Kyiv, 30 July 2020 – More than 40 journalists and editors from all over Ukraine learned how to make their media more resilient in the face of COVID-19 in May and June, using online courses supported by UNDP and the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine.
The courses covered the topics of supporting human rights during the pandemic, learning how to be mediators in their communities, tackle hate speech, and use digital solutions to work more effectively.
Svitlana Kolyshko, Human Rights Team Lead, and UNDP Ukraine Project Manager of the “Human Rights for Ukraine” project, stressed that the media are extremely important for promoting human rights.
“When covering the topics of the pandemic, the media can craft their messages in a way that promotes tolerance and respect,” Kolyshko said.
The media are not only sources of information for people – they also shape views and are perceived by the public as a means to stand up for human rights, Kolyshko said. She added that during the pandemic, when there is a high level of social tension, the professionalism of the media is extremely important.
Serhiy Tomilenko, Head of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, said that during their training the journalists learned how to cover the topics of the pandemic and conflict mediation to high professional standards. The journalists also learned innovative solutions to help their media survive during the economic crisis.
“We want the media to be professional so that people trust them,” Tomilenko said. “During the training the participants learned how to cover conflict situations, and how not to trigger hate speech and media conflicts in their communities”.
The pandemic of the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19 has been a blow to local media economically, and they have had to look for solutions on how to survive the economic crisis.
“The training programme was also designed as a platform for the media to provide mutual support,” Tomilenko said.
The training programme consisted of 10 webinars, reaching out to more than 150 participants during some training events.
Following the training programme, the media spent a month making recommended changes to their platforms. Following an assessment, 20 local media were recognized as being the most proactive in following the training recommendations and introducing changes.
The “Silska Novyna” (Village News) newspaper, Luhansk Oblast;
The “Mayak” (Lighthouse) newspaper, Kharkiv Oblast;
The “Tavriya” newspaper, Zaporizhia Oblast;
The “Khotynsky Visti” (Khotyn News) newspaper, Chernivtsi Oblast;
The network of hyperlocal websites Район.in.ua, Volyn Oblast;
The “Nadia” broadcasting company, Kharkiv Oblast;
”Independent Internet TV at Chortkiv, Ternopil Oblast;
Horodotsky district broadcasting press centre, Khmelnytsky Oblast;
The “Visti” (News) newspaper, Zhytomyr Oblast;
The “Melitopol City” online newspaper, Zaporizhia Oblast;
The “ТАК TV” TV channel, Mykolaiv Oblast;
The “Pohliad” (View) newspaper, Chernivetsi Oblast;
The “Visti Teplychyny” (Teplychyny News) newspaper, Vinnytsia Oblast;
The “Chechelnytsky Visnyk” (Chechelnytsky Herald) newspaper, Vinnytsia Oblast;
The “Dolynsky Novyny” (Dolynsky News) newspaper, Kirovohrad Oblast;
The professional union of educators of Ukraine, Kyiv;
“Media Merezhyvo” (Media Lace), Kyiv;
The Newspaper “Dialogue”, Kirovohrad Oblast;
The Newspaper “Obrii Iziumshchyny” (Horizon of Iziumshchyna), Kharkiv Oblast;
The Edition “The Journalist of Ukraine”, Kyiv.
The training programme “Effective journalism during the pandemic of COVID-19” was initiated by the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine and supported by the “Human Rights for Ukraine” project, which is implemented by the UNDP project and financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.