IFJ Trade Union Development Programme, Ukraine

The TUD Ukraine project was launched in July 2004. The project was built on the recommendations of an IFJ mission in April 2003 contained in the report Unity for Justice: The Challenge of Change for Journalism in Ukraine. The mission was organised in response to the intensifying of pressure on media through Temniki, attacks on journalists, the failed investigation in the murder of investigative journalist, Gyorgy Gongadze and rising tension with the authorities in the build up to the Presidential elections in November 2004.

The project is run with the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine, IMTUU, and the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, NUJU.

The project includes the following activities:

Status of Journalists Report – (September – December 2004)
The survey examines the conditions that journalists work in including their social and professional rights, safety and gender equality.

Election Monitoring Mission (October - November 2004)
A two-person election monitoring mission for the Presidential election rounds in October and November. The mission joins the Crisis Group established jointly by IMTUU and the NUJU to record and investigate breaches in journalists’ rights and attacks on journalists. The mission report is to be presented to the National Media Reform Conference.

National Trade Union Workshop – (December 2004)
The IFJ provides experts from Sweden and Croatia for the workshop to be organised with the branch leaders of the IMTUU and NUJU.

National Conference for a “Manifesto for Media Reform”. (January 2005)
This is the central element of the project bringing together journalists, unions, editors, publishers, legal experts and leading NGOs. The conference aims to develop an action plan for the reform of Ukrainian media. This plan can be used as a ‘manifesto for media reform’ to address demands to newly installed politicians and for the media community as a whole.

Safety Workshop – (April 2005)
The meeting looks to strengthen the role of NUJU and IMTUU in defending journalists’ rights and ending impunity for murderers of journalists. The Gongadze campaign is closely linked to this work. Included is a discussion on relations with the authorities, use of lawyers to ensure cases are properly investigated and strengthening of union communication networks with other NGOs.

Ethics Workshop (September 2005)
The workshop examines the ethical performance of journalists and of the ethics council. It seeks strategies to strengthen the performance of both through improving ethical codes, editorial independence and a strategy against censorship at work.

Legal Support

IMTUU will employ a legal specialist in media and trade union issues. The lawyer will: 

  • Prepare an overview of the labour law as it affects journalists
  • Defend journalists on labour disputes, physical assaults and attacks on professional independence
  • Organise a journalists’ rights information campaign around the country, holding open discussions with journalists on their professional and social rights.


Revolution in the News, the Story Behind Ukraine’s Newsroom Revolt

Gongadze Investigation Report to the Council of Europe, January 2005

The programme is supported by the Open Society Institute