National Union of Journalists of Ukraine: Report of "Dubious" News Presented by the Institute of Mass Information is Dubious Itself

The Institute of Mass Information (IMI) non-governmental organization led by Oxana Romanyuk, which is funded by Western donors and claims to monitor the adherence to mass media standards, has analyzed top 50 Ukrainian websites to identify fakes, fake news and manipulations. The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine has expressed its distrust to the results of the said report, named "Anti-rating of News"; the Union suggested removing the publication and auditing all instances of violations of journalist standards as identified by experts.

Sergei Tomilenko, the Chair of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, wrote on his Facebook page that IMI wantonly accused journalists of manipulations.

According to Tomilenko, "the conclusions by the authors of the monitoring are superficial, formalistic and raise many questions from the journalist community. Instead of improving the news quality, the report led to public mutual accusations from representatives of editorial offices and experts".

An example of the said situation is the IMI experts' accusation of Ukrainska Pravda website reference to an "unreliable source" when the website published a news commenting a Facebook post by Dmitriy Dinze, the lawyer of Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov. The piece of news taken by Ukrainska Pravda from Hromadske website citing the source, was marked as "unreliable source". At that, no negative news were identified at the Hromadske website itself. "No negative news" were identified at four websites, while some of the identified news directly referenced to these websites. Ukrainska Pravda website intends to demand retraction of false data published in the "Anti-rating of News" by IMI. Alyona Pritula, Ukrainska Pravda co-owner, declared her intention to do so in her comment under Facebook post from IMI Executive Director Oxana Romanyuk.

In addition, unfair claims of unauthenticity were made with regard to Ukrainian News Information Agency, which published a report of opinion poll on freedom of speech in Ukraine.

Tatiana Popova, Chief Expert on Strategic Communications of Informational Security Non-governmental Organization also noted the poor quality of IMI's fake news monitoring. "I don't understand how the Ukranews coverage of our joint press conference with Sergei Tomilenko (which included a live video stream of KMIS head Prof. Vladimir Panioto, who conducted the poll for us) made it to be included in the fake news report", she wrote on her Facebook page. Radio Liberty and Ukrinform published similar news, but were not identified as fake news.

According to IMI,,,, and comprised top five of the so-called "anti-rating of news". At the same time, IMI experts failed to find a single "dubious news" from websites funded by Western donors - and Radio Liberty, state-owned Ukrinform Information Agency and Novoe Vremya website.

In addition, IMI rating included Russian websites and, including and websites, blocked in Ukraine.

You can find more information on the results of the "report" by IMI here.

It should be noted that IMI management and experts have already been criticized for deliberate discrediting of mass media in the interests of incumbent government. We should also remind that Oxana Romanyuk disseminated false information about Uspishna Varta human rights platform based on the outcome of OSCE HDIM 2018 Conference in Warsaw in September. The human rights activists had to file a lawsuit to protect their honor, reputation and dignity.

According to IMI financial report published at its website, the main donors of IMI are Internews Network Inc. non-governmental organization, Freedom House foundation from the U.S., U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and the National Endowment for Democracy. Other sources of income include Reporters Without Borders, Chemonics International company, IFEX and others. In total, Oxana Romanyuk's institute received UAH 10.878.441. Before 2013, IMI was headed by Victoria Syumar, who is now a member of parliament representing People's Front, and the chair of the parliamentary freedom of speech committee.

Расскажите друзьям. Пусть они тоже знают больше о реальной ситуации с правами человека в Украине!

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