Ukraine war

IMS support to Ukraine media unwavering

Amidst the war, Ukraine’s journalists continue to deliver critical information despite many challenges. Media are also documenting and drawing attention to the atrocities perpetrated by Russia.

February 24th marks the second anniversary of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Journalists in Ukraine have worked extensively since the full-scale invasion began, often at great personal risk.

Reporting on a war within one’s own country exacts a heavy toll on individual journalists and on newsrooms as a whole. Two years into the full-scale conflict, prioritizing mental health has become an essential aspect of IMS’ support to Ukraine’s independent media.

Ukrainian local journalists will further be crucial in ensuring transparency and accountability as officials and businesses navigate the colossal task of spearheading the most extensive reconstruction effort since the Marshall Plan. Their role in documenting, reporting, and upholding accountability is paramount in shaping the nation’s recovery.

IMS’ initial response: safety

During the initial 12 months of Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, IMS prioritized the safety of journalists who valiantly continued to cover the dramatic events across the entire country. Their efforts were aimed at providing crucial information to those who needed it and show to the world the sacrifices Ukraine is making to embrace democratic ideals and uphold human rights. Outlets like Kyiv Independent, who became an overnight success, Hromadske and others began publishing in English and gained a substantial international following and backing.

In addition to ensuring the safety of journalists – women and men – IMS focused on sustaining both national and regional media partners, offering crucial support to maintain their operations. Another key area of IMS’s attention was aligning global tech companies and their policies with local needs, particularly in response to threats such as trolls, Russian disinformation and propaganda, distorting the Ukrainian online information sphere.

Since 2023, IMS has slightly adjusted its focus and strategic priorities for Ukraine. IMS has identified its added value alongside other international media support organisations and expanded support to include mental well-being of media workers, investigations into Russian atrocities and the war’s impact on the country, and efforts to counter disinformation while enhancing resilience.

Furthermore, IMS has concentrated on establishing a National Tech Coalition to influence Big Tech policies by fostering ongoing dialogue and analysing social media content moderation policies and their impact on media.

With Ukraine on track to become an EU candidate state and the adoption of the new “On Media” law, IMS is dedicated to implementation efforts and to raising awareness among Ukrainian and foreign journalists and other media actors regarding media law regulations to mitigate violations and improve compliance.

Media infrastructure a key priority

Although the war is ongoing, IMS is also deeply invested in the rebuilding and recovery of Ukraine. Independent media plays a pivotal role in holding authorities, public officials, and businesses accountable. Amidst the conflict, local journalists are delivering vital information that empowers the Ukrainian population to make informed decisions and shed light on the atrocities committed by Russia.

As part of this effort, IMS collaborates with other stakeholders to establish infrastructure for local investigative journalism through initiatives like the RecoveryWin Coalition, aiming to address information gaps and enhance transparency, particularly at regional and local levels where reconstruction funds are allocated.

In the midst of war and recovery, IMS strives to contribute to the development of a democratic, inclusive, and resilient information environment in Ukraine. This entails supporting pluralistic, professional media that produces content in the public interest, influences public dialogue, and operates securely.