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International news production in post-Soviet Ukraine: Where is the ‘center’?

Natalya Ryabinska | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: This paper focuses on the geography of news sources and news flows, which are involved in international news production in Ukraine. It seeks answers to the following questions: which sources – Western-based media and global news agencies or their competitors from other parts of the world (first of all from Russia) – are preferred in the making of international news in Ukraine? What are the possible reasons of this preference? How does information on foreign affairs created by abroad news producers reach Ukrainian newsrooms? The analysis is based on interviews with 35 media experts and news producers at major Ukrainian broadcasting organizations, as well as from print and online media. The interviewees ― editors-in-chief, heads of international news’ departments, foreign correspondents ― were asked about the process of international news production in their editorial offices, the human and technical resources allocated for foreign news coverage, the professional standards of international journalism, as well as the main sources of foreign news and criteria of their selection involved in the news making process. An important finding of the presented research is the conclusion about indirect, or circuitous movement of foreign news from international news agencies to the Ukrainian media. Because of the peculiarities of Ukrainian news production described in the paper, news from Reuters or Associated Press regularly reaches Ukrainian editorial offices after it has been processed by Russian newsmakers.

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