Journalists’ unions from Russia and Ukraine condemn continued attacks on journalists in Ukraine, agree on steps to fight propaganda
Representatives of Ukrainian and Russian journalists’ unions today condemned the ongoing attacks and detentions of journalists in and around Ukraine. The unions also urged journalists not to participate in propaganda activities and to show solidarity with their colleagues.
The unions met under the auspices of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and today’s meeting was the fourth roundtable discussion with the objective of facilitating dialogue between the journalists of the two countries.
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović opened the meeting by emphasizing the importance of an inclusive dialogue on media freedom issues in Ukraine, and the high ethical standards of journalism in times of conflict.
“I am very pleased that we have been able to gather for a fourth time for these discussions,” Mijatović said. “The agreements reached between the unions today show the importance of this dialogue and their strong commitment to overcome the difficulties that media in and around Ukraine has experienced in recent months”.
The representatives from the Ukrainian and Russian journalists’ unions agreed on a joint statement on journalists’ safety, calling for the release of Serhiy Sakadynskiy and Roman Cheremsky, the remaining two journalists detained in eastern Ukraine.
The unions also issued an appeal to all parties to ensure journalists’ safety and to investigate all cases of violence against members of the media. Further, they urged journalists not to participate in propaganda activities and to show solidarity with their colleagues.
The representatives from the journalist unions agreed to deepen and broaden their co-operation and to continue the dialogue on the issues of common interest. A follow-up meeting to today’s roundtable will be held in the beginning of 2015.
At the meeting, Boro Kontić, Director of Mediacentar in Sarajevo, gave a presentation on the use of propaganda during the conflict in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, and ways to preserve professional and ethical standards in journalism.
Representatives of the National Union of the Journalists of Ukraine, the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine, and the Russian Union of Journalists attended the meeting, along with representatives of the International Federation of Journalists, European Federation of Journalists, the International Press Institute, Reporters without Borders, and the Ethical Journalism Network.