Ukrainian MIRROR WEEKLY Newspaper Violates Norms of International Law and Journalism Ethics in Article about ALLATRA International Public Movement
The Ukrainian media continue an unprecedented, paid-for move which is directed against ALLATRA International Public Movement – the international organization with participants in more than 200 countries and territories. Being unique to the global journalism, this unprofessional approach of the people who call themselves “journalists” has resulted in dissemination of slander, unverified information, rumours and gossip, which have absolutely nothing to do with the activities of this international organization. Moreover, with their defamation, these people, who bring disgrace on the honour of journalism, have jeopardized the life and health of the well-known participant of ALLATRA International Public Movement – Dr. Igor Danilov, whom people in many countries call a Man of Peace. Being a Christian, he publicly defended the true Islam and the unity of all people in the world.
We have already reported the recent precedent which took place in the Ukrainian media space and which was covered by a Czech online TV channel (“Who benefits from the world conflict? Or ALLATRA IPM refers to dignity, freedom and human rights”). Here are the broadcasts on Ukrainian television channels, which in a negative light presented the inaccurate information, discrediting participants of ALLATRA International public organization as well as their honour and dignity:
Fact 1. On the 23rd of February, 2016, TV channel "24" broadcasted a program called "CRU".
Fact 2. On the 23rd of February, 2016, TV channel "Espreso.tv" released a story about the ALLATRA International Public Movement, as part of "SHUSTROVA LIVE" program.
Fact 3. On the 17th of March, 2016, TV channel "2+2" broadcasted a release of “Secret materials” program.
Fact 4. On April 1, 2016, after the broadcasts of the unscrupulous television channels, the torch was taken up by the Ukrainian print media Mirror Weekly (Zerkalo Nedeli, or Dzerkalo Tyzhnia). Issue 12 of this newspaper has an article titled AllatRa: Emperor’s New Clothes by Olga Levashvili. The article is available online in Russian and Ukrainian languages via the link:
This article combines information taken from the official websites of ALLATRA IPM with a one-sided analysis and outright fabrications, enticing the reader to a certain point of view. The article was based not on the initial information but on rumors and gossip, which are abundant in the Internet today and which are very far from the truth. Besides, the article takes for granted the words and episodes of the above-mentioned programs in the three Ukrainian television channels featuring, again, the same “pseudo-experts”. Among journalists, such phenomenon is called "fake" or falsification which is presented as the truth. In mass media, „fake information“ is the one deliberately incorrect and communicated or published by unconscionable people for profit, with a desire of easily achieved fame and implementation of other interests. It should be noted that this problem of journalism is not exclusive to Ukraine but is relevant for the whole world. The entire global community must solve this problem already today.
Journalists know that the „customer“ pays for creation of such fake programs or articles privately and directly to the editor or director of a media channel, or to their private owners. Certainly, all this happens silently, and the income goes into someone‘s pocket. Then a relevant program or article is broadcasted as a part of a TV program or placed under the section called Investigation, Special Report, etc. Such fake programs are easy to detect, especially if one and the same "customer" visited several channels and placed the same order. Consequently, completely different channels with different program concepts and editorial policies are broadcasting programs with the same scenario, source materials, video series, same negative undertone, and sometimes even with same "expert opinions". As a result, there come out customer-ordered programs which pour out „fake information into the human mass“. Hurtfull words. We, as representatives of the international community, have already become "a human mass", whereas lies meant for us are called by a fashionable term "fake". And this is how the society degrades because of someone's greed and gluttony.
Usually this work is done by unconscionable people who dishonor journalists by doing this for personal gain, doubtful career, cheap fame, profit, and other mercantile interests. This "dirty work" can be undertaken by someone who is young, inexperienced and unwitty, because this person does not yet understand that the plaintiff can sue him for such defamation, and not only in courts of his country. And when it comes, for example, to defamation of an international organization, they can appeal to international courts in the field of human rights, to various international organizations (UN Commission on Human Rights, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Council of Europe, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), and many others), as well as to organizations at national and regional levels.
Human rights violations, damage to business reputation, misrepresentations, unfounded accusations, declarations of non-existent facts, intentional eliciting of aggression and reinforcement of negative stereotypes, breach of the obligation to prevent discriminatory rhetoric, concealing of the true information, etc. All this is subject to examination of such complaints filed by citizens and organizations with the aforesaid institutions against those who are a disgrace to journalism. Anyway, after something like this happens, no decent journalist and, moreover, TV channel will be interested in the fate of such "collector" of slander and lies, because such person will become like a "leper" for the journalist community. Nobody will even shake hands with such "Judas" who sells his own conscience for 30 cents.
Let us refer to international documents, which are the principles and norms of the international law, recognized by the entire international community. It is known, that such norms and principles are of prime importance for a country that has signed a relevant document. For international documents reinforce fundamental human rights, represent a basis for progressive development of the national legislation of the country that has signed them, and constitute a part of its legal system.
THE RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY 1003 "Ethics of journalism"
4. News broadcasting should be based on truthfulness, ensured by the appropriate means of verification and proof, and impartiality in presentation, description and narration. Rumour must not be confused with news. News headlines and summaries must reflect as closely as possible the substance of the facts and data presented.
6. Opinions taking the form of comments on events or actions relating to individuals or institutions should not attempt to deny or conceal the reality of the facts or data.
21. Therefore journalism should not alter truthful, impartial information or honest opinions, or exploit them for media purposes, in an attempt to create or shape public opinion, since its legitimacy rests on effective respect for the citizen's fundamental right to information as part of respect for democratic values. To that end, legitimate investigative journalism is limited by the veracity and honesty of information and opinions and is incompatible with journalistic campaigns conducted on the basis of previously adopted positions and special interests.
36. Having regard to the requisite conditions and basic principles enumerated above, the media must undertake to submit to firm ethical principles guaranteeing freedom of expression and the fundamental right of citizens to receive truthful information and honest opinions.
IFJ DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES ON THE CONDUCT OF JOURNALISTS
Of 25-28. 04. 1954
8. The journalist shall regard as grave professional offences the following:
- malicious misrepresentation;
- calumny, slander, libel, unfounded accusations;
- acceptance of a bribe in any form in consideration of either publication or suppression.
COUNCIL OF EUROPE. POLITICAL DECLARATION ON MEDIA IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY. 4TH EUROPEAN MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON POLICIES FOR MEDIA. Prague (Czech Republic), 7-8 December 1994
Resolution 2 „Journalistic freedoms and human rights“. The Ministers of the States participating in the 4th European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy;
The practice of journalism in a genuine democracy has a number of implications. These implications, which are already reflected in many professional codes of conduct, include:
a) respecting the right of the public to be accurately informed about facts and events;
b) collecting information by fair means;
c) presenting fairly information, comments and criticism, avoiding unjustified
infringement of private life, defamation and unfounded accusations;
d) rectifying any published or broadcasting formation which subsequently proves to be grossly inaccurate;
BERNE CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF LITERARY AND ARTISTIC WORKS (amended on September 28, 1979)
1. To claim authorship; to object to certain modifications and other derogatory actions;
(1) Independently of the author's economic rights, and even after the transfer of the said rights, the author shall have the right to claim authorship of the work and to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, the said work, which would be prejudicial to his honor or reputation.
WHAT IS THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY’S OPINION on the material in question?
In your opinion, by publishing the article AllatRa: Emperor’s New Clothes, have the journalists of Mirror Weekly (Zerkalo Nedeli, or Dzerkalo Tyzhnia) newspaper violated the norms of international law?
Do you think that in this case the journalists of the above-mentioned channels as well as of Mirror Weekly (Zerkalo Nedeli, or Dzerkalo Tyzhnia) are imposing a certain opinion on the audience, giving authority to rumors and spreading inaccurate information?
In your opinion, are these journalists depriving the readers of the possibility to have an objective assessment of the events, verify the accuracy of the presented information, and form their own independent opinion on the matter?
Are the actions of heads and owners of the channels and print media lawful as to implementation of such an editorial policy and allowing this material to be broadcast/printed?
In your opinion, do such actions of journalists, management and owners of the above-mentioned channels and Mirror Weekly violate the legislation of the countries where these channels and Mirror Weekly are broadcasting? Are such actions a violation of international principles and norms of professional ethics, media ethics, and moral principles? In this case, are human rights violated in the area of mass media in general, and does it affect you personally?
Please, openly express YOUR INDEPENDENT OPINION.
JOURNALISTS WITHOUT BORDERS world community,