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Crisis and journalism culture transformation: The case of Ukraine
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7943-3076
2017 (English)In: Nordmedia conference 2017: 23rd Nordic Conference on Media and Communication Research Tampere, 17–19 August 2017, Abstracts, Division 2, Journalism, 2017Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Journalism culture is described by scholars as “one of the resources journalists draw upon to coordinate their activities as reporters, photographers, and editors” (Zelizer 2005, p. 204). Importantly, journalism cultures should be analyzed not only in connection to the contexts, but also in and as processes (Voronova 2014, p. 221). While most journalism cultures in the world face similar challenges, such as commercialization and digitalization, some of them are challenged by more radical challenges, such as war conflicts. Ukrainian journalism culture since 2013 is undergoing a painful process of continuously adjusting to and counteracting the circumstances of conflict, with external and internal propaganda (e.g. coming from the so-called “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk), economic pressure being a consequence of the more general crisis, and guidelines coming from the state institutions, such as the Ministry of Information Policy (MIP) (e.g. Bolin, Jordan & Ståhlberg 2016, Pantti 2016, Nygren & Hök 2016). 

Nygren et al. (2016), based on content analysis and interviews with journalists, conclude that one of the main challenges for the Ukrainian journalists today is a conflict between the ideal of neutrality in coverage and favoring of “patriotic journalism” in practice. This paper takes this discussion further and suggests to look at how the professional journalism organizations in Ukraine reflect upon this conflict, which journalists themselves define as a split between journalists and “Glory-to-Ukraine-journalists” (Sklyarevskaya 2016, October 20th). How does the participation of Ukrainian journalism organizations in the discussion of objectivity vs. patriotism look like on different levels – international, regional, national and local? Is there a possibility to retain a national culture of journalism in the situation of crisis, or does it inevitably end up in splitting to many journalism cultures that have their own rules, beliefs and ideals? 

Using Hanitzsch’s model of deconstruction of journalism culture (Hanitzsch 2007, Nygren et al 2016), and focusing specifically on the dimension of epistemological beliefs, this paper analyzes a specific case: project ”Two countries – one profession” initiated and supported by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. The project consists of regular round tables where senior representatives from Ukrainian and Russian professional journalism organizations meet to discuss ways to improve professional standards and safety of journalists, as well as collaborative projects between young journalists from the two countries. The project is perceived as contradictory and provocative by a part of the Ukrainian media community (e.g. Rudenko 2016, December 15th). The paper is based on analysis of observations of meetings between the National Union of 

Journalists of Ukraine and the Russian Union of Journalists, interviews with representatives of these and other media organizations and experts in Ukraine, focus groups with the young journalists involved in the project, and negative and positive reactions to this project by the Ukrainian media community.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
epistemological beliefs, journalism culture, journalism organizations, crisis, conflict, challenges, Ukraine
National Category
Media Studies
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33748OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-33748DiVA, id: diva2:1160602
Conference
23rd Nordic Conference on Media and Communication Research, Tampere, Finland, 17–19 August 2017
Projects
Propaganda and management of information in the Ukraine-Russia conflict: From nation branding to information war
Available from: 2017-11-27 Created: 2017-11-27 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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Voronova, Liudmila

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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