Ukraine in the Online News.

Posted: December 19, 2013 in Society
Tags: , , , , , , ,

On the December the 16th, the world acknowledged the existence of Ukraine. After watching the news on Russia Today, The Young Turks and REAL News there are some things all of them agree on: there is a protest in Ukraine, the country has economic difficulties and the show by John McCain was, to say the least, questionable.

RT focusses on the chaos and economic difficulties the protests created. The protesters can’t do much more than screaming “revolution!” and “down with the president!”Experts Stephen F. Cohen (professor Russian Studies at NYU) and Mark Sleboda (professor International Relations at MSU) were both very explicit in their condemnation of McCain’s appearance. I wonder what the experts would say about the police brutality, the protester’s demands and the role of the EU and Russia. Unfortunately they were only brought in to state the things in the before-mentioned list of inter-media agreements.

TYT is a fun news show, but they seem to lack a strong body of journalist to feed them information. It’s a bit unfortunate how the host remarked that the Ukrainian people don’t want to be the satellite country of Russia. Besides that biased remark, they weren’t able to bring much news. Ukraine exists, there is a protest and since we are for democracy, we support the protest. I wonder what TYT would say about a party like Svoboda, who is currently part of the pro-EU demonstration, but has neonazi connections. Or what about the objections RT made about the huge blockades, chaos and negative influence on the economy? Are protests by definition something we should support?

The REAL News brought in an expert from the start. Associate professor Jeffrey Sommers of Wisconsin-Milwaukee focusses mainly on the role McCain plays. Just like the RT professors, but with a bit more body, Sommers explained how McCain missed the end of the Cold War. At the end of the interview, the host asks what the people of Ukraine need. Unfortunately, Sommers doesn’t get much farther than stating the awkward situation of Ukrain’s economy and the need to develop the economy. Again, we didn’t get much farther than the list of inter-media agreements.

The lack of information about the protests in Ukraine, combined with the constant use of so-called experts seems an example of the declining quality of the news organisations. The result is a variety of news shows that, in this case, mainly report three points that everyone could have come up with. RT bothers me in their biased selection of topics and words; TYT made a clearly biased statement as a result of their lack of information; and REAL News doesn’t manage to bring the information in the right format. I sometimes hear these stories how groups of journalists were specialized in specific topics and regions. Not only would they know how to get the information and analyse it, they were also journalist and thus managed to bring the information in a text to the broad masses.

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