Given the latest March developments in Crimea, it seems that Ukrainian media space and journalists are under all-round assault.
Major challenges include numerous attacks on journalists and their abduction, restrictions through accreditation of media for the 16th of March local referendum, along with shutting off and blocking of the Ukrainian TV channels in Crimea.
A dozen of media representatives were beaten up: for instance, a journalist Andriy Tsaplienko and two cameramen of "Inter" TV channel and a journalist of online newspaper "Russian Planet" Pavel Nikulin were attacked in Sevastopol when covering an assault of the Ukrainian military unit No 2355by Russian forces.
Also, two groups of journalists from the Glavkom and Ukrainskyy Tyzhden news portals were detained and some of them kidnapped by unidentified men in military uniform at the Crimean checkpoint near Armyansk, on 9 March; mistreated and released two days later.
Some local self-defence representatives and armed men threatened journalists, took away their professional equipment and stole information they filmed, as in case with Norwegian journalists from NRK public broadcaster, Italian TV channel SKY TG 24 or a Slovak correspondent Jan Husar, on 11-12 March 2014.
As to media coverage of the awaited local referendum, its organizers approved the accreditation procedure for mediarepresentatives, on 11 March 2014. Considering a very short period for submitting applications, i.e. until 13 March, a long list of supporting documents and acceptance of applications from the registered media outlets only, it seems quite complicated for journalists to comply with the set requirements.
Finally, blocked or taken off air in Crimea have been the all-Ukrainian TV channels, including "1 +1", 5th channel, "Inter", STBTV channel and TRK "Chernomorskaya" on 6-7 March, and their frequencies were given to the Russian TV channels. Also, the first TV channel of Crimean Tatars ATR was disconnected from the Internet and its website subjected to DDoS–attacks. Thereby local inhabitants were deprived of the right to receive information of public interest from different sources during the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.