The Institute of Media Ecology was established according to the decision of the Learned Council of the Ivan Franko National University of L’viv in June 1999. It is worth mentioning here that emphasis is laid on non-traditional ecology, its object of investigation being the informational environment created by mass media. The Institute focuses on the problem of the noosphere pollution, description, comparative analysis, and the elaboration of the ways of neutralization of pathogenic information flows, screen violence, pornography, hyper advertisement, and propaganda. The Institute treats media ecology as the synthesis of philosophical, academic, and purely applied trends connected with the neutralization of pathogenic information flows. That is why the Institute, from the first days of its activity, follows three research trends:

  • media philosophical (philosophical contemplation of the influence of mass media, in particular, media technology, upon our psyche and culture);
  • media critical (the analysis of media discourse for professionals);
  • media ecological (media ecology differs from journalist education in that it is aimed not only at media business training, but also at the stimulation of “psychological immunity” of public against those media threats which are connected with propaganda and falsification, pornography and screen violence. Media education is something like an instruction manual on how to use media).

Since such research themes require an interdisciplinary approach, during the first year of its existence, the Institute collected the publications in the volume “Avoiding the Apocalypses,” which offer the wide vision of media ecology problems.

    During the two following years such round tables and seminars with participation of university lecturers, students, and journalists were conducted:

  • “Free and responsible press” (June 1999);
  • “The Internet: new opportunities and possible dangers” (September 1999);
  • “Legal and ethical aspects of the formation of balanced media environment” (October 1999);
  • “Use of black PR in elections technologies” (October 2000);
  • “Psychological Consequences of Screen Violence” (November 2000, together with the Theological Academy);
  • “Violence actual and virtual” (March 2001);
  • “Pornography in mass communication and its psychological consequences” (October 2001);
  • “The Internet in journalist training programs” (February 2002, together with the representatives of the School of Journalism, Uzhgorod University, and the Department of Electronic Publications, Academy of Printing, Lviv).
    The themes of the seminars were reflected on the pages of the following newsletters:

  • “Media Ecology №1,”
  • “Media Ecology №2.”
    Together with the colleagues from the Institute of Political Technologies, we prepared before the elections the following editions:

  • the volume “Kingdom of Distorting Mirrors” on the use of “black” PR in pre-elections technologies;
  • the chapter “Media ecology” in the volume of papers of the department of Ukrainian Press (5 authors);
  • the special issue of the “Media Education” journal, New Ways of Communication, parts 4-5.

Since the elaboration of a research theme envisages its propaganda outside the institution, the articles in press (4) and a series of TV programs “Media-resonance” on the 12th L’viv TV channel conducted during two years (2000-2002) by the Institute Director, Borys Potyatynyk, were of particular importance. On the Institute’s initiative and with the Institute’s participation, ten TV programs were prepared: “Violence in mass communication,” “Criminal journalism,” “Media and terror,” “Globalization and media,” etc.

On the initiative of the Institute of Media Ecology, the round table discussion “Introduction of media education in Ukraine” was organized in March 2002. The main idea of the discussion was that the danger for the psyche of Ukrainian citizens brought by media might be reduced. There exists an appropriate and already tested methodology―media education, which is now actively developing not only before the western, but also after the eastern borders of Ukraine. The round table discussion declared a new stage in the development of media education in Ukraine. It was decided to start the realization of a pilot project on the basis of the Ivan Franko National University of L’viv and several secondary L’viv schools. Today, the most successful joint project of the Institute and schools is the Program of Media Education on the basis of the L’viv school №77 (compiled by O. Didchuk). In addition to the initiator―the Institute of Media Ecology― the project was supported at this stage by the Departments of Psychology and Education and by the Educational Administration of L’viv.

    Institute is conducting research on two topics:

  • Violence in media: psychology of influence and pedagogical methods of neutralization. This research is financed from the state budget and is to be conducted from 2004 to 2006. Professors of the Psychology and Pedagogy departments contributed a lot to it. Director of the topic is Doctor of Philology B. V. Potiatynyk.
  • Media: the correlation between freedom and accountability. This research is conducted during the working time of the workers of Institute. Director of the topic is Candidate of Philology, Docent Habor N. B.

The Institute of Media Ecology published the analytical popular scholarly magazine Mediacrytyca NN9. Our editorial staff includes experienced young scholars, teachers, journalists and several students.