Civil society sector being discredited: Media Trash 2020 list‘ announced

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The Media Trash list includes more than 50 publications in 18 media outlets. These were the results of the first analysis of discrediting and manipulative information about human rights defenders and civil society activists, disseminated in the Ukrainian media in 2020. The analysis was conducted within the framework of the Media Trash initiative, launched by the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (UHHRU), ZMINA and the Institute of Mass Information (IMI).

The media outlets, evaluated in the analysis process, were selected among 50 most rated sites on the basis of a list compiled by IMI in early autumn 2020. The information in these media was analyzed according to the project criteria.

The information published during 2020 was taken into account.

The Media Trash 2020 list  includes:

  • apostrophe.ua
  • bagnet.org
  • from-ua.com
  • hvylya.net
  • newsone.ua
  • подробности.ua
  • politeka.net
  • strana.ua
  • vesti.ua
  • ukranews.com
  • unn.com.ua
  • znaj.ua
  • 112.ua
  • enovosty.com
  • golos.ua
  • ictv.ua (“Extraordinary News” project)
  • obozrevatel.com
  • zik.ua.

Publications for the list were selected according to the following criteria:

  • unreliable information about the activities of non-governmental organizations, activists, human rights activists;
  • manifestations of hate speech, except for quoting;
  • lack of balance when covering the activities of NGOs, activists, human rights activists (only one opinion was submitted – negative);
  • manipulations during the coverage of the activities of NGOs, activists, human rights activists (submission of comments and evaluative judgments as accomplished facts, non-separation of facts from comments, etc.);
  • refusal to grant the right of reply to NGOs, activists, human rights defenders, about whose activities false or unbalanced information was posted;
  • harassment and threats to NGOs, activists, human rights activists;
  • publication of confidential personal data of journalists, human rights activists, civil society activists without their permission;
  • organization of measures aimed at discrediting civil society activists, causing them physical harm;
  • publishing personal data, financial information about journalists, human rights defenders and civil society activists (for example, telephone numbers, residential addresses, information about relatives, children, vehicle numbers, data on financial transactions, income, etc.) without their permission;
  • publication of information without confirmation and indication of primary sources or on the basis of posts on social networks from anonymous pages (this criterion is used in combination with others).

The organizers also plan to prepare the following lists:

  • “Trash channels” — a list of the most trashy Telegram channels;
  • “Trash TV”;
  • “Trash blogger”;
  • “Regional media trash”.

Project resources:

  • mediafuflo@gmail.com 
  • www.facebook.com/mediafuflo 
  • twitter.com/FufloMedia
  • t.me/mediafuflo

As a reminder, UHHRU, ZMINA and IMI collect information about cases of discrediting civil society activists, human rights activists and journalists in the media of your community or region, as well as TV channels and Telegram channels that disseminate similar information.

The Media Trash project is one of the ways in which the civil society of Ukraine counteracts the information campaigns which discredits its representatives and is disseminated through certain mass media, bloggers and social networks. The aim of the project is to identify media, bloggers, pages or channels on social networks and messengers that disseminate discrediting, manipulative and false information about the media and / or civil society of Ukraine, and to form a list of such resources and inform the wide audience about them. The lists published within the project are formed upon the appeals, submitted to founder organizations, are based on the criteria and methodology of evaluation and are the product of judgment by the organizing committee of the project.

Please note that the Media Trash project is not funded by any donor. It is an initiative of representatives of the founder organizations: UHHRU, IMI, ZMINA.