Free and independent mass media are essential for the building and development of an open and democratic society. A free flow of information delivered by the printed media, radio and television and Internet is an absolute necessity in a political system where every citizen must have the possibility to form his or her own opinion. Independent media are critical to development, democracy and dialogue. Media give people a voice, acting as a balance and watchdog to potential misconduct, corruption or crime. But the impact of the media is not limited to the area of politics. Economic development is benefitting from more openness and access to economic information so that citizens have better information about what is happening in their communities and in commercial and financial markets, allowing them to make better-informed choices.

In most countries everyone can call himself ‘journalist’. Everyone can establish a publishing company and bring another newspaper or magazine on the stand. Journalism, however, is a profession as well as a pillar in democratic public spheres. Based on this principle IRMI does not recommend authorities to limit the profession of a journalist only to those people that graduated from one of the official educational institutes. Most of all it is the responsibility of the publishers and/or the editors-in-chief to protect the quality of the profession. They can do that by hiring only very well educated, high qualified people for the job. IRMI was established to contribute in a system of professional education based on expertise in this field in all parts of Ukraine and in other countries in Central- and Eastern Europe. Hence, IRMI has contributed and is contributing to professional role understandings, work practices and ethical orientations of journalists. In the last decade this expertise has been transferred to Ukrainian partners in the framework of special ‘train the trainers’ programs.

The recent activities of IRMI in the field of media and journalism include the following:

  • 2014-2015 – Conflict Sensitive Reporting. The project of trainings and production workshops for regional media with a special focus on reporting IDP issues. In partnership with Thomson Foundation (UK) and under the support of the UK Conflict Pool
  • Media production sessions for Hromadske TV. Number of documentaries on IDP situation in Ukraine were prepared as the result of a special training and production sessions in Kharkiv, Odessa and Lviv.
  • 2015 – “Students Newsroom”

Some of the previously implemented projects:

  • «Ethics Code for Journalists as a Contract with Public», in Kharkiv and Lviv for journalists of print and on-line media.
  • “Information Wars and International Public Opinion. Professional Responsibility of Journalists”. The round table was held in Kyiv with the participation of Gie Meeuwis.
  • Round tables and workshops supporting “destatization” of mass media in Ukraine.

Methodological and Publishing Endeavours

  • A comparative legal study “Freedom of Information”, prepared by Article 19 was translated and edited

Main trainings for media professionals:

  • Professional journalism standards
  • Who do we trust: working with sources
  • Investigative reporting
  • Interview as a genre: key instruments
  • Elections coverage. Professional and legal norms. 
  • Civic reporting. Basic principles and management.
  • A Code of Conduct. Professional and ethical standards as an agreement between media organisations and society. Ethics and new media.
  • Journalism and crises. Reporting conflicts.
  • Journalism and universal media platforms.
  • Visualisation and media. Photo journalism. 

Other links of IRMI