Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine has published guidelines for journalists covering the fighting in eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian Army is carrying out a military operation against the militia. The text is available on the website of the union.
The authors note that the recommendations are not compulsory reading. “However, if you love our country and want this war to be over soon with minimal consequences for all, we ask you to read and act according to conscience” – emphasizes the website.
In particular, journalists are advised to avoid showing the dead and not to use the word “bodies”. “View of the dead can be demoralizing if not for soldiers, then for their parents, who will do anything to ensure that their sons would not get to the front” – write the authors of the document.
Also the media are advised not to distribute video, “which was uploaded to YouTube by the hostile party” (as an example – recordings of prisoners). If the reporter learned about the difficulties with the supplies for the troops, he is advised “not to give a report on the air” until it is possible to talk about “how to solve this problem, or at least get someone to promise a resolution.”
Another recommendation goes for the names of the units involved in the military operation. “Do not help enemy to disorient the Ukrainian citizens – many people, hearing the name of the battalion doubt whether that is Ukrainian or Russian forces. Instead of such names of battalions as “Idar”, “Dnepr”, “Azov”, better to use the phrase “the Ukrainian military”, “one of the territorial battalions,” “Ukrainian army.” Instead of battalion “Vostok” they are offered to say “Kadyrov mercenaries”, etc.”
In addition, journalists are advised not to publish any materials about Ukrainian ruling “party disagreements and quarrels” while the war is in progress.
Finally, the authors write memos that materials – even if it reports on injuries – should not end up creating a feeling of “hopelessness.” “Even those who have died may have children, and the memory of their exploits will remain in generations of descendants who should be proud of their parents,” – they argue.