Commissioned by Free Press Unlimited, this sociological study into the media attitudes and behavior of young people aged 12-18 was carried out in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova by Dr. Andrei Vardomatski (Belarusian Analytical Workroom). The study was conducted in December 2017 in Ukraine (Kyiv), Belarus (Minsk) and Moldova (Chisinau).
Part of the initial qualitative survey was the assessment of the young people’s attitudes to different media forms (television, radio, newspapers and social media); part of the subsequent quantitative survey was the analysis of the preferred methods of obtaining information, as well as how the information is judged as truthful (or not) once obtained.
The concluding comparative analysis of the distribution of answers in surveys in Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova found that (for the most part) the participants of Belarus were anomalous. This is attributed to the more authoritarian nature of Belarus. A finding that united the young people from all three countries was that, in general, the participants had a similar understanding of the ‘essence of the news’: “It is noteworthy that only insignificant and approximately equal percentages refer to the understanding of news as ‘useful information’ (3%, 3.3%, 3.9% in Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova). Thus, the news is perceived as something new, important, however, not always useful.” (p.29)