Agenda setting in newsgathering during anti-government protests 2013-2014 in Ukraine. Segment 1 of my thesis

Introduction (pp.8-9)

Alongside the work of professional journalists, the events in Ukraine showed a huge involvement of Internet users and media activists in reporting on the developments in the protests and the conflict with Russia. With the help of modern technologies, such as Twitter, Facebook, Ustream and YouTube, users provided evidence, shared impressions, helped in news gathering and distribution, coordinated efforts, and mobilized supporters for these causes. Social media became a hub for hundreds of grassroots initiatives that mobilized hundreds of thousands of active citizens across Ukraine and worldwide, interested in the Ukrainian events. The scale of such media activism could not be ignored by professional news organizations, and step-by-step they were accepting social media as a source in newsgathering.

The rise of social media use regarding the events in Ukraine showed remarkable numbers. Twitter,  an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read short, 140-character text messages called “tweets”, was the fastest way to learn news about the recent events in Ukraine.  In the period of February 10-March 12, 2014, 3,785,648 tweets with the hashtag #ukraine were written by users of Twitter. With the outbreak of the Crimean crisis, the interest in Ukraine on Twitter was comparable to the interest in the 86th Academy Awards ceremony.  Continue reading

“We will never be brothers” – a poetry that sparked in the Internet in Ukraine and Russia

Anastasiya Dmytruk, a Ukrainian poet, wrote a poetry in which she emotionally explained why Ukrainians will never treat Russians as “brothers” after Crimea invasion. The notion of “Slavic brotherhood” has been of the strongest myths in among Russians who claimed the unity among Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

The original poetry was published in YouTube on March 19 and since then it received 1,712,000 views (as of May 20, 2014). Another version with a song performed by Lithuanian singers Virgis Pupšys,Jaronimas Milius,Kęstutis Nevulis,Gintautas Litinskas got 2,278 million views.

Russian users were outraged since the poetry affected their nationalistic feelings. Dozens of replies were published in YouTube, but none of them did not get more views as original one.

Anastasiya Dmytruk has recently published a book of poetries. Find her updates in Facebook – siadmytruk

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Defended: Master’s thesis about the role of social media during the protests in Ukraine

On May 30, 2014, at Emerson College, Boston, I have defended my thesis titled Agenda setting in newsgathering during anti-government protests 2013-2014 in Ukraine. The impact of social media on news organizations. Chair – Prof. Melinda Robins, Ph.D., Graduate Program Director of Journalism Department at Emerson College.

I plan to publish it on this blog soon, now, please find the abstract:

Following the Orange revolution in 2004, popular protests of Ukrainian citizens in 2013-2014 for the second time in the last ten years altered the political regime in the country. In the battle against the corrupt government, protesters have demonstrated a sophisticated use of the Internet and social media tools in news dissemination and mobilization of activism. This study investigates another dimension of the protests – the media effects of social media on news organizations within the framework of agenda setting theory. How user-generated content influenced media coverage of the protests by professional news sites and which issues have been perceived as important for public awareness. Based on a case study of one of the leading news sites and a popular Facebook page initiative, I research the agenda setting on the mainstream media. 

defended

With Dr.Emmanuel Paraschos, Ph.D. and Prof. Melinda Robins, Ph.D., Graduate Program Director

45 headlines of The New York Times featured Ukraine in last three months

While working on my research on agenda setting effects in Ukraine, I have collected The New York Times headlines featuring Ukraine during last three months. Through the analysis of The New York Times e-newsletter, sent to the readers on the daily basis, I have found that 45 headlines had appeared in Top News on the site of The New York Times. The period analyzed – January 25-April 24, 2014. The list includes the following headlines:

January 26 – Opposition Says No to Ukraine on Power Share

February 6 – Ukraine Chief Loses Support in Stronghold

February 7 – Russia Claims U.S. Meddling Over Ukraine

February 20 – Ukraine Leader Strains for Grip as Chaos Spreads

February 21 – Ukraine’s Forces Escalate Attacks Against Protesters

February 22 – Ukraine Has Deal, but Both Russia and Protesters Appear Wary

February 23 – Archrival Is Freed as Ukraine Leader Flees

February 24 – Ukraine Rushes to Shift Power and Mend Rifts

February 25 – Wary Stance From Obama on Ukraine

February 28 – Grab for Power in Crimea Raises Secession Threat

March 1 – With Military Moves Seen in Ukraine, Obama Warns Russia

March 2 – Kremlin Deploys Military in Ukraine, Prompting Protest by U.S.

March 2 – Making Russia Pay? It’s Not So Simple

March 5 – Putin, Flashing Disdain, Defends Action in Crimea

March 5 – No Easy Way Out of Ukraine Crisis

March 6 – U.S. Hopes Boom in Natural Gas Can Curb Putin

March 7 – Crimea Approves a Secession Vote as Tensions Rise

March 8 – For First Time, Kremlin Signals It Is Prepared to Annex Crimea

March 11 – Titans in Russia Fear New Front in Ukraine Crisis

March 14 – Russian Troops Mass at Border With Ukraine

March 15 – U.S.-Russia Talks on Ukraine Fail to Ease Tension

March 16 – Russia Seizes Gas Plant Near Crimea Border, Ukraine Says

March 17 – Obama’s Policy Is Put to the Test as Crises Challenge Caution

March 18 – Putin Recognizes Crimea Secession, Defying the West

March 19 – Putin Reclaims Crimea for Russia and Bitterly Denounces the West

March 19 – If Not a Cold War, a Return to a Chilly Rivalry

March 21 – Obama Steps Up Russia Sanctions in Ukraine Crisis

March 22 – Russia’s Shifting of Border Force Stirs U.S. Worry

March 22 – As Sanctions Start, Russia Feels a Sting

March 24 – 3 Presidents and a Riddle Named Putin

March 25 – Russia Is Ousted From Group of 8 by U.S. and Allies

March 27 – Obama Renewing U.S. Commitment to NATO Alliance

March 29 – Putin Calls Obama to Discuss Ukraine, White House Says

April 8 – In East Ukraine, Protesters Seek Russian Troops

April 14 – Ukraine Forces Storm a Town, Defying Russia

April 15 – Ukraine Falters in Drive to Curb Unrest in East

April 16 – Russia Is Quick to Bend Truth About Ukraine

April 16 – Ukraine Sends Force to Stem Unrest in East

April 17 – Russia Economy Worsens Even Before Sanctions Hit

April 18 – Deal is Reached to Ease Tension in East Ukraine

April 19 – Pro-Russian Insurgents Balk at Terms of Pact in Ukraine

April 20 – In Cold War Echo, Obama Strategy Writes Off Putin

April 21 – Photos Link Masked Men in East Ukraine to Russia

April 22 – Under Russia, Life in Crimea Grows Chaotic

April 22 – New Prowess for Russians

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Framing protests in Ukraine – viral video “I am Ukrainian”

Yulia Marushevska, a student from Kyiv, who participated in anti-governmental protests in Ukraine, became famous in the West due to the one video, posted in YouTube. Marushevka appeals to the world, explaining why Ukrainians were fighting against government. The video came viral – it got 7,990,000 views as far as April 5, 2014. Now Yulia is on tour in Canada and the States. She was invited by TV channels, city councils, think tanks and universities to talk about Ukraine and the protests. On April 8, Yulia gives a presentation at Stanford University. On April 13-15 she is visiting Boston.

The effects of viral video “I am Ukrainian” appeals ideally to the Western audience since it demonstrates personalization of the protests in Ukraine.  Yulia stands as an ideal hero – she is a protester, she is young and passionate, she speaks simply and sincerely and  the language she talks is English. She is a direct victim of the drama, also her family members participated in protests. She symbolizes a new generation of Ukrainians – she is English-speaking, devoted to the civic values and is in the list of young professionals.

At the same time, some authors mention the controversy of the video.. Yulia as a hero is too perfect to be real. Her message shows the developments in Ukraine in black and white, silencing the violence from protesters.

A discussion at Stanford University

A discussion at Stanford University

Another video, filmed by Ben Moses, posted by a user “Yulia Marushevska”, dated Dec 06, 2013, explains more about the protests in Ukraine. The caption states:

Finding myself in the epicenter of the protests – often referred to here as a revolution – I decided to interview some of the people in the streets. There is one factual error: the heavy outpouring of people into the streets occurred over several days after the beatings, not immediately the next day.

Discussions on viral video with Yulia Marushevska:

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-26272546

http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/i-am-a-ukrainian-video-goes-viral-in-bid-to-shine-light-on-protests-1.1695425

http://video.dailyheraldtribune.com/search/all/source/calgary-sun/i-am-ukrainian-star-yulia-marushevska-on-sun-news/3414241159001

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Overview: The Internet freedoms in Ukraine 2013

To consider the Internet freedoms in Ukraine, one should consider the latest developments in media industry in Ukraine, in particular, the segment of the Internet and social media. Such analysis must foresee a broader perspective, including the development of the Ukrainian Internet as an industry as well as the role of government that directly and indirectly regulates the Internet.

49,8% of adult population in Ukraine had access to the Internet as of Sept 2013, reports Kyiv Institute of Sociology (KIIS). The Internet access expanded from big cities to regional centers and small towns. The market for online advertising has grown 20-30% annually and the forecast for 2013 was $250 million. Online purchases became an everyday habit for hundred thousands of Ukrainians. The segment of tablets in the market was rapidly growing – 784 000 tablets were imported to Ukraine during the first three quarters of 2013. The growth of tablets sales in the 3rd quarter of 2013 was 233% compared to the same period of 2012.

The market of Internet providers in Ukraine was diverse and competitive since late 90s, the time when it has been constantly developing. An average monthly payment for broadband Internet access is around  $12-15, one of the cheapest in the world. The cost of the Internet in Ukraine made the service accessible to new customers and helps the market to grow. A Ukrainian cyrillic domain zone .УКР for websites was registered in 2013, expanding the variety of domain names for local business and media.

The government interference targeting Internet companies was among the most disturbing factors of the industry development. In 2013 the government took actions to control the online payments and the distribution of content online by using the effective but legislatively doubtful method – to invade the offices of the companies and eject network servers. In 2013 the law enforcement agencies targeted the following offices: IT-company GlobalLogics, Russian social network VK.com, online payments company WebMoney, Internet-provider Volya, file exchange service company FS.com. On Dec 9, 2013, the government used the same method against their political opponents – police invaded into the headquarter of oppositional Batkivchyna political party and ejected the servers. Continue reading

Russian propaganda targets Russian-speaking population of Ukraine

Russian informational agency ITAR-TASS, one of the oldest in the world, has turned to be a propaganda machine of the Russian government. During the Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, ITAR-TASS disseminates false news, in particular, the one, that Ukrainian government ordered to delete Russian-language pages of official sites in Ukraine. Those so called news are absurd and are not proved by any sources.

Recently, Ukrainian journalists have launched at least two sites that analyze fake news and false from Russian media – stopfake.org and fakecontrol.org. Nevertheless, Russian media continue to lead informational war against Ukraine by means of all government-controlled media by disseminating false and propaganda. It worths to admit, there are many balanced news from independent Russian Internet sites, in particular: www.novayagazeta.ruwww.vedomosti.ruwww.themoscowtimes.comwww.gazeta.ru

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