Joint ideas and joint stories to tell: journalists from different regions sought new approaches to covering IDP stories

A three day course on IDP coverage took place in Lviv.  The journalists of Ukraine’s East and West got together in order to exchange their experiences and work on IDP storie in pairs.

The initiative is part of an EU funded project entitled “Regional Eye: Strengthening Conflict Sensitive Coverage in Ukraine’s Regional Media”, implemented by a media Consortium of five organizations: Thomson Foundation, Institute of Regional Media and Information (IRMI), MEMO 98, Association Spilnyi Prostir (ASP) and The European Journalism Center.

One Grief Shared by Three is the initial headline of the story co-authored by Iryna Fedolyak, Natalia Ryabtseva and Olena Petryshyn – the participants from Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Kharkiv The article encompasses three IDP stories. The co-authors say that by working jointly they got a chance to compare the IDP situation in their regions with that of their colleagues, by looking into individual IDP stories and discussing the treatment IDPs are given by host communities. Joint work also speeded up the process of receiving expert commentary.

– I was seeking a positive story, says Iryna Fedolyak from Ivano Frankivsk – a reporter for Halytskyi Korespondent newspaper. We came up with a piece encompassing three stories. We aimed to take a closer look at how people managed to settle down, their motives for choosing the region and how they are feeling in new places. I am left with very positive impression from our co-authorship despite the topic so psychologically challenging. We all have different thoughts, approaches, ideas and experiences. This, I believe, helped us make the story versatile and our joint work productive.  The format of production workshops is interesting and useful.

Anna Kulkova of Zaporizhzhia Office of the National TV Company of Ukraine and her Lviv colleague Natalia Antonyshyn of Varianty online publication co-authored a piece of story-telling with their central character being an IDP student girl that moved to Lviv. They touched upon her expectations and the reality she happened to face and even added some bits of vox pops they did in the city on the day of the research.

– Joint work is not only an opportunity to cover the topic more fully, it is also a way to improving skills and adding to creativity.  My colleague and I have worked productively. It was interesting for me to look at the topic from a different angle and to compare the approach my colleague from Lviv is using in her work with what we do in Zaporizhzhia.

Marharyta Stronska of Lviv Office of the National Broadcasting Company of Ukraine and Liubov Burlakova of Dnipropetrovsk based Region Broadcasting Company have also returned from the fields with a human story.  

– Joint work to me means new contacts and updates on IDP situation in different regions, says Marharyta. This is my second training with Thomson and IRMI. We have come up with an idea to organise a TV link-up devoted to IDP issues, if technically viable, involving several cities. Now the participation of Berdyansk, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk is being negotiated.  

Next co-authorship IDP coverage seminar is going to take place on March 22 in Kharkiv.

Local journalists will host their colleagues from other regions of Ukraine.


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