Western Media: Don’t distort the situation in Ukraine!
They’re out on the streets, they’re vocal and they tacitly allow the West to think that since there are two sides to the story, expressing grave concern is enough. There are indeed a large number of pro-Russian citizens in the Crimea who welcome Russian intervention, however there are plenty of Ukrainians – including ethnic Russians – who vehemently oppose Russia’s effective occupation of the Crimea.
Any media coverage should be objective and present all sides.
A CNN report on Sunday afternoon spoke only to people who were pleased that the Russians had seized control and delighted to be asked if they were frightened of the new government in Ukraine. No attempt was made to ascertain what was meant by their allegations of “fascists” in control or what the grounds for their fears were. This has no basis in fact, making the fears unfounded, if understandable. If journalists had spoken to a broader range of interviewees, they would have understood that nobody is stopped from speaking Russian in the Crimea, and that these fears were largely being fuelled by propaganda on Russian television channels.
As of around 23.00, Kyiv time, just over 117 thousand “ethnic Russians and Russian speakers” have signed a petition entitled Mr Putin: We ethnic Russians and Russian speakers don’t need protection; there have been statements of protest from religious bodies; human rights organizations (Ukrainian and Russian); the Crimean Tatars (up to 15% of the Crimean population, and an indigenous people for whom the Crimea is their sole homeland).
Nobody is asking international news agencies to take a stand. Quite the contrary: the truth is needed to ensure adequate response to a situation of grave danger and to counter seriously distorted coverage of events which mislead the public.
Please be careful in your news coverage, and provide as full a picture as possible.