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Safeguarding the future of journalism in Ukraine: MediaFit event to be held in Brussels

After three years of supporting local and regional media in Ukraine, the EU and German-funded program will host an event on the future of journalism in Ukraine on April 18 and 19.

Register here to attend the panel discussion and awards ceremony.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, supporting regional media has taken on new urgency. Through the MediaFit program, which has been implemented by DW Akademie, journalists and media outlets in southern and eastern Ukraine have been able to continue to provide independent and reliable information from the front lines. To recognize the work of media workers in Ukraine and to celebrate three years of EU-funded media support in Ukraine, the MediaFit program is holding an event in Brussels on April 18 and 19.

On Friday, April 19, panelists will discuss the future of Ukrainian media from 10 am to 3 pm at the Breydel Building in Brussels. An awards ceremony for the top Ukrainian media products supported by MediaFit will follow. “Resilient Ukrainian media – the way forward” will be open to the public.

The event will have a message from:

  • Henrik Huitfeldt, Head of Human and Local Development, EU Delegation to Ukraine

The discussion panel, moderated by Alexandra von Nahmen (Brussels Bureau Chief, DW):

  • Oksana Diakun, Deputy Head of the Mission of Ukraine to the European Union
  • Mykola Chernotytskyi, Head of the Managing Board, Suspilne – Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine
  • Vasilisa Stepanenko, Associated Press producer (Academy Award winner 20 Days in Mariupol) and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
  • Veronika Kucherchuk, Programme Officer Ukraine, European Endowment for Democracy
  • Jeanne Cavelier, Head of RSF Eastern Europe – Central Asia Desk, Reporters Without Borders

The event will be preceded by an interactive performance and multimedia experience on April 18 that will highlight journalists and media makers from southern and eastern Ukraine. Performances from Olha Chyhryk, Yaryna Shums’ka and Mariya Koziy and a multimedia gallery featuring images and stories from Ukrainian photographer George Ivanchenko will be on display in Station Europe (Place du Luxembourg, 100 1050 Brussels). The event will be open to the public from 3-5 PM.

Carsten von Nahmen, Managing Director, DW Akademie:

“Russia’s war in Ukraine is also an information war. Local and regional media are on the front lines, providing independent and reliable information for their audiences. The MediaFit program supports regional media from the south and east of Ukraine – regions that have suffered heavily due to the war, have few local revenue opportunities and are most exposed to Russian propaganda and disinformation campaigns.”

Mykola Chernotytskyi, Head of the Managing Board, Suspilne:

“It is difficult to overestimate the role of Deutsche Welle in the establishment and development of Public Service Media of Ukraine, a modern company integrated into the European media environment. In the third year of the full-scale invasion, we are not only holding on, but also implementing development projects together with our partners.”

Henrik Huitfeldt, Head of Human and Local Development, EU Delegation to Ukraine:

“EU support has provided a lifeline to independent media, ensuring reliable information and coverage, while countering disinformation in the front lines. It is a testament to the resilience of Ukrainian media workers, who have been unwavering in their commitment to upholding democracy and protecting Ukraine.”

About MediaFit

The MediaFit program, established in 2021, originally focused on the economic aspects of media and media innovation in southern and eastern Ukraine. Since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion in 2022, it has focused on rapid survival assistance in times of war for 14 independent regional media whose local reporting on the front lines has kept local and international audiences informed.

Through MediaFit’s Creators Fund, the program has also directly supported over 60 journalists and media makers in producing high quality content from the regions, which include podcasts, multimedia reportages and fact-checking projects. The program has also supported the public broadcaster Suspilne (UA:PBC) in documentary production and capacity building via Canal France International. The Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT trained a network of 40 Ukrainian journalists on fact-checking and security.

MediaFit is funded by the European Union with co-financing from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). DW Akademie is Deutsche Welle’s center for international media development, journalism training and knowledge transfer.