THE RESEARCH ABSTRACT
The Land Reform in Ukraine reached the stage when reorganization of the collective farms into business entities based on private ownership of land and property is going on massive scale. The success of the Reform is determined by the strict adherence to the rule of law, active participation of peasants and ability of state district-level agencies to harmonize clashes of interest of different reform stakeholders.
One of the key factors of the Reform success is a free access of farm members and managers to the information on Reform. Peasants’ full awareness of their rights and opportunities to dispose of their land and property shares greatly enhances freedom of choice, leads to the growth of rural well being, strengthens their legal protection and legal culture, contributes to the social protection, and, in the long run, makes the Land Reform sustainable and legitimate. The role of the state in securing transparency and openness of the Reform processes cannot be underestimated.
This Project analyzes the information policy of the Ukrainian state on the Land and Agricultural Reforms. It focuses on the national and regional levels of state institutions and on one of the methods or channels the state bodies possess to inform citizenry, namely, on regional and district printed mass media. The main research question is: “Is there state information policy on the Land Reform – consciously designed, consistent, responsive to the information needs of various Reform stakeholders and based on values of freedom of choice, openness and transparency“.
There are three stages or components of the Project. They differ by the research issues and methods used. The first one attempts to answer the following research questions: What is a national level institutional backbone where state information policy is (or should be) formulated, implemented and evaluated? Who, on what basis decides about the content, scope, target groups and financial resources of the policy? What discretion in interpreting the policy is given to those ‘street level’ institutions, persons, etc which implement the policy? By what means information policy is (or should be) implemented (printed and electronic mass media, field trips of state officials, etc.)? Finally, what values (openness, transparency, effectiveness, etc.) underlie existing information policy? These research questions are to be approached through monitoring national mass media and conducting expert interviews.
The second part of the Project pursues twofold objectives. The first one has to answer above formulated research questions applied to the local – regional and district – level. Nine Ukrainian provinces are chosen to cover all Ukrainian regions. The second one analyzes the status of local printed mass media and their role in informing citizens about the Land Reform. Private and state-controlled, regional and district level media outlets have to be under investigation. Interviews with relevant local officials, editors, journalists, representatives of civil society and business community are to be used as a research method.
Finally, information on the aims of the Reform and peasants’ rights, ‘role models’ proposed, interpretation of the social interests driving the Reform processes, etc will be assessed through content analysis of local newspapers’ materials on the Land and Agricultural Reforms on a\ nation-wide sample.
The results of each Project stage will be disseminated to the media, civil society and academic communities, respective state and parliamentary bodies. After the completion of the Project, recommendations on the state information policy on the Land Reform will be developed and addressed to the relevant audiences.
THE RESEARCH PROGRESS AND RESOURCES
FINAL ACTIVITY REPORT
MENTOR CRITIQUE 1
INTERIM ACTIVITY REPORT
INTERIM RESEARCH REPORT
RESEARCH REPORT (National Mail Survey of Rural Raion Newspapers' Editors): UKR, ENGL
Legislative framework of the Information Policy in Ukraine