Journalism Matters: Ukraine Media Leader Explains Realities Of Publishing Independent Journalism In Ukraine
Independent journalists in Ukraine are working from the bomb shelters without electricity supply and often without the internet “yet they thrive in their willingness to inform the world about the war crimes as well as to tell personal stories of our amazing people,” a media leader in Ukraine has said in an article for the News Media Association’s Journalism Matters campaign.
In the piece, Oksana Brovko, CEO, Association of Independent Regional Publishers of Ukraine, details the enormous challenges and threats facing independent news publishers in Ukraine currently, and their determination to keep publishing journalism for their readers.
Ms Brovko said: “These days most of our journalists keep working from the bomb shelters – without electricity supply and often without the internet. Yet they thrive in their willingness to inform the world about the war crimes as well as to tell personal stories of our amazing people.
“None of the journalists was prepared to work under the war constraints. The pre-war plans survive only until one can see the first missile falling on one’s house. Or until one can hear and see drones attacking the city. Or until one is called in to identify the victims of the vicious attacks.
“Most of the Ukrainian journalists today are more than journalists. They are volunteers searching for the cars for the Armed Forces.
“They act as criminologists collecting evidence about Russian war crimes. They are volunteer coroners in Bucha, Izyum, Borodyanka who help working with the bodies of the butchered civilians.”
She added: “The most dangerous is the work of a journalist under occupation. If you do not cooperate with the occupiers, you will be imprisoned and tortured.
“To leave the occupied territories our journalists have to assume false identities, invent false life stories, risk not only their own lives but also the lives of their loved ones.”
Ms Brovko added: “Independent regional press is still the most powerful and useful source of information for the regional audience and local society. Local media is the principal place for holding local debates about the restoration of the cities and towns among various opinion leaders, businesses, professionals, local authorities and active citizens.”
NMA chief executive Owen Meredith said: “Oksana’s immensely powerful and challenging account of the realities of publishing independent journalism in Ukraine is a stark reminder of the reasons why trusted journalism is so important. We stand with our colleagues in the independent media in Ukraine and support them in their mission to bring real journalism to their audiences, who need it now more than ever.”