Training Projects for Regional Media to be Extended

International Institute for Regional Media and Information (IRMI, Ukraine) and Thomson Foundation (The UK) are intending to extend the training project for Ukrainian regional journalists. This was announced by David Quin Thomson’s Deputy Director of Development when commenting on the results of the meetings of Foundation representatives with top media managers from Kharkiv, Poltava and Lviv. To recap, the project titled A programme to support conflict sensitive media has been implemented in Ukraine since last November to be ended this March. The project is being realized by Thomson Foundation together with International Institute for Regional Media and Information and Journalists’ Initiative Association (the JIA). David Quin and his colleague Mark Webster, Thomson’s Strategic Communications Associate and Angelina Soldatenko, IRMI CEO, met with media managers and journalists of leading regional media within the project geography.  Those were ATN and Vechirny Kharkiv in Kharkiv, Ltava Oblast Broadcasting Station, Kolo newspaper, Novyny Poltavshchyny news agency in Poltava and Lviv Oblast Broadcasting Station, Lviv news agencies Vholos and ZIK in Lviv. During the meetings editorial policies towards IDP-related issues were discussed, information access, managers’ vision of the issues, relations with the locals – how the media satisfy the interests of their audiences in the topic. Media managers also spoke as to the needs of journalists in professional training: 

I think a journalist needs professional experience that would be constantly deepened,” says Yurii Nikolayev, director of Novyny Poltavshchyny Oblast municipal news agency. “I would also like to know how to protect a journalst from fake information that they come across. For instance, I advice that my colleagues should first of all consider the information on web portals of government agencies, official institutions and organizations. These days everyone is under big pressure. And people have limited stock of strength. It would be interesting to talk to news agencies that have already worked uder similar conditions. We will prepare our proposals as to our training needs and pass them on to IRMI. 

According to David Quin, Thompson Foundation highly appreciates cooperation with its Ukrainian partner. Thomson is intending to continue the cooperation. The organisation has unique experience in working with the media that is constantly expanding and renovating. Experts think that regional media work worthily. “We can see that Ukrainian media are facing difficult times, especially it refers to regional media,” comments David Quin. „Journalists that we talked to are striving for impartial, even-handed and balanced coverage, with no offence to either IDPs or locals, abstaining from seeding provocations in the society. It is very difficult, taking into account the fact that the crisis overlays current problems that the media are facing. The task of Thomson and our Ukrainian partners is to support professionals.” 

It is important for us not only to demonstrate professional standards that international media community adheres to,” says Angelina Soldatenko, “but also demonstrate how these standards and tools can and should work in Ukraine. It first of all concerns professional ethics which is especially important when it goes about social conflicts and such a sensitive topic as IDPs.


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