The National News Agency of Ukraine, known as Ukrinform, is the official state-run news agency in the country. The agency was founded back in 1918 as the Bureau of Ukrainian Press (BUP).

The agency also runs the television channel UA TV, which was designed as a media outlet speaking to foreign agencies. As of March 2020, the channel has been rebranded as Dom (Home) and its programming repurposed to target the people in the Russian-occupied parts of the Donbas and Crimea regions of Ukraine.

Media assets

News agency: Ukrinform

State Media Matrix Typology: State-Controlled (SC)

Ownership and governance

The activity of Ukrinform is governed by the government decree no 749 of 1997 that was amended in 2008 through the government decree no 631. The agency was created as a state-owned news agency, the legal successor of Ukrainian National News Agency, which was the former news agency of Ukraine that had been liquidated.

The General Director of Ukrinform is appointed by the government. The agency is led by a board whose members are appointed by the General Director. There is also a supervisory board at Ukrinform whose composition is approved by the government.

Source of funding and budget

Ukrinform is funded through a combination of state financing and commercial revenues (mainly sales of content). However, the state subsidy accounts for the largest part of Ukrinform’s budget (over 80%, according to estimates from local experts and journalists). In 2020, Ukrinform received a state subsidy of UAH 257m (US$ 10m).

Editorial independence

As a state-run agency, Ukrinform is obliged by law (the government decree that establishes the agency) to ensure “coverage of state policy and public life of Ukraine”, provide “information to public authorities,” “disseminate official information on the most important political, social and other processes in the state,” “distribute official documents of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine [Parliament], the President of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers [Government] of Ukraine, ministries, and other bodies of state power on the most important issues of domestic and foreign policy” and to “cover the official point of view of the heads of state on topical issues.”

The same decree stipulates that the agency should operate “independently of political parties and public organizations.” However, in reality, that specific provision does not insulate the agency from government pressures.

There is no domestic statute and no independent assessment or oversight mechanism that would validate the editorial independence of Ukrinform.

September 2023