Discussing Ukraine in V4 mainstream media: The future vis-à-vis European integration

The project assesses the production, distribution and consumption of news on Ukraine’s future vis-a-vis European integration by the V4 mainstream media. The aim is to designate both dominant and marginalized narratives, while also analyzing their impact via focus groups. The findings will be presented to stakeholders in order to improve reporting and increase the audiences’ access to information.

The goal of the project is to analyze the narratives on Ukraine’s future vis-a-vis European integration in V4 mainstream media, improve the quality of reporting and commentary and provide a comparison of the dominant narratives with the V4 countries’ official policies. The first stage of the project will focus on the analysis of reporting in the nationally available news outlets (radio, television, newspapers and news portals) which inform citizens, shape public opinion and create the general discussion on Ukraine’s post-war prospects. It aims to define what is mostly represented, but also which aspects of its future are reported only sporadically. It also looks into the impact of these narratives via focus groups in each of the four states, which will enable a comprehensive comparison throughout the V4. The second stage aims to raise awareness and build capacities amongst journalists and editors. Presenting the findings on a webinar, the aim is to improve reporting on aspects which have been neglected, while encouraging journalists and editors to diversify their content, include other details and nuance the discussion. This will stimulate engagement with underrepresented topics, policies and sectors such as the elderly, women, children or whole regions, unaffected directly by war, but in need of visibility for a balanced post-war development. By interconnecting the journalists and editors from V4 countries through a webinar, the project will contribute to exchange experiences and good practices, initiate cooperation, and share the know-how among the Visegrad countries.

While there is a growing number of projects tackling the war in Ukraine in the news, our project aims to assess Ukraine’s future by combining the analysis of prevailing narratives, and their impact on audiences with cross-regional comparison of these narratives with the countries’ official policies. It also couples analysis with capacity building for journalists and editors from the V4 by bringing them together to exchange know-how, build networks, learn from each other and the findings to improve and nuance their news content. Unlike projects dealing with disinformation or propaganda, our goal is to address topics of post-war reconstruction aligned with European integration of Ukraine, and raise awareness about less visible aspects of news coverage. The project outputs will also contribute to the current research on Ukraine and fill the existing gaps between the media narratives, public opinion and official policies. Through the case studies and comparative analysis, it will inform stakeholders about the current state of reporting in the V4 countries in mainstream media, but also its perception by the public. The findings will also provide feedback to journalists, help expand their perspective and draw attention to the complexities of reconstruction and EU integration of Ukraine. It will nuance the public discussion and broaden the information and knowledge of V4 citizens about Ukraine’s future perspectives. Lastly, the project is designed as an open-ended process, allowing for further building on the findings with future initiatives using the developed methodology.


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Oszkár Roginer-Hofmeister
Project Coordinator and Analyst

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