The Ukrainian International Broadcasting Channel (UATV English) as a Tool of Promoting State Narratives

DOI: 10.17721/2522-1272.2023.84.5  

UDC 004.738.5:621.397.13:316.658

Lesya Horodenko, D.Sci (Social Сommunications) Professor, Educational and Scientific Institute of Journalism, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv,

Oleh Dzholos, PhD (Social Communication) Associated Professor, Educational and Scientific Institute of Journalism, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv,

Oleksii Matsuka,Master of Political Science, Chief editor of the UA TV channel State Enterprise “Multimedia Platform for Foreign Languages of Ukraine”,

Pavlo Shtelmakh, Master of Journalism Educational and Scientific Institute of Journalism, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv,


The functional characteristics of international broadcasting are determined by the goals and tasks for which it was created. The specificity of international broadcasting activity forms the following tasks: creation and promotion of a positive image of the state in the international arena; protection of a country’s own political and cultural interests; promotion of tourism (in peacetime); fight against negative information influence that affects the perception of events in the country, both by the domestic and international audience; communication of the diaspora with the homeland, learning the language and traditions; promotion of national values norms and guidelines, etc. Based on these tasks, it is appropriate to distinguish five main functions of international broadcasting: protection of national interests, propaganda, counter-propaganda, education and pedagogy, and communication functions.

Basis on data on the activity of the State Enterprise “International Broadcasting Multimedia Platform of Ukraine”, the main functions of international broadcasting are highlighted. The results obtained during the research expand and supplement the already known facts about the specifics of the functioning of international broadcasting corporations.

This study analysed the content of the UATV English State International Broadcasting channel in terms of delivering information about the events in Ukraine, protecting its national interests, countering hostile propaganda, and spreading pro-Ukrainian messages among international audiences.

The purpose of this study is to explore, systematise and generalise the basic functions of UATV English Channel in order to improve and evaluate the effectiveness of the “International Broadcasting Multimedia Platform of Ukraine” during the challenging times of information aggression combined with the conventional warfare. Emphasis was placed on researching the peculiarities and effectiveness of the UATV English Channel with the aim of protecting national interests, countering hostile propaganda and spreading pro-Ukrainian messages in the international media space.

The article presents statistics on audience reach and viewship of UATV English content on YouTube and Facebook platforms. As well as monitoring the effectiveness of different approaches to content and SEO-optimization of the materials. In addition, a content analysis of UATV English content on these platforms was conducted. All the video materials have been processed, and their classification according to four functional areas of content was presented. The analysed content was published over a period of six months, starting from February 24 (the date of the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine) to August 24, 2022 (The Independence Day of Ukraine).

On average, the UATV English-speaking channel receives 8-12 million views per month on YouTube from all materials produced by the media (except YouTube Shorts and Publications). The audience growth compared to the pre-war period amounted to 3,670% in February and added 367% in March 2022, when the total audience reached almost 60 million. The growth of the audience reach indicator on the UATV English-language Facebook page from February 24, 2022, reached 9,200% and amounted to 14.3 million users. Analysis of the content for the first 6 months of the war showed that the content of the Ukrainian broadcasting was rearranged/redesigned in accordance with the realities of wartime, with several strategic changes in the approach to the content. According to the classification of four functional directions of the content defined earlier, the dominant content is the one related to the protection and promotion of national interests (36.3%), followed by information about the course of the war and events in the country (32.5%), opinion and worldview-based content (22.4%), and counter-information to Russian propaganda (8.8%).

The UATV English-speaking channel performs its functions as an international broadcasting service: spreading pro-Ukrainian narratives in the world and delivering truthful information about the war in Ukraine. UATV English content effectively counters Russian war propaganda.

KEYWORDS: YouTube; Ukraine; international broadcasting; media; information aggression.

Download the article in PDF