An update on IMS’ involvement in Ukraine

IMS Executive Director Jesper Højberg shares an update on IMS’ efforts to support our partners in Ukraine, ensure the safety of journalists and keep independent media running.

I wanted to share an update on IMS’ support for Ukraine in this dire and horrific situation.

IMS, in the strongest possible terms, condemns Russian aggression in Ukraine and its blatant violation of international law. In these dark days, our firm commitment to supporting reliable independent media in Ukraine has increased enormously.

IMS is working with partners in Ukraine, and we are asking all our supporters and stakeholders to back independent media, especially Ukrainian journalists, in this serious situation. We are working specifically to ensure the safety of journalists as well as to keep independent media running.

If you wish to support our efforts, you can do so here. You can also follow IMS’ partners in Ukraine who are working tenaciously to provide the public with access to reliable information: Hromadske TV and Regional Press Development Institute. We also recommend following Kyiv Independent as well as fact-checkers Stop Fake and Vox Ukraine, both members of International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), who are working tirelessly to debunk Russian disinformation.

I sincerely hope that all democratically-minded state actors and governments, not least those who are standing up for press freedom through the Media Freedom Coalition, will strengthen their support and focus on those journalists and media organisations currently being directly targeted. This also includes Russian independent media who stand up against Putin’s regime and condemn the aggression.

As a reply to the extreme pressure Russian independent journalism is facing, the Danish newspaper Politiken sent a message to the Russian public in Russian and in Danish which we are in support of and recommend sharing.

We are committed to combatting disinformation, and all democratic countries should focus on de-bunking fake news and be ready to enter into robust dialogues with Big Tech companies on their responsibilities as passive enablers of disinformation. It is also critically important that European democracies open their doors to provide refuge to threatened journalists and media outlets. Ukrainian journalists are committed to continuing their work in the country, but they may be forced to leave. IMS is deeply involved in ensuring coordination between international media development organisations; it is fundamentally important that all good intentions to assist are well coordinated in preparation for what the coming period will require.

Journalists and independent media outlets, particularly in times of war, are critical guarantors of the flow of independent, trustworthy news and information. What we have seen so far is that this war is certainly also an information war. All efforts must be made to ensure that the Ukrainian and international public can access reliable information.