„International standards of journalism in war and crisis for journalists“
On the 16-17 of March the Academy of the Ukrainian Press and Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation for Freedom hosted a workshop on „International standards of journalism in war and crisis for journalists“ in Chernihiv, a historic city in northern Ukraine. The participants, many from regions bordering the occupied territories, were mostly young journalists and journalism students who wish to become journalists in the near future.
The war in eastern Ukraine poses an entirely new situation for most Ukrainian journalists. However, especially in war times objective reporting is decisive. Therefore, the event focused on how to gather sound information from trustworthy sources, what the legal and ethical restrictions are and on the particular role of journalists during wars and conflicts.
Volodymyr Mostovyi, former head of the journalistic ethics committee and founder of the newspaper „Dzerkalo Tyzhnia“ summarised the purpose of the workshop with a simple phrase: “Journalists must report news, not views.“
The US-journalist Ian Bateson contributed to the workshop his knowledge about investigative and informative journalism. He noted that the demand for professional journalists is significant in Ukraine and that often young professionals lack experience and overall knowledge of the job at hand.
Participants confirmed his statement. Lena Sharapa said that in the course of the seminar she understood better how to find sound information and what can be considered a valid source. And that she is even more aware of why the profession of journalism is important. She stressed further that she understood how it is more important „to think with your brain than with your heart”.
Kate Gnyp expressed her satisfaction about the opportunity to learn from professionally more experienced journalists and experts about her profession. She found the experts’ insight important in order to recognise the importance of unbiased coverage. She admitted that while she finds it hard to change once mind after experiencing tragic events, the seminar helped her to understand why objective reporting remains vital.
The project was funded by the Federal Republic of Germany.