A toad and a viper. The main trends in the information space during July 8-14, 2019. Election Detector
Українською читайте тут.
"Election Detector" is a weekly analytical review which timely captures the main topics, trends, manipulations, and changes in the information space, related to the election. Read more detailed analysis in our regular (television news, weekly TV magazines, political talk-shows, information channels, Russian propaganda) monitoring studies. Issues of "Election Detector", devoted to the presidential campaign are available here.
The main trends
Even if some of the participants of the election process did prepare "information bombs before the election," the explosions are weak so far and do not have significant influence on the ratio of electoral sympathies. The announced telebridge between NewsOne television channel and the Kremlin television did not take place, but forced politicians to talk about media relations before the election. The first obvious result was the absences of the "People's Servant" and "Svoboda" representatives in the studios of talk shows on Medvedchuk's channels, which they had regularly attended. On the contrary, "Fatherland" party turned out to be less principled, even though Yulia Tymoshenko was demonstratively criticizing the telebridge in the NewsOne studio. But the situation was the most difficult for the "Opposition Bloc" representatives: they had both to defend the idea of the telebridge and "conversations with Russia" in general and to condemn this particular initiative of the "Opposition Platform - For Life" as pre-election campaigning. Meanwhile, they promote themselves on all possible platforms (and on those where they cannot promote themselves, they dismantle tiles).
The head of state refrained from direct campaigning for his party, but is intensively restoring the image of Vasyl Holoborodko in the electorate's memory, giving the local authorities and officials tongue-lashing during his working visits. Television news enthusiastically (even though selectively) described his reprisal against Yaroslav Hodunko, secretary of the Boryspil City Council, but turned out to be blind and deaf to the continuation of this story, as well as to some of its details. As it turned out, Ukrainian journalists do not know that the secretary of the city council is not an official.
"Ukraine" has stopped publishing optimistic forecasts and dubious polls about the “Radical Party” and "Opposition Bloc" allegedly passing the electoral threshold and instead focused on promoting candidates from Rinat Akhmetov's circle, who take part in the majoritarian election, on the "election of speaker" (namely, Oleh Lyashko, who, in order to head the Verhovna Rada, has to get there first), and on the "election of prime minister". Prime minister in Ukraine is not elected, but appointed, but Volodymyr Hroisman still believes that he can be elected and shared this belief with the viewers of "Ukraine" channel.
But in general, there is nothing resembling desperate drive in the media space, which was characteristic of the last weeks of the presidential campaign. Each of the political forces which are most likely to pass the threshold is moving along the planned trajectory, increasingly speaking about the redistribution of posts after the election.
The most important events related to the election, which were covered in the media in the period from June 24 to June 30
NewsOne announced a telebridge with the "Russia 1" channel — Zelenskyi criticized the channel for pre-election campaigning, the Prosecutor General's Office has started a proceeding, and the Security Service of Ukraine threatened to impose sanctions — NewsOne gave up on the telebridge — there were protests in front of the channel's office and President's Office.
Investigators found out that a candidate from the "People's Servant" had not been in Ukraine for more than 200 days, whereas another candidate has been withdrawn from the election for dual citizenship.
The Court of Appeal confirmed abolition of gas tariffs based on Tymoshenko's lawsuit.
Poroshenko has made a forecast that captured sailors would be released before the day of the election in Ukraine.
Zelenskyi pardoned political prisoner Lytvynov.
The last meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of the eighth convocation ended.
Russians showed a fake "telebridge" https://ms.detector.media/monitoring/advocacy_and_influence/telemist_tsinizmu_yaki_tezi_prosuvali_u_programi_nado_pogovorit/, and Ukrainians added the host to the "Myrotvorets" database.
"Holos" and "European Solidarity" parties officially pay the biggest amount of money for Facebook advertising.
The Central Election Commission has published photos of all candidates who take part in the majoritarian election.
Vox Pop instead of ratings. "Lyashko-speaker" manipulative technology, launched by "Ukraine" channel last week, is still used in the channel's news. This time they asked Kyiv residents who the latter would like to see as speaker. And even though the head of the Verkhovna Rada is elected not by the Kyiv residents and even not by voters, but by people's deputies of the already elected Verkhovna Rada, the answers are telling: three answers in favor of Lyashko, one in favor of Parubiy, and one in favor of Ruslan Stefanchuk. People in particular praised Lyashko for "being able to keep discipline in the faction. The channel kept silent about fact that, according to the ratings, Lyashko – unlike Parubiy and Stefanchuk –has no chance so far to be in the Verkhovna Rada. The channel also asked residents of the capital who they would like to become a prime minister. Ihor Smeshko and Volodymyr Hroisman, who have a "subscription" for the presence in the news on "Ukraine" channel, were among favorites here. People also mentioned Mikheil Saakashvili and Yulia Tymoshenko. The story about the "election of a prime minister" was repeated on the air of "Ukraine" channel several times during the week and ended with the conversation with Hroisman as a "people's candidate".
A new face with a hint of Pinchuk. On July 11, STB mentioned "Buckwheat Fest" in Dnipro briefly and without any specifics. The only commentary in the story was made by the "People's Servants" candidate Dmytro Kysylevskyi. Based on other publications about this event, it becomes clear that Kysylevskyi was the organizer of this event. ICTV made a more extensive story about this, where there is also no clear indication of the promotional nature of the event, but at least there is a mention of the party in a journalistic text that hints at this. On July 10, Kysylevskyi was the hero of the story about "new faces" in the Verkhovna Rada in the news on ICTV channel. It is worth noting that Kysylevskyi is the manager of the Interpipe company, which belongs to Viktor Pinchuk, the owner of STB and ICTV channels. "Representative of one of the largest metallurgical plants in Ukraine," as it was formulated in the "Facts". Promotion of Pinchuk's candidates who take part in the majoritarian election in Dnipro in the national news is the old tradition of the channels that are part of Pinchuk's holding.
Solidary channel. Channel 5, which at least tried to refrain from direct promotion of their owner before the presidential election, is now openly promoting the "European Solidarity". On July 11, Channel 5 broadcasted a story about the fact that in Kyiv "young people had been demanding that politicians confirm the unalterableness of the foreign policy of Ukraine with regard to the European Union and NATO. With such slogans activists were picketing outside the offices of "Fatherland" and "People's Servant" parties." Only from the captions accompanying the words of Dynara Habibulaeva, the head of "Solidary Youth" and candidate from the "European Solidarity" party, it became clear that they were referring to the youth from Poroshenko's party. The story included three extensive soundbites of the picketers' words, as well as the following statements: "Activists had to spend more than an hour in the rain outside the office of the "People's Servant" party before there was some reaction to their appeal." The reaction of "Fatherland" and "People's Servant" was described using indirect speech: "representatives of both parties went out to the protesters and promised to examine the documents." From the story it is not clear how justified the fears and claims of young people from Poroshenko's party to "Fatherland" and "People's Servant" are, and, in fact, what the protesters are protesting against. In addition to Channel 5, this event was widely covered by Priamyi channel, which explained their audience that the "Euro-Atlantic Charter", which the protesters demand of the government to sign, had been developed by the "EU". Positions of representatives of these parties, as well as comments of independent experts, were also not included in this story.
There is a problem - but only one. On July 12, "Details of the Week" on "Inter" broadcasted an extensive material on how representatives of the "Opposition Platform - For Life" "continue to establish direct political contacts with Russia," in which party leaders are called a "Ukrainian delegation". Besides soundbites of Boyko's and Medvedchuk's words, the story also included the words of Medvedev, the head of the Russian government "we fully support the intention of the "Opposition Platform - For Life" to restore the dialog." However, it is a soundbite of Vadim Rabinovich's words that became the main bomb: “After all, we represent Ukraine today, and we have a problem. Today we said this to the Russian side: Crimea is Ukraine. We said this not on a backstreet, but in the center of Moscow, at the headquarters of the "United Russia", the ruling party. I believe that we made a big step towards peace. We really need peace and we need to restore normal relations between the countries, but the Crimea is Ukraine." Journalists (if this material was prepared by journalists and not by freelance promoters of the "Opposition Platform - For Life") should have had a lot of questions: and what was the answer? And how do you plan to solve this "problem"? And what about other problems, for example, the occupied Donbass, the stolen property, the dead, crippled, and illegally imprisoned people? Moreover, a journalist from the Russian editorial team of "Radio Liberty" Olena Rykovtseva reported in her blog on Facebook that there were no such Rabinovich's words on Russian federal channels. https://detector.media/blogs/article/168867/2019-07-11-istoriya-pro-to-kak-dmitrii-kiselev-kinul-vasiliya-golovanova/. So, it is not clear at all whether he actually said them or whether the Russians used censorship. But instead, after the story about the Moscow voyage of the "Opposition Platform - For Life", "Inter" broadcasted an extensive monologue by Yuriy Boyko, who spoke on the results of the Verkhovna Rada of the 8th convocation. The story also included no information about how the Ukrainian authorities reacted to another trip of the self-declared delegation.