant steps towards liberalization of life and democracy, but still cannot be regarded as free from censorship, and fully transparent, as a free press is an indicator of a democratic state.

Nevertheless, journalists still face some resistance, while trying to investigate, what exactly happened on February 20, 2014, and whose actions led to the death of so many people.

Anastasiya Stanko, a journalist of a national media Hromadske, pays much attention to materials and investigations, which are “out of the time.” She says that several people refuse for unknown reasons to comment the incidents they witnessed. Some of them hide behind the post-truth policy and say, that the right time has not still come for the revealing of these facts. “There is no post-truth, but there are people, that lie and want to hide the truth,” she also says.

Some other issues discussed at the seminars were connected with the work of local media, writing about discrimination and inclusion, and many others.  It motivated the journalists to raise social awareness of the facts the society should know better, and also to continue their struggle for the freedom of speech and press in Ukraine.

Text and photo: Marina Kosenko