Training Events for Journalists that Cover IDP-Related Issues are Underway in Ukraine

Two-day training events discussing professional and ethical norms of IDP coverage took place in Kharkiv and Lviv. Professional interaction and additional knowledge on the issue were offered to the attendees of the first stage of the project titled A programme to support conflict sensitive media.To recap, the project was launched last November and its purpose is to ensure professional training for journalists of all Ukrainian media that cover the issues related to internally displaced people (IDPs). The project is being realized by Thomson Foundation together with International Institute for Regional Media and Information (IRMI, Ukraine) and Journalists’ Initiative Association (JIA, Ukraine). Similar to previous training events the ones in Kharkiv and Lviv were highly practical. The trainees seeked and discussed new story ideas related to IDPs, new angles and more in-depth perspectives. Interview techniques were given thorough consideration, for it is very important to present the audience with a picture of what is going on in the country remembering professional ethical norms. One would think that any journalist is good at interviewing people. What should the questions be like not to offend the interviewee and receive the information one needs? How to be in perfect time when giving or taking a commentary on TV? How to prepare for an interview? All those questions turned out to be rather complicated.  It would never harm anyone to be in the role of a person who is asked about pressing problems that they are facing. The second stage of the project showed that another important aim was reached. That was to broaden the perception of IDP-related issues among regional journalists. The project was called to help the reporters stretch the boundaries of the regions they worked in, comparing the situation, say, in Kharkiv and Lviv, Poltava and Zaporizhia. Also looking at the performance of different regulatory institutions and volunteers. That time the journalists had an opportunity to have a Q&A session with the activist of Station Kharkiv volunteer organization. The same as information received during other sessions, practicalities that volunteers shared with the participants helped the latter prepare better study publications that was shared with the group and analysed by the trainers.   Horizontal ties that were established also had their positive results. When working at their publications between the first and the second stages of the training the journalists more often turned to their colleagues for information.Next project event is Editors Forum in Kyiv involving senior journslists and media managers. Together with experts from different countries and representatives of organisations that deal with IDPs they will be able to see this sensitive issue from a broader perspective and develop recommendations as to how it should be covered in the media.


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