ZIK is over.
Why 400 Ukrainian journalists quit their job
For 13 years Tetiana Vergeles was editor-in-chief at ZIK,
one of the most-read media outlets in Western Ukraine.
Political, industrial and financial groups are sponsoring the majority of Ukrainian media outlets which aren't able to sustain themselves through subscription or advertising revenues.

The owners can influence coverage and overturn editorial independence to use the outlets for their economical and political goals.This is a major democratic problem.
85 Percent of Ukrainians regularly watch TV and rely on its news for their political information.
Until June 14th, 2019 the headquarters of Zakhidna Informatsiyna Korporatsiya(Western Information Cooperation), short ZIK, were located in the city of Lviv in western Ukraine. ZIK is both a Information Agency and a TV channel.

The Website Zik.ua was until that day one of the most-read in Western Ukraine with an average of 5 Million visits a month. The TV channel expanded to the whole country, focusing on investigative stories.

ZIK defined itself as an independent media corporation in an independent state.
On June 14th 2019 Taras Kozak bought ZIK.

Kozak is member of the Pro-Russian Opposition Platform Za Zhyttia (For Life). The party focuses on strengthening the economical, political and cultural ties with Russia.

To fully understand who Taras Kozak is one has to take a look at his close connections with pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk.

© Wikimedia
"60 Percent of our people consider Russia as an aggressor, I do not think so. Should I be among this 60 Percent? No, I'll be among the other part."
Viktor Medwechuk in an interview with BBC
Viktor Medvedchuk is a 64 year old Ukrainian oligarch and head of the political council of Za Zhyttia. He has strong personal connections with Russia, as president Vladimir Putin is the godfather of Medvedchuks daughter.

Medvedchuk is a close ally of Kozak and independent observers have indicated that he will be the one controlling ZIK – via Kozak. This is what happened to the other TV channels Kozak already owns.

© Wikimedia
Since 2018 Taras Kozak owns the TV stations "NewsOne" and "112".
An Ukranian media watchdog channel has found the program focusing on promoting the interest of Kozaks and Medvechuks party, especially during the presidential campaign in Ukraine in 2019. 112 and NewsOnes programs present guests and Opposition MPs as experts which are voicing Pro-Russian narratives.

The influence of Viktor Medvedchuk is already apparent at ZIK. One example of this is "Playing with Fire" - a show that criticized him and was deleted from ZIKs TV and Youtube channel soon after.

Dymtro Potekhin is an Ukranian political analyst and activist, currently working on an app to detect Fake News. He explains which narratives are voiced on Kozaks TV channels.
Media spreading Russian propaganda is not just an Ukrainian problem. It's happening in Europe as well.

The main channels are "Sputnik" and "Russia Today", which are controlled directly by the Kremlin and spreading information also via fake accounts on Social Media.

Research shows that this is the case especially before major events like the Italian elections or the Brexit Referendum. For latter, articles are found to spread a clear anti-European message, reaching up to 267.000 interactions.

In 2017 Russia owned 7.17% of the news broadcaster "euronews". Many reports on "euronews" are similar to the ones shown on Russian propaganda channels.

In the Baltics news are also spread via the Websites of "Baltnews". There is also a strong influence through Sites in Poland, Hungary, Moldova, the Czech Republic and many others.

In Ukraine 400 ZIK-journalists decided not to put up with the changes at the media outlet they worked for. They quit. It's the highest number of Ukrainian journalists voluntarily leaving their job in the history of the country.
Tetiana Shtyfurko and Vlad Yakushev are a couple from Lviv.

Tetiana used to work as a fulltime-journalist for Zik.ua. She wrote about local and national politics.

Vlad served as an information officer in the Ukranian army in Donbass region from 2015 to 2016. He wrote a blog on political topics and the armed conflict in the East of Ukraine for ZIK.
ZIKs office in Lviv is closed now.
With ZIK Ukraine lost Pro-Ukrainian voice in media. The effects of this are yet to show as the country holds parliamentary elections on July 21st 2019. In the pre-election surveys Medvechuks and Kozaks Party currently polls second.

Laura Anninger
From Austria
Gvantsa Nadibaidze
From Georgia
Serhii Hrekov
From Ukraine
Karolina Pelc
From Austria
Katrine Korfix
From Denmark
From Austria
This site was made on Tilda — a website builder that helps to create a website without any code
Create a website