Ukraine: journalists security and ethical reporting must be guaranteed

  • 24 Feb 2022

The NUJ has sent messages of solidarity to journalist colleagues and members of the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) and the National Union of Journalists (NUJU) following the invasion of Ukraine.

Following reports of a series of explosions throughout the country, intensified fighting on the front lines and Russian troops advancing into Ukraine, the International Federation of Journalists /European Federation of Journalists issued an urgent safety advisory for all journalists in Ukraine.

The IFJ and EFJ joined their Ukrainian affiliates IMTUU and NUJU in warning media against the spreading misinformation on the situation and called for the safety of journalists reporting in the field. They have started putting in place protocols to support their members on the ground. NUJU has launched a hotline and announced the setting of a committee to support journalists. 

Sergiy Tomilenko, NUJU president, said: "The safety of hundreds of journalists and media workers across the country is our top priority. A special committee for monitoring and responding to the situation has been created by our union, we are trying to work effectively in the current military aggression of Russia. We are grateful to journalists from all over the world for your solidarity and words of support to Ukrainians in these terrible days."  

Serhiy Shturkhetskyy, IMTUU president, said: "Ukrainian journalists risk their lives to tell the truth... we urge them to follow safety rules. We urge foreign journalists to use verified sources of information. Our hearts today are with Ukrainian and foreign journalists who report the truth in this difficult time."

The IFJ has issued a list of precautions that should be followed by journalists reporting in Ukraine, including the securing of contact protocols, securing stories filing from the field, and travel safety.  

Younes Mjahed, IFJ president, said: "We stand in solidarity with those journalists who risk coming under scrutiny by all sides in an attempt to control their content. We urge media professionals to carefully check the facts, avoid speedy reporting and ensure their stories respect fundamental ethical principles set out in our Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists".   

Mogens Blicher, EFJ president, said: "The attack on Ukraine is not only a war in Ukraine, it is a war against all our democracies. It is an attack against all of us. As journalists our role is to be a fundamental pillar for democracy and for the citizens. We must, in the international organisations for journalists and media, do our utmost to safeguard our members and make sure that citizens are well informed not disinformed by propaganda."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “We send messages of solidarity from the UK and Ireland to all journalists working in these dangerous conditions, and have made contact with our Ukrainian sister unions supporting their members across the country. Journalists must be protected and allowed to report freely as these terrible events unfold.”

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