Some questions about media issues

Please answer the following questions in your own posts (it is not necessary to answer all questions in only one post).

  1. How do you rate the freedom of press in your country on a scale of 1 to 10? (1 = does not exist / 10 = free)? Please describe in one or two sentences why you come to this rating.
  2. What do you know/assume about the media system and the situation of the journalists in the other two countries involved in the project Media beyond frontiers?
  3. Which media do you primarily use to inform yourself about political or social issues? What connections do you see between the freedom of press/opinion and the development of civil society in general?
  4. Please describe the advantages/disadvantages of social media and traditional media. Which media do you prefer and why? How will both media develop over the next decade an how will this process change the (media) society?
  5. Have you ever fallen for a fake news? If yes: Please describe the case. How do you protect yourself against fake news? What is the role of a journalist in spreading fake news? How to check the sources of information? Whom do you trust more: the media in general or a particular journalist?

10 thoughts on “Some questions about media issues

  1. 5. Yes, I had such situation a few months ago. I worked at the Internet web-site and was responsible for posting news.
    As for protecting myself from by fake news, at first I try to read professional media with a good reputation. Secondly, I pay attention who comments the situation that has happened. As for figures, if they provoke doubts, sometimes we can check them. For example, we can check information on the website of the State Statistics Office, websites of different ministries etc. In general I try to analyze the information.
    If the journalist spreads fake news, there can be two reasons for this: accidentally (inattentiveness, lаck of knowledge, error in figures, etc. ) or intentionally and she or he do this with the specific purpose. The role of journalists in spreading fake news is great. They have an impact on the readers. But such journalist’s actions spoil the reputation of journalism in the whole country.
    In general I trust media more.
    For checking sources of information, we can use such steps as for protection from fake news. Also I want to say about the photos. They are important sources of information too. How to check photos? I used for that 3 websites.

    Google image search –– hyrertext provides the link on the place where the photo was appeared . Also we can find this photo in different sizes with links.

    Foto Forensics – this program can find the editing fragments on the photo. And these fragments look different on the background of all photo.

    Tin Eye – searches images on the Internet, which are very similar to your sample. It can distinguish faces on the images even with small enlargement.

  2. 1.
    I will rate the freedom of press in Moldova with 5. I have come to this rating when I was unemployed for two weeks. I have discovered that in Moldova there are a lot of media institutions, but most of them are paid by politicians. And for sure, politicians influence the news that are made by journalists. So, i have found, for me, a media institution that IS NOT paid by any politician.
    I know about ukrainian media system and the situation of journalists that is like Moldova`s. Also, I know that russian propaganda it is more spread than in Moldova. And people, indeed in what russian tv channels, pro-Russia media says. Once, a ukrainian journalist told me about that the war it is about a hybrid, informational war.
    I inform myself from everywhere, especially, on the internet. I must know what all pe media institutions write. Unfortunately, most of the people inform themselves from tv, especially holden by a controversial businessman, politician. And people listen what tv wants people to listen, manipulative information. In such conditions, developing the civil society it is very hard.
    I have worked in traditional media – for a newspaper, and now, i work for a site. I can say that for printed press the situation gets worse. Nobody, in Moldova, buy newspaper when they pay for internet or TV to be informed. Also, it happened to me once: somebody told me that a newspaper is cheaper than a toilet paper, so people use it when they go to the WC. But for social media, I think, the situation it is very interesting. The social media develops very fast but people don`t realize what site share the truth, and what is false.
    Yes, I have fallen once. It was recently. It was about a boy who has posted on instagram a video telling about his friend that died in an accident. That boy was lying. It was a bad joke. So, one news portal made a piece of news about. And they have not checked the information…
    I look skeptical at news and i search the information on another sites. I ask myself about sources, about facts and statements. I trust more in a particular journalist, but not 100% because in a poor country a journalist could be corrupted.

  3. 1. I would rate the freedom of the press in Moldova 5/10. The media here is somewhere between freedom and monopoly: the greatest propagandists of Moldova pretend to be the greatest propaganda fighters; television channels are frequently rebroadcasting Russian or Romanian programs; the media is controlled by oligarchs (ex. Plahotniuc owns a shocking 70 percent of Moldova’s audiovisual market: five national TV stations: Publica TV, Prime TV, Canal 2TV, and Canal 3TV, as well as three radio stations: Publica FM, MuzFM, and Maestro FM, all being among the most popular stations here. After the 2015 transparency legislation it was revealed that the media in Moldova is concentrated in the hands of the few: Chiril Lucinschi, former parliamentarian of the Liberal Democratic Party and son of a former president, owned two TV stations: TV7 and TNT Bravo Moldova, the Party of Socialists controls three TV stations: Accent TV, NTV Moldova, and TNT Exclusive; Russian companies owned RTR Moldova, Ren TV Moldova, and Accent TV; Moldovan businessman Victor Țopa owns Jurnal TV; and American billionaire Ronald Lauder owns Pro TV. More than that, the lack of media pluralism constitutes a serious obstacle to the country’s overall level of freedom. There is an imperious need to develop the critical thinking of media consumers in Moldova. 54% of individuals (regarding the last survey conducted by Magenta Consulting in April 2017) said they trust the media in the Republic of Moldova.

    2. From what I know, the basic laws in Germany guarantee freedoms of expression and the press and, from what I read (Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, DIE ZEIT – regarding the fact that through my work I have to follow the news, editorials, comments) media in Germany are, I could say largely free, offering a wide variety of information and viewpoints, at least comparing the situation with ours.
    Regarding Ukraine, I could say that, even if the media environment has significantly improved, there are several remaining challenges, including political interference with content, abuse of journalists. The conflict in and around Ukraine makes it more important than ever that citizens have access to quality information.

    3. I read everything, even the fake news, considering that it is important to know how we are manipulated. Few Moldovan media outlets have managed to get financial and political independence, so this is why it is so easy to detect biased information almost in every article. More than that, our media is subject to different forms of pressure like self-censorship. Nevertheless, I primarily use to inform myself about political or social issues the online version of Ziarul de Gardă, Radio Europa Liberă and Agora, Centrul de Investigații Jurnalistice,, RISE Moldova but always checking the facts.
    The work of journalists is a measure of how well our society is functioning, one can tell a lot about a state commitment to democracy and social development, by looking at whether it respects its citizens and its media. A free media is „a mirror in which the public can see itself”, it also has to empower public voices by raising their concerns.

    4. The advantage of social media is that it gives us access to anything almost from anywhere, integrating even articles/live videos from the online version of news-papers ant TV stations. Also, social media is a good source for seeing people’s reaction at some events that are happening. It facilitates our interaction with the public, the last being able to publish content as text, audio, video, graphics or photographs and so, providing us information, which might be valuable in some situation, because rumors and fake news can easily be carried out on many social media. Sometimes social media forwards a lot of misinformation that leads to serious problems in the society. Most of the news that people read on a daily basis, forgetting to check their precision, come from social media sites. Feedback with social media is immediate and easy to be measured.
    People trust and use what is familiar to them. Personally, I prefer social media sources due to their constant updates plus, it allows me to view others’ opinions. If I read something important for instance, analyses, using the official site or a newspaper is the best source for the accuracy.
    I think that social media heads to „video and more video” and users paying to get rid of advertisements. The „fourth media”- the Internet is encroaching upon the domain of traditional media based on its powerful technical support and advantages so the transformation and development of traditional media in new media environment will lead to a transition from traditional to social media.

    5. I am very skeptical about everything I read and it is hard to make me believe something is true until I haven’t checked every detail. After reading a piece of news I am asking myself: „What was actually said” and if something gets unclear I reread and I am looking for original statements in full. Also, I try to find the answer to the question: „How much of the article is opinion and how many are facts?”. Some blame technology, others point to the media’s own failures – a deeply-damaged and politicized press and broadcast system stuck in a metropolitan bubble. Journalists have to react pointing out untruths and separating facts from fiction. In Moldova, as for a finally good example, since November 2015, API in partnership with Independent Journalism Center (IJC) and Association of Independent Tele-journalists in Republic of Moldova (ATVJI) is conducting the media campaign against false and biased information – “STOP FALS!”.
    First of all, we have to identify if the source of the information is the primary source and after to see if the media institution takes responsibility for the content, afterward we could scroll through articles to see if the site is not a content farm or if the content is not slanted towards a certain viewpoint.
    Human beings tend to make errors, even unconsciously, saying that I would trust media in general means trusting, in the end, a particular journalist who had written the piece of news, another who edited it and the third who presented/published it.

  4. 1. My rate is 7. It depends on kind of media, because for TV to my mind rate would be 4-5, cause it has more pressure. I think Internet media is the most free media.
    2. My knowledge about journalism in Moldova is very poor and i can’t say something about it. In Germany it’s definetlly better, because journalists there have good salaries and aren’t ineterested in corruption at all. So they really have freedom and fair journalism.
    3. I read all news on “Radio svoboda”. Freedom of press/opinion = development of civil society i think.
    4. Today quality of traditional press in regions is higher than in social media, but lower than it was on the beginning of century. So that’s the 1st advantage. People trust more if it’s TV or radio or a newspaper, because they think that if it’s already printed – it should be true and nobody can hack it like in the Internet. But the conten control is more under pressure than in social media (but it’s in regions, about big ukrainian mediasources i can’t say correctly)
    I prefer news fron Internet but only from well-known websites with good reputation.
    5. I didn’t fall to fake news, because I’m not really active at publishing and reading news, more in technical part of all of it. But I definetely trust more particular journalist, cause media in general has it’s own mission to make you think “properly” and a certain person can explain to you more and show more sides with his own opinion.

  5. 1. I rate the freedom on press in Ukraine by 6 points. So, you can tell the truth. But if you tell too much truth, you will be in danger.
    2. I don`t know a lot of things about the journalism in Moldova, but I suppose that journalists are faced with similar problems in the post-Soviet space. Maybe, the situation of the journalism in Moldova is like as the situation in Ukraine.
    As about the journalism in Germeny, this is better. The opportunities for the development of independent media exist there.
    3. I read Ukrainian and international news in such media as BBC Ukraine, Radio Liberty, Deutsche Welle. As for local news, I prefer to use a lot of media with different political goals and to think critically.
    The freedom of press and opinion is more than important for the development of civil society. To do right decisions, people should understand events right.
    4. This is different things for me. Social media informs about events promptly, but information is often incomplete and untrustworthy. Traditional media are slower and more inconvenient to use for the younger generation. But social media is inconvenient for the older generation, too. I think the traditional media will be integrated into social media. For example, I can listen to the radio using the app for my smartphone. Perhaps we will be able to listen to the radio without leaving the social network.
    5. I can not recall examples, but I think, that it happened.
    I pay attention to the sources of information and compliance with journalistic standards. Journalist should to check all information. To check the sources of information, you should to contact them and people who can confirm or refute news.

  6. 4. I started working in journalism in the early 2000s as a correspondent for a local newspaper. Due to the fact that then only few people had computers at home, I came to the editorial office to type my texts. Before that, I wrote them on pieces of paper or in a notebook. It’s hard to imagine today. On the other hand, the journalist published information that was carefully read and verified, which allowed avoiding mistakes and inaccuracies. Therefore, people believed in traditional media more (than today – for example). After all, what you type in a newspaper or magazine cannot be removed or changed. Social networks are a completely different story.

    Today, it’s hard for us to imagine a journalist’s profession without Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. The benefits of social networks are obvious. A person has the opportunity to stay in touch with different people and keep up-to-date with events and discussions. Efficiency is very important for journalists. On the other hand excessive communication in social networks leads to the fact that a person loses communication skills in real life and becomes asocial. Not to mention the regular stress caused by social media alerts or fake news that is very easy to distribute.

    I do not believe in a death of the print press. In my opinion, if it develops and adapts to the requirements of the market (online version, working with the audience in social networks), then there will always be people who read it. Although today it seems impossible to pull a person away from a gadget.

    5. One of the recent cases I can remember is the murder of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko in Kyiv. All media wrote about this, but as a result it was the operation of the Security Service of Ukraine.

    In view of the growing popularity of fake news in Ukraine, a special website has been developed The news published here is fictitious. Despite this, a few years ago, journalists from many Ukrainian media reprinted a few fake news from this website and did not check them. To protect yourself from fake news, you need to check the information from the main source. As for me, I trust certain journalists more than media in general.

  7. 1. I think that now the freedom of press in Ukraine is at a higher level than, for example, during the reign of President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma (1994-2005). Then in the media there were so-called “temniki”, meaning a daily directive that was issued in 2001-2004 to the management of the Ukrainian media, which contained detailed instructions on how to highlight in news political events in Ukraine. After the Orange Revolution and Maidan, the press became freer. But at the same time there were other challenges – to be free, but not irresponsible. Therefore, freedom of press exists at a rather high level – 7 (especially in social networks).

    2. Іn general, I know a lot about the German press, because through my work I have to follow the news and the most famous media. I periodically review on the Internet Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Zeit and others. One of my students wrote a graduation work on Der Spiegel, so I read the publications with her.
    I am convinced that in Germany the situation with freedom of the press is better than in Ukraine. For example, because they have no such phenomenon as «jeansa» or plugola (paid journalism).
    Unfortunately, the media system of Moldova is completely unknown for me. It would be very interesting to know more about influential media in this country, as well as the role of journalists in forming public opinion. Do people trust media in Moldova?

    3. Unfortunately, there are not so many media in Ukraine that I can trust completely. Most of them work according to certain standards, but a big problem for journalists and media is to check the facts. Especially when it comes to information from social networks. Sometimes, even influential media spread fake, without knowing it themselves, and then just remove it, as if nothing had happened.
    Every day I read “Ukrainian Pravda” to find out what’s going on in Ukraine. This is probably one of those media that people trust the most. This site was founded by a well-known journalist Georgy Gongadze, who was kidnapped and murdered in 2000.
    I constantly read Facebook and believe that it is also the media and will be so in the near future. When a person determines which content he wants to read and, accordingly, he creates his own news feed. I also read, The Ukrainians, Lviv Post and all Chernivtsi web sites.

  8. 1. I rate the freedom of press in Ukraine 6. My rating is this low because journalists, which touch in their materials important topics, can be in real danger, like Pavel Sheremet.
    2. I know that in Germany there are high quality media, for example ZDF. Press there is much freer. Nevertheless recently, I heard from my friend that in August at the edge of the Chancellor’s visit to Dresden; police detained a camera crew of ZDF for about 45 minutes. So they couldn`t do their job. However, the police direction apologized for that. Unfortunately, I am not informed about media system and the situation of the journalists in Moldova.
    3. Every day I read news about important events in Ukraine and the world on websites of «Українська правда» ( and In addition, I rate their analytical articles as very thorough and informative. Also I often watch daily videos of Deutsche Welle when I want to know about some interesting tendencies in the Europe. Rally rarely I make myself read some news in English, for example, on the Guardians. In my opinion, freedom of press/opinion is one of the main component development of civil society in general. Because only full informed people can do real changes.
    4. The main advantage of social media is that it is the faster way to find out about important events, which are just in the proses. However, traditional media are aimed to give you not just facts, but also background and some analyzing. That why I prefer this type of media. Nevertheless, it works like this not always. Anyone today can be social journalist. So I believe that in the future because of concurrence social media will be more quality.
    5. I have fallen for a fake news a few year ago when I was watching news program on some of main Ukrainian TV channels, sponsored by oligarchs. Now to avoid it I draw information from only from approved media. I think that a journalist spreading fake news allows using him/herself. Today there is many ways to check the sources of information. For example, to search an imagine in Google etc. I would answer; I trust qualitative media, which really care about their reputation.

  9. It seems to me, that for every person in particular social or traditional media have their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, I don’t like reading big articles online, but for some people it may be more comfortable. That’s why I tell some general advantages and disadvantages.
    Traditional media (disadvantages):
    They have limited resources for rendering informatoin: newspapers can’t use the video materials, the radio cаn’t show the picture, etc.
    It’s harder to increase the audience of traditional media. How do you think: «Is it easier for social media to get 100 new subscribers online or for a traditional newspaper to get the same 100 subscribers. As for me the answer is obvious.
    Traditional media are not so fast in rendering informatoin in comparison with social.
    Social media are not always professional, they may contain anybody’s thoughts. Their evident advantages are: smaller expenses, fast pace of rendering informatoin , the ability to combine text, video and graphics.
    I use both kinds of these media, but prefer traditional. It’s my choice for today.
    The media society has already changed and I think that in the future these changes will be deeper in the same tendencies as it is now: convergence, blogging, the need to promote our media (manager skills).
    Finally I consider that the printed press will not die. I like reading something from paper, drinking hot coffee and thinking I hope I’m not alone in this. This is the first reason. The second – we will have a smaller amount of printed press then now, but there we will be able to find a really interesting and unique information.

  10. 1. My rate is 6. My experience in journalism is minimal and I have not encountered the pressure of the editors yet. However, in Ukraine, the influential politicians or oligarchs are the owners of some media and therefore I understand that the rendering of information in such media isn’t objective.
    2. To tell the truth, I’m not aware in journalism system in Moldova. And I can’t find an appropriate information about this topic on the Internet. As for Germany, I know only about Focus – a modern German social and political magazine and about a good development of Public Broadcasting in this country.
    That’s why it will be great to learn more about journalism system in Moldova and Germany.

    3. Usually, I use a few media, they’re the following: «Ukrainska Pravda», «Hromadske» and Ukrainian branch of «Deutsche Welle». From here I get important information about the political life of my country and all events, reforms and changes that take place in Ukraine. Besides, I find some interesting interviews in the «The Ukrainians», it’s online journal «about successful Ukrainians, initiative and responsibility». I also read some local Chernivtsi web-sites.
    For me, these two concepts, freedom of press and development of civil society are inseparable. If we have a real civil society, we have freedom of press and vice versa. In another case, freedom of press is a key element for forming civil society. Firstly, free press provides pluralism of thoughts, so people see different views of one situation, can analyze this information for themselves and make some conclusions. In addition, free press reveals important and urgent issues in politics, economics, culture, etc. in the society.

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