Cooperation continues, volunteering and information frontline – regional journalists working under war conditions

Our group at the Lithuanian Embassy in Kyiv in September 2021

Leading Ukrainian journalists who have implemented in-depth regional research under the auspices of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NSJU) and the Union of Lithuanian Journalists (LŽS) continue working at the forefront of Ukraine’s information defence. This is reported by the press service of the NSJU.

In part, the Ukrainian mentor of the project “Stimulus for Independent Journalism in the Regions of Ukraine,” Serhii Guz (Сергій Гузь), who heads the publication “Pristalny Vzglyad” in the town of Kamianske, notes: he and his family stay in his hometown.

“I am working in my home town of Kamianske. Together with my colleagues, I cover events in the town. I also prepare various materials for foreign media, and write to friends and colleagues in the UK and other countries to organize international support for Ukraine, humanitarian aid and assistance for refugees who have to rescue children abroad.

“It’s not easy, even with humanitarian aid, because the logistics of getting such aid to any particular place are ruined. But we are looking for options. It is important for journalists to keep working today because thousands of people are looking for information. This is why it is important to carry out your duties as a journalist as effectively as possible,” says Mr. Guz.

Journalist Yuriy Pavlishynets ((Юрій Павлишинець)) in the Zakarpatska Oblast was implementing the topic “Migration of Ukrainians to neighbouring countries” in the framework of the Ukrainian-Lithuanian project. He has now resigned from the First Cable TV channel (ТРК Первый кабельный), but managed to speak on the news about volunteer initiatives, humanitarian cargoes and evacuations abroad, as well as about the formation of territorial defence.

“Now, outside the channel, I continue to write about volunteer and community defence initiatives. Looking for resources to produce videos on the same topics and broadcast on social media. These are the new realities. I hope we will meet again to walk peacefully along Khreshchatyk Street to the NSJU office,” he said.

Our group at the Lithuanian Embassy in Kyiv in September 2021

Halina Khalymonyk, the editor of the Bilyayivka.city website and the Izvestiya Bilyayivka newspaper (Odesa Oblast), was implementing the theme “Between Three Fires: How Community Medicine Survives Under Medical Reform, Decentralisation and Pandemics” as part of the Ukrainian-Lithuanian project. Like many of her colleagues, she has become actively involved in volunteer work.

“We are working. Things are peaceful in our city so far. We started volunteering on 25 February, the second day of the war. We have created a thread on our website, where we coordinate the actions of all the volunteers and the needs of the security company. We have opened a Telegram channel for fast news. Trust in our publication has increased even more during these difficult days. We keep a chronicle of volunteering in the column “Volunteering: current needs of the defenders of Bilyayivka,” which is constantly updated. In this publication, everyone can see what the defenders of Ukraine and the Bilyayivka community need for the time being. Everyone can join in approaching our Victory and defending our country.

Under the current conditions it is very difficult to keep afloat financially – I have been collecting staff salaries by the penny. So far we have managed to pay people from the grant funds. But the big question is what will happen next,” says Halina.

Taras Zozulinskyy, a journalist and board chairman of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism “Detectives” (Lviv), prepared an anti-corruption investigative journalism series as part of the Ukrainian-Lithuanian project: Torture in prisons in Western Ukraine. Ill-treatment, murder and rape on the other side of the bars.” He is currently involved in the project “Information War on the Russian Aggressor.”

Foremost, it involves writing news, short articles and materials aimed at informational support for the Ukrainian defenders. Its additional component is to combat the Russian aggressor’s disinformation war, refuting Russian fakes and narratives broadcast on social networks. “Every day my colleagues and I promptly disseminate information on the official media resources of the state and law enforcement agencies and the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the organization’s outlets. There is a battle on the information front: writing mass complaints on Youtube channels and social networks, videos and clips on information resources and resources that support the war of the aggressor and engage in mass propaganda. The main direction is informational support of Ukraine’s defence: work with Google maps, writing comments, distributing photos and videos about Russian aggression in the Russian segment of Google maps – under landmarks, institutions, and buildings in Russia and Belarus. We also help the channel https://t.me/itarmyofukraine2022 as part of the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine’s tasks of information counteraction with the occupiers.”

Слава Україні!

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