Photo credit: UNDP Ukraine

Kyiv, 4 September 2020 – Around 80 journalism students and professors from all over Ukraine are gathering online for the Third Human Rights Media Festival today to study ways to cover human rights topics to high ethical standards.

The ten-day event has been organized by the Institute of Journalism, the CSO “ZMINA: Human Rights Centre” and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine, and is aimed at promoting human rights among future journalism professionals.

Over the course of the festival, the students will learn how to create videos on human rights issues, and make their own video reports. They will work in five teams and will present their video projects during the closing ceremony on 13 September.

The media festival is being held online this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is devoted to the new human rights challenges triggered by the spread of the disease. During the festival, participants will study online the topics of gender equality, IDPs’ rights, inclusivity, children’s rights, and the rights of people in places of detention, as well as how these rights are affected by the pandemic and lockdown measures.

UNDP Resident Representative to Ukraine Dafina Gercheva noted the important role of the media in combatting COVID-19 pandemic.

“Combatting COVID-19 is not just a matter of medical treatment,” Gercheva said. “To stop the spread of the disease, it’s vital that the public can obtain trustworthy, accurate, and timely information, and in Ukraine, media outlets are the prime source of this information.”

As a recent survey of Ukrainians’ attitudes to the new challenges triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic shows, most Ukrainians get information about the novel coronavirus disease from the media (63 percent), and from social media (49 percent). These findings are in line with the results of the All-Ukrainian sociological study “What Ukrainians Know and Think of Human Rights: Progress Assessment (2016-2018),” according to which the media are the key sources of information for Ukrainians about human rights  –  about two thirds of respondents get information about human rights from TV.

The increased high level of trust in media imposes significant responsibilities on media actors. Thus, a human-rights-based approach should be the basis of a journalism education, the festival’s organizers believe.

Background:

The Human Rights Media Festival is a continuation of the Human Rights Academy for Journalism Professors launched with UNDP support in September 2017 by the Institute of Journalism, the “ZMINA: Human Rights Centre” Civil Society Organization, and the Ombudsperson’s Office. The first and the second Human Rights Media Festival became a platform for human rights discussion for young professionals.

The initiative is implemented as part of the Human Rights for Ukraine project, which is implemented by UNDP in Ukraine with financial support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. 

Media inquiries: Yuliia Samus, UNDP Communications Specialist, yuliia.samus@undp.org, +38 097 139 14 75

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