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Who forms Ukraine’s image in the world? Foreign media monitoring

Kyiv, March 02, 2017.

Experts analysed articles about Ukraine in the media, which provide information in foreign languages to find out who forms Ukraine’s image abroad and what topics are the most interesting. They presented and discussed their findings at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Who published the majority of articles about Ukraine?

Among 400 thousand articles about Ukraine published in 2016 in more than 10 languages the majority of articles which got the biggest number of views and shares, were published by Ukraine Today, New York Times and Russia Today. Of these, New York Times wrote less than the other two, but the article about the role of Paul Manafort, ex-advisor of former Ukrainian President Yanukovich, who participated in the presidential campaign of Trump, drew a lot of attention. The next on the list are BBC, Daily Mail and Sputnik news. “Since “Ukraine Today” stopped its work, there are three top-media providing information in English, who do not write very often, and two media spreading propaganda,” noted Sergiy Kornyliyk, analyst of the Center of Political Studies and Analytics “Eidos”.

Topics

The most popular topics last year were Jamala’s victory at the Eurovision Song Contest, Paul Manafort and new details about MH17 tragedy. “Among these, there is no such topics as the conflict in the east of Ukraine, humanitarian disaster in Donbas and more than one million of displaced persons. The world comes back to these topics when there is a flare-up in the east and forgets them when hostilities calm down,” noted Sergiy Kornyliuk.

However, these are not only scaring stories that the world is interested in. Among the popular news, there were articles about Ukrainian veterans’ business and social project “Pizza Veterano”. Such fashion magazines as “Vogue” repeatedly wrote about Ukrainian wreath and vyshyvanka – embroidered shirts. Meanwhile, culture-related topics are far at the bottom on the list of priorities in Ukraine’s informational doctrine. “The results of our monitoring prove that these are topics of culture and sport which draw a lot of attention. […] They are covered with vivid emotional interest and therefore encourage the readers to find out more about Ukraine. For instance, the article about wreaths, according to our rating of interesting articles, has got 2 thousand points more than the article about corruption,” said Anastasiya Gaidukevych, analyst of the “Ukraine’s Image Agency”.

Expert recommendations

The experts advise that the authors who write about Ukraine be followed and given ideas about new interesting topics to cover. “For example, the project “In features” offers potentially interesting topics to journalists who come to Ukraine. Monitoring the gaps and proposing the journalists to cover these issues would be a very efficient way to strengthen Ukraine’s proactive position in the world,” noted Iryna Kupchynska, senior editor of the monitoring project “ОКО”.

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