Whether the interim government is willing or able to do a better job is still up in the air. Mijatovic, who met with senior administration officials in Kiev and Crimea, said the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is looking to start projects that can rapidly strengthen independent reporting in Ukraine. First on the agenda is providing for journalists’ safety: Her office hopes to train reporters and photographers to report in conflict zones.
What helps, she added, is that Ukraine has an active civil society that supports journalists, and so far independent media have shown signs of being able to work around problems. The blocked TV stations are now streaming from the internet. The Crimea Center for Investigative Journalism is back reporting. Websites, Facebook pages, and YouTube videos ensure that a broad array of viewpoints are at least available, if not widely seen.
Still, a fully functioning, strong, and independent press in Ukraine remains a distant goal.
“There are good signs coming from the interim authorities, but much more needs to be done in order to return to an environment of trust and ensure that journalists can work freely,” Mijatovic said.