Strong nation needs strong journalism
Knowledge matters, especially when shared widely. That was our thinking when several Kyiv Post journalists decided to start a nongovernmental organization that we call Media Development Foundation, which has been working for a year.
We wanted to improve Ukraine’s journalism profession through three main activities: investigative/ enterprise journalism, journalism exchanges and specialized training.
The year before the 2013-2014 EuroMaidan Revolution was a time of risk and instability. We had knowledge we wanted to share about practicing journalism in such a tough environment. We also wanted to learn from others’ experiences.
For 20 years, the Kyiv Post has been Ukraine’s English-language newspaper and most reliable source of English-language news from the country. It distinguishes itself with independent and ethical reporting recognized internationally and through increasing readership, despite a deteriorating financial environment for news media. Many Kyiv Post journalists have Western backgrounds and aspire to the highest standards of international journalism.
The foundation only became operational last year. But we already have six ongoing projects. More than 1,000 journalists, editors and trainers have been involved in various projects and we have more than 35 partner newsrooms. Almost 150 TV, newspaper and online journalists have taken part in trainings. Most are from regional media outlets.
Among our projects:
Journalism Exchange Program – It provides recent journalism graduates and young professionals with professional development through paid internships at leading newsrooms in Ukraine. The program is funded by MyMedia, international journalism project.
School for Regional Journalists – a five-day training school for working regional journalists, followed by the internships in Ukraine’s central media organizations. All the school participants are supposed to hold post-trainings for journalists in their native towns. The pilot project was funded by the National Endowment for Democracy. Twelve regional journalists from 11 Ukraine’s regions took part;
Mezhyhirya Fest – This is an annual conference for Ukraine’s investigative journalists. The event grew from the YanukovychLeaks investigative project, devoted to research of documents left on the billion-dollar estate after the ex-Ukrainian president fled on Feb. 22, 2014, The event was held on June 6-7 for the second time. Around 300 journalists, editors and civic activists attend the festival annually.
Kyiv Post+ – Journalists work as part of the Kyiv Post newspaper in providing specialized coverage of Russia’s war against Ukraine and Ukraine’s ongoing democratic and economic reforms.
Ukraine is changing and needs strong journalism as much or more than ever. Development of the profession costs money – for salaries, trainings, exchanges and events. Armed with the right resources, the Media Development Foundation aims to help the profession find its way through these uncertain times, when traditional sources of revenue (advertising and subscriptions) are declining for most news organizations.