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GFMD and a coalition led by the Lviv Media Forum launch Tech and Journalism response platform for Ukrainian independent media

26. November 2023

[Krakow, Poland – 26 November, 2023] – In a groudbreaking move to support independent journalism and news media organisations in Ukraine, the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) and Lviv Media Forum are proud to announce the launch of the Tech and Journalism Crisis and Emergency Mechanism (T&JM) in Ukraine. Developed in collaboration with a coalition of Ukrainian organisations and international partners and experts, this dedicated platform aims to address account-related incidents and ongoing issues with prominent tech platforms, providing a lifeline for trusted and verified journalism voices.

The Tech and Journalism Crisis and Emergency Mechanism (T&JM) offers a crucial escalation channel for Ukrainian independent media facing account removal, suspension or blocking, mislabelling, deamplification, or repeated content moderation disputes on social media platforms. The initiative was unveiled today at the Re:COVER Conference in Krakow, Poland, as a direct response to a pressing need to distinguish and protect professional and trusted local information sources online.

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, major tech platforms struggled to differentiate between trustworthy journalistic voices and disinformation sources, leaving independent media outlets vulnerable to suppression and account-related issues.

Andrey Boborykin, Executive Director of Ukrainska Pravda, emphasised the importance of addressing these challenges:

“Our independent media outlets continue to have their accounts arbitrarily blocked or suspended. Their content dealing with the war is unjustly removed or downgraded. I really hope that the Tech & Journalism Crisis and Emergency Mechanism will provide an essential escalation channel to address these critical issues, especially at the local level. We urge tech companies to engage sincerely with this initiative for the sake of Ukraine’s free press and democracy.”

In addition to serving as an escalation channel, the data collected through the mechanism will be used by Ukrainian and international experts to advocate for systemic change.

Alyona Nevmerzhytska, Chief Executive Officer of Hromadske, recognised the importance of collective efforts in preserving the truth:

“In times of war, the synergy between technology and journalism becomes pivotal, and this initiative serves as a vital lifeline for the media in Ukraine. By bolstering our ability to navigate challenges, it not only safeguards the integrity of information but fortifies the very essence of a free press—a cornerstone in the face of adversity.”

A coalition of Ukrainian journalism and media support organisations led by the Lviv Media Forum, will collaborate to assist media outlets in navigating and escalating significant moderation incidents with major tech platforms.

Olga Myrovych, Head of Lviv Media Forum, highlighted the vital importance of links between Ukrainian media and their audiences on social networks:

“We have confidence that Tech & Journalism Crisis and Emergency Mechanism will help in maintaining and fortifying this connection. It also aims to inspire media outlets to delve more profoundly into the community guidelines of social platforms and take a more responsible approach to compliance.”

Recognising the importance of safeguarding independent journalism and media freedom online, GFMD has been joined by partner organisations and experts from around the world who have lent their expertise and experience to this critical initiative.

Participation in the Tech and Journalism Crisis and Emergency Mechanism (T&JM) in Ukraine is open and voluntary. The mechanism will not act as a quality standard, exempt media from moderation, or guarantee the resolution of reported issues and appeals. Nonetheless, the mechanism will collect data related to the incidents and their outcomes, provide an escalation channel, and offer additional resources to its users. Once the pilot has demonstrated the potential for broader application, GFMD hopes to expand the mechanism for use in other crises and regions.

GFMD and Lviv Media Forum invite all stakeholders within the tech, media, and journalism support sectors to join this initiative. Together, we can create a digital environment that fosters free and independent journalism, combats disinformation, and upholds human rights and freedom of expression.

Contact Details

For more information related to the Tech and Journalism Mechanism, send us an email to: techandjournalism@gfmd.info

Or reach out to our teams at:

Global Forum for Media Development

Laura Becana Ball, Advocacy and Policy Manager, lbecanaball@gfmd.info

Lviv Media Forum

Olga Myrovych, CEO, myrovych@lvivmediaforum.com

About the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD)

The Global Forum for Media Development is the largest global community for media development, media freedom, and journalism support. Through collaboration, coordination, and collective action, our network of 171 member organisations creates, promotes, and delivers policies and programmes to sustain journalism as a public good.

About Lviv Media Forum  (LMF)

Lviv Media Forum aims at empowering media communities on a regional, national and local scale and maintaining the dialogue in the society by means of media. Since 2013, Lviv Media Forum has been serving as a key networking mechanism for journalists, civil activists and media influencers seeking common solutions in a changing media landscape. The main purpose of LMF is to make Ukrainian media viable — global, professional, ethical and capable.

About the T&JM Ukraine Coalition

The T&JM Ukraine Coalition, coordinated by the Lviv Media Forum, plays a pivotal role in the operational framework of the T&JM. This coalition is instrumental in identifying and assessing media entities that could benefit from the escalation channel, ensuring that the process aligns with the needs and challenges specific to the Ukrainian media landscape.

About T&JM Partner and Expert Group

As part of the T&JM partner organisations and expert group, Ukrainian and international experts are consulted and contribute their invaluable expertise and experience to ensure that T&JM’s approach is grounded in best practices and responds effectively to needs of journalism organisations.

T&JM partners and experts include Daniel Bedoya Arroyo (Access Now), Thibaut Bruttin and Bertrand Mossiat (Journalism Trust Initiative/Reporters Without Borders),  Zoey Barthelemy (Internews), Bojana Kostic (Consultant), Ruth Kronenburgh (Free Press Unlimited), Courtney C. Radsch (Open Markets Institute), Charles Turner (OCCRP), Elodie Vialle (Pen America) and many others. More than 30 organisations and institutions contributed to the shaping of this initiative, including through consultations in Riga and Paris.


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