Spilnota Detector Media

Українською читайте тут.

Ukrainian journalists and media organizations, part of the Media Movement, have appealed to law enforcement to unmask those responsible for orchestrating a media attack against Detector Media and to hold them accountable. This appeal is detailed in a statement from the Media Movement.

The members of the Media Movement are appalled by the deliberate efforts to malign and pressure the NGO Detector Media and its online counterpart via anonymous Telegram channels.

“A recent media attack on our colleagues commenced several days ago with unfounded claims of paying a Russian company for Telegram channel analysis services. In reality, the Mass Information Institute utilized the free version of TgStat.com to research Russian disinformation and fakes on Telegram channels. No financial transactions were made with Russian firms. Detector Media later republished this IMI research in its Digest section,” explains the statement.

The Media Movement views the extensive defamatory campaign involving numerous Telegram channels (including Batalyon “Monako”, Dobroho Vechora My Z Ukrayiny, Dzhoker, Trukha and its affiliated regional network) as retribution for Detector Media and IMI’s criticism of anonymous Telegram channels promoting dubious content.

“Baseless allegations against a Ukrainian NGO and online media outlet, accusing them of collaboration with the aggressor, not only harm their reputation but also pose a physical threat to journalists from Detector Media and IMI, who are now targets of anonymous Telegram channels. For instance, the Monaco Battalion channel posted a ‘poll’ asking followers to choose how to deal with DM and IMI, with some anonymous commentators suggesting eliminating these organizations, burning their offices, etc. However, some commentators defend the organizations and accuse the channel of defamation.

The Media Movement is urging law enforcement to recognize the gravity of the situation and act accordingly. Specifically, to identify those spreading this disinformation through the aforementioned Telegram channels and hold them accountable for interfering with the work of Detector Media and IMI journalists. Public information regarding representatives of these Telegram channels, particularly the Trukha channel, is already available,” the statement continues.

Previously, Detector Media’s chief, Nataliya Lyhachova, has also received threats from Volodymyr Petrov, who expressed a desire to “punish” her.

On November 28, Detector Media and the Institute of Mass Information announced they were facing pressure and preclusion of their journalistic activities. This situation stems from a coordinated smear campaign and propagation of fakes against them, initiated by a group of anonymous Telegram channels.

The slanderous campaign against DM and IMI originated from a post by the Batalyon “Monako”, an anonymous Telegram channel implicated in IMI’s investigative report. This campaign gained momentum as other anonymous channels, including Dobroho Vechora My Z Ukrayiny and Dzhoker, further spread these allegations. Trukha and its regional network of channels were particularly active in disseminating these baseless claims.

These Telegram channels circulated a fabricated story that DM was “paying in rubles” to Russian services and “funding the war.” They leveraged a screenshot from IMI’s study on falsehoods and manipulations by anonymous Telegram channels, which profit from advertorials, gambling advertisements, and exploiting sensitive issues like the threat of Russian bombardments.

Further exacerbating the situation, the Batalyon “Monako” channel posted a “poll” inviting followers to decide how DM and IMI should be dealt with, and some anonymous commentators suggested that these organizations should be eliminated, their offices burned down, etc.

Currently, DM and IMI are preparing to submit a formal complaint to law enforcement, citing pressure and preclusion of their professional journalistic activities, in accordance with Part 2 of Article 171 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code.

Moreover, under Article 94(1) of the Civil Code of Ukraine, a legal entity holds the right to the protection of its business reputation. If those who disseminated these false allegations aimed at undermining the business reputation of DM and IMI do not refute them on their websites, we will also take further legal actions to protect our rights.

For reference: The Mediarukh Media Movement is a coalition comprising journalists from leading Ukrainian media, investigative journalists, and experts from media-related NGOs. The Media Movement was officially established on February 5, 2019. The initial signatories of the Media Movement memorandum included a diverse array of media outlets and organizations: UA: Pershyi, Ukrainian Radio, Hromadske Radio, the Ukrinform news agency, Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Liga.net, Dzerkalo Tyzhnia. Ukraine, NV, Censor.NET, Channel 5, Ukrayinskyi Tyzhden, Opinion, along with several regional media, and NGOs like the Independent Media Council, Detector Media, Institute of Mass Information, Internews Ukraine, Center for Democracy and Rule of Law, Souspilnist Foundation, National Association of Media, Donetsk Institute of Information, Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy, and Zmina Human Rights Center. Over time, this movement has expanded to include more than 70 participants, encompassing various organizations and individual journalists. On November 16, 2021, representatives of leading media outlets urged journalists to join Mediarukh, a professional community aimed at combating political and commercial pressure on freedom of speech. This call to action was spearheaded by 29 journalists and experts, whose names can be found here.

Illustration: Getty Images

NGO “Detector Media” has been working for our readers for over 20 years. In times of elections, revolutions, pandemics and war, we continue to fight for quality journalism. Our experts develop media literacy of the audience, advocate for the rights of journalists, and refute Russian disinformation.

“Detector Media” resumes the work of our Community and invites those who believe that the media should be better: more professional, truthful and transparent.


Support us. Become part of the project!

Every day, our team prepares the freshest and independent materials for you. We would be extremely grateful for any support you may have. Your donations are an opportunity to do even more.

Support us