How Cherkasy online media cover the war
Over a quarter of Cherkasy online media news is about the war. Most often, the posts in the feeds are about volunteer and charity initiatives, as well as about our losses.
These are the results of an analysis conducted by the Institute of Mass Information with the purpose of investigating the number of war-related news, their subject matter, adherence to standards, and of creating a general outline of how Cherkasy online media cover the war.
The analysis included all news from the 18000, Procherk, Zmi.ck.ua, Provse, and Vycherpno news channels for the last week of July, from July 25 to July 31. During this period, the publication published 691 news items. Namely, 158 news items from 18000, 150 from Procherk, 139 from Provse, 124 from Vycherpno, and 120 from Zmi.ck.ua.
Online media published 180 news items that are directly or indirectly related to russia's war against Ukraine. That is, 26% of all publications, or one in every five, was about the full-scale invasion and its consequences. Journalists of the 18000 and Vycherpo websites wrote about the war most often. Their news feeds contained 35% and 28% of "military" news, respectively. For the rest of media outlets, the indicator was 21-23%.
In fact, 24% of all news about the war is news about various volunteer, charity, and humanitarian initiatives. For example, the report "In Zolotonosha, a 15-year-old girl is selling paintings to help the UAF" on Zmi.ck.ua or the publication "'Kikimoras' from Uman volunteers are saving the lives of our soldiers" on Procherk. Vycherpno and 18000 contained the most such news items – 10 and 11, respectively.
Posts about our military losses comprise almost as much, or 24% of all war-related news. Mostly these are news about the fallen soldiers or about bidding farewell to them. The 18000 website published the most such news – 11 items. 10 appeared in the Zmi.ck.ua and Vycherpno feeds each, 7 on Procherk, and 6 on Provse.
Moreover, local media are informing the readers about the situation on the front line and reprint national military news. Such publications amount to 16% of the total. For example, Provse posted a story by the Minister of Defense Oleksiy Reznikov about the conscription situation in Ukraine, Vycherpno website provides the UAF General Staff's statistics of enemy losses almost daily, and 18000 quite regularly posts compilations of the most important news of yet another day of the war.
More than 14% of war news are posts about internally displaced persons and refugees. These are publications such as "18 displaced people get a job in the Cherkasy district thanks to the state program" on Vycherpno, "Cherkasy city government arranges additional housing for displaced people" on Procherk, or "The number of displaced persons in the Cherkasy district has increased" on Zmi.ck.ua.
Another 5% of mass media news are the special services' releases about the exposure of collaborators, such as the publication "Two more people working for russian propaganda exposed in Cherkasy oblast" on 18000, or the publication "Under Lipandin's leadership, the occupiers in Kherson oblast have revived 'Berkut' and are torturing people" on Procherk.
The share of news about infrastructure damage in the region is only 2% of the total. All online media outlets whose feeds were analyzed, except for Zmi.ck.ua, posted the statistics provided by the head of the Cherkasy RMA Ihor Taburets at his meeting with journalists, according to which, over 100 objects in the Uman, Zolotonosha, and Cherkasy districts have been damaged by rocket attacks on Cherkasy oblast during the full-scale war.
The sources of the absolute majority of military and war-related news in Cherkasy online media are other mass media, releases or posts of the authorities' press offices, officials, or social media. In fact, original publications of the media outlets' creative teams appear extremely rarely. 18000 is noteworthy in this regard, as during the monitoring period, its journalists prepared an interview with a UAF serviceman from Cherkasy, an article about a Cherkasy volunteer in Germany, an analytical material about how the war affects air quality indicators in Cherkasy, and a longread manual on how to cleanse the information space of russian content.
Note that the analyzed publications do meet the journalistic standards. An exception was the article "Uman Hasidim complain about refugees who left a mess in the hotel rooms" on the Provse website, which was also reposted by Procherk. The headline and the text of the material contains hate speech targeting internally displaced persons. Moreover, the text contains a certain level of generalization, pits one group against another, and the source of the report's core narrative is the story of an aquaintance of the media outlet's spokesperson, which should also have been a deterrent for journalists. In addition, the material does not carry any other information except for the thesis presented in the headline, which, in the end, leads to the conclusion that the purpose of the article was to create a negative image of immigrants.
Zakhar Kolisnichenko, regional representative of the Institute of Mass Information in Cherkasy oblast
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