In Ukraine the Council of Europe’s ‘Journalists Matter’ campaign has been launched

Today, April 9, in Ukraine, the Council of Europe’s ‘Journalists Matter’ campaign has been launched. It is dedicated to the safety of journalists and other media workers in Ukraine. A Coordination Committee for the implementation of the campaign in Ukraine has been established at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy.

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According to the latest data from February 24, 2022, 76 journalists have been killed in Ukraine. This was announced at the beginning of the event by the Member of Parliament and Chair of the Committee on Freedom of Speech of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Yaroslav Yurchishyn.

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The media plays an important role in ensuring public discourse in society. Journalists have undeniable rights to safety and freedom of expression. There is an urgent need to address multifaceted challenges faced by all media workers. This includes not only strengthening measures for physical and digital security but also creating favourable legal and social frameworks that mitigate the risks of journalistic work.

Another confirmation of the strategic importance of journalist safety is that the strategy for information security, developed by MCIP in collaboration with other government agencies, includes 7 strategic goals. Among them is also a goal specifically related to the rights and safety of journalists. So for us, information security is both about countering disinformation and ensuring the safety of journalists. The balance of rights and limitations is the particularity of the Ukrainian approach,” said Taras Shevchenko, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy for European Integration issues.

In turn, the national coordinator of the Campaign for Journalist Safety, Head of the Department of Information Policy and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, Ganna Krasnostup, presented plans for deploying the Campaign for Journalist Safety in Ukraine at the national level.

“The launch of the Council of Europe’s ‘Journalists Matter’ campaign is an important step for Ukraine. Recently, we were taught soft skills – it’s important not what is happening, but our attitude towards it. After the onset of aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the crucial aspect is  “what is actually happening”. These are security issues that concern each of us, our families, and our children,” she said.

The MCIP is initiating national consultations aimed at strengthening comprehensive and inclusive dialogue. It aims to bring together a wide range of stakeholders for joint development of effective solutions and strategies to protect journalists and support press freedom in Ukraine.

As part of the event, participants held the first round of discussions on journalist safety and priorities of the Council of Europe’s ‘Journalists Matter’ campaign for 2024. The discussions focused on the key challenges faced by media and journalists during war, the state of media in temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, assessment of the situation regarding investigations into crimes against journalists, existing legal guarantees, and identifying directions for their enhancement.

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