The results of the PR-Workshop

PR-team or new media team with the trainer Johannes Hauswald received the experience of work as content-manager, PR-manager and SMM-manager of „Bürgerhaus Bennohaus“ (NGO). Excellent presentation about using social networks in Germany helped the participants to understand the attitude to new media in Europe. Everyone in the team got access to administrative page of the site bennohaus.info for adding materials about seminar. They choose their roles and tasks. At the same time it was created the web-site “Diary of the seminar” on the official web-page of the Institute of Journalism. The results of this workshop was creating the articles for the sites bennohaus.info and Institute of Journalism. The main part of the PR-team was to document all information and actions of the seminar by taking photos and writing articles about the work of the video groups and about the situation in Ukraine. In addition the PR-team created a gallery on the page bennohaus.info and on Facebook with photos which reflects the whole week and the activities of the project.

Evhen Tsymbalenko (Євген Цимбаленко), 36 from Ukraine

Focus on Ukraine and Germany – expert input by Wolgang Ressmann and Joachim Musholt

Germany is an important and reliable partner of Ukraine in the European Union. Federal Republic of Germany is the largest investor and the most important trade partner of Ukraine.­ According to Dr. Wolfgang Ressmann lately there’s a lot of speech of Ukraine in Germany, especially now during the war. It should be noted that Germany has no representation of ukrainian TV channels, unlike russian, though sometimes TV shows pieces of Ukrainian programs in translation. Russia is productively working on filling a German TV space with its propaganda, but Dr. Joachim Musholt is soothing – „There’re a lot of independent journalists in Germany, and they are trying to sort the information“. Dr. Musholt also notes that many began to speak about Ukraine only after the war. He is convinced that it should be done much earlier. „We had to be concerned about Ukraine 10 years ago, and maybe then there would be no such situation that we see now,“ – admits Dr. Musholt.Dr. Ressmann and Dr. Musholt are feeling quite optimistic – they like Ukraine and they are not afraid to be here. „I’m not afraid to come to Ukraine“ – Musholt says, „I love Ukraine and Ukrainians, and I’m sorry this European dialogue has not started before.“ „I think relations between Ukraine and Germany will be only better. Our project is a good example which is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany“ – sums up Wolfgang Ressmann. Experts say especially it is important to support free media, because they have to act as a bridgehead of civil society. That’s why such an exchange projects between Ukraine and European countries are very on time. To watch the whole interview click here.

Tetiana Litvinova (Тетяна Літвінова), 21 from Ukraine

The development of Citizens Media in Ukraine

The development of Citizens Media is very important for Ukraine. It should be noted that public media are independent of commercial trends and popular culture. But the problem is – they must develop a culture and do not depend on oligarchs. But in Ukraine there is no Citizens Media. Public Media has must serve the public society. It is financed by the public society and has to serve it. But Ukrainians are not willing to pay for media, because they are used to have it free of charge. The debate about the necessity of Public Media in Ukraine has been going on for about 10 years. Only after EuroMaydan President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko publicly signed the law on public broadcasting on April 7, 2015. This day is considered the birthday of Public Media in Ukraine. However, this is a long process. At the beginning the state should support Citizens Media. But we do not know whether public media will then be sponsored by the public society. Ukrainians must understand that if they want to have free media, they have to pay for it. We also have important example of those countries that were able to build public media in their countries. For example Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom. Therefore such projects as „Citizens Media for Intercultural and Political Dialogue“ held jointly with Germany should help to speed up the process of building Public Media in Ukraine.

Tetiana Litvinova (Тетяна Літвінова), 21 from Ukraine

Institute of Journalism at the National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv

The history of Institute of Journalism begins since 1947 when the new profession “Journalism” was opened on the basis of Faculty of Philology at the National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv. 87 persons who were yesterday’s front-line soldiers, serving in the soviet army in the war-time as war correspondents, party and komsomol workers became the first students of this new Faculty. Faculty of Journalism appeared rich in graduating students. Already in 60th years of ХХth century there was the glory of many Ukrainian poets, prose writers, publicists, literary critics, humorists and song writers who were its alumni. In 1991 the independence of Ukraine was announced. It caused the changes in all social, political, educational and scientific spheres of the young Ukrainian state. And the Faculty of Journalism did not become the exception and yet in 1993 it was renamed into the Institute of Journalism. Those two events designated also the new stage in development of journalistic education in the independent state. The special role and status of Institute of Journalism was grasped as a leading center of training of high-professional specialists for the young state. At Institute of Journalism there are 9 departments: Social Communications, Publishing and Editing, Advertising and PR, Electronic Editions and Mediadesign, Periodic Press, Television and Broadcasting, Film and TV Art, History of Journalism, Ukrainian Language and Stylistics. Also there are 6 educational laboratories here (polygraphic, publishing, mediadesign, TV studio, radio studio, informative and calculating sector). Today Institute of Journalism is both a leading educational institute of Ukraine and also the scientific research center. The major scientific directions of the Institute are scientific problems of domestic journalism studies, mass communication, publishing business, editorial management, history of journalism, advertising and public relations, forming of modern specialist model. It publishes also scientific literature on the acute issues of mass communications, textbooks and manuals on all educational disciplines and the scientific articles in 8 professional scientific collections. The Institute of Journalism maintains relations and co-operates fruitfully with the leading faculties, schools and institutes of journalism and mass communication from the USA, Germany, the Great Britain, France, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria and more than 100 journalistic centers from different countries all over the world; it carries out general scientific projects with authoritative international organizations, in particular, with the European Academy of Berlin, the Institute for European Affairs (Ireland), Fojo Media Institute (Sweden), Byelorussian Association of Journalists and others.

Natalia Vashchenko (Наталія Ващенко), 38 from Ukraine

Some impressions from the leaders of the workshops

During the seven days of our “Citizens Media for Intercultural and Political Dialogue” our projectleaders worked with participants. We have spoke a bit about their impressions of time they’ve spent in Ukraine. For Sofia Samoylova visiting Ukraine isn’t something new, but she said each time she meet new people and gets special impressions. “I’ve met many professional journalists here and it was important for me to teach them the work with the camera. It was a nice week and I think we reach our purpose and build a Citizen Media in Ukraine”. Grzegorz Konopski also visited Ukraine before. His main impressions are about Ukrainian people. “On this trip I could learn more about Kyiv and Maidan, about how people live with this. You are optimistic and full of energy and motivation to live in spite of everything.“ Daria Jaranovska’s a kind of romantic person so she had great impressions of visiting Kyiv Philarmonic. She also told about importance of journalist’s universality. “My dream is to read news on Polish channels, but now I do everything: I interview people, stay behind the camera, edit video and organize many events of our projects. It’s not so easy but useful because you can teach other people in future”. Johannes Hauswald, who works at the PR-department of the Bennohaus, is satisfied of his group’s work. He said about importance of promotion of his organization. “There should be some more organizations which will build up more Citizen Media in Ukraine and all over the world because Bennohaus is just the beginning. Without promoters who support our project there will be no success!”

Dmytro Kuznetsov (Дмитро Кузнецов), 25 from Ukraine

Freedom of press in Ukraine – To be or not to be?

In this hard period of transformation, freedom of press has a crucial meaning for Ukraine. Despite the fact, that there is no censorship in Ukrainian media de jure, de facto the question is more complicated. Let us start with considering the laws. The basic article that declares freedom of the press is 34th, which reads: “Everyone is guaranteed the right to freedom of thought and speech, and to the free expression of his or her views and beliefs. Everyone has the right to freely collect, store, use and disseminate information by oral, written or other means of his or her choice”. Also in the 15th article of Ukrainian Constitution, it is stated “censorship is prohibited”. However in fact situation is different. It is not an exaggeration to say, that almost all media in Ukraine are more or less controlled by their owners. Usually media belong to big businessmen and oligarchs. As the same time, media property is not even close to transparency. The owners of “Inter”, the most popular Ukrainian channel, are unknown, but it is sure, that the third part of the channel shares belongs to Russian companies. Ihor Kolomoyskyi, who is one of the richest Ukrainian businessmen with his $1400 million, is the owner of the second popularity channel “1+1” and many other media. The richest person of Ukraine, Rinat Akhmetov, is the owner of the third most popular TV-channel “Ukraine”. Last but not least – another milliardaire Viktor Pinchuk, who controls “New channel”, “STB”, “ICTV” and “M1”. Moreover, president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko controls “5th channel”. It is necessary to understand, that who pays – decides. For instance, let us consider “Inter”. As it is financed by Russia, it has prorussian position. The channel supports “Opposition bloc” (where many politicians from Yanukovych’s former party came). Nevertheless, this support is not open and obvious – it is attained with the help of manipulations. For example, when there is a reportage from the parliament, correspondents of “Inter” speak only with deputies from “Opposition bloc”, breaking the fundamental journalistic principle of the balance of thoughts. In the similar way, “1+1” is used for covert advertising Ihor’s Kolomoyskyi property and for promoting his interests. Covering the same event different channels will make it look completely different. Concerning printed media, there are also some problems. For example, with the “Vesti” (“News”) newspaper. Every morning it is given to people in the stops of public transport for free. This newspaper is concerned to be financed from Russia, and it contains many covert manipulations. It is important to understand, that people in Ukraine do not want to pay money for media. Therefore, if they can get a newspaper for free – they do it. In this way, “Vesti” newspaper demolishes the market of the press. To draw a conclusion, one can say that the most important task for now is to make Ukrainian media market more transparent. Only when people will know the owners of all media and understand how they influence their rhetoric, it will be possible to speak about the freedom of press in Ukraine. The new bill about media transparency can solve this problem. However, it is still far from being perfect and has disputable points.

Yana Stepaniuk (Яна Степанюк), 19 from Ukraine

Triumph of historical truth or just theft? – Looking back into the history of the Crimean Peninsula

Few years ago nobody could imagine, that in 21th century new military conflicts in Europe can begin. Moreover, no one could imagine that one country can just annex the territory of another. Nevertheless, it has really happened. Russian propaganda explained the annexing of the Crimean Peninsula as a triumph of historical truth and justice. It alleged that Crimea was “indigenously Russian land”. However was it really like that? Let us look back into the history of the peninsula to answer this question.

Archaeological evidence of human settlement in Crimea dates back to the Middle Paleolithic. In the early Iron Age Crimea was settled by two groups: the Tauri in southern Crimea, and the Scythians north of the Crimean Mountains. In the 6th century BC, Greeks established colonies along the Black Sea, such as Panticapaeum, Feodosiya and others. One century later the port of Chersonesos (modern Sevastopol) was founded. In 438 BC, the ruler of Panticapaeum assumed the title of the King of Cimmerian Bosporus. Bosporan Kingdom had strong connections with the Roman Empire.

In the later centuries, Crimea was invaded or occupied successively by the Goths (AD 250), the Huns (376), the Bulgars (4th–8th century), the Khazars (8th century). In the mid-10th century, the eastern area of Crimea was conquered by Prince Sviatoslav I of Kiev and became part of the Kievan Rus‘, the medieval country in the Eastern Europe with the capital in Kyiv. At the same time, the southern fringe of the peninsula was controlled by the Byzantine Empire as the Cherson theme. Kievan hold on the Crimean interior was lost in the early 13th century due to the Mongol invasions.

Since 1238 the Crimean interior was under the control of the Turco-Mongol Golden Horde from 1239 to 1441. The name Crimea (via Italian, from Turkic Qirim) originates as the name of the provincial capital of the Golden Horde, the city now known as Staryi Krym. The Byzantines, and their successor states continued to maintain their control over parts of southern Crimea until the Ottoman conquest in 1475. In the 13th century, the Republic of Genoa seized the settlements which their rivals, the Venetians, had built along the Crimean coast and established themselves at Cembalo (now Balaklava), Soldaia (Sudak), Cherco (Kerch) and Caffa (Feodosiya), gaining control of the Crimean economy and the Black Sea commerce for two centuries. After the destruction of the Mongolian Golden Horde army by Timur (1399), in 1449 the Crimean Tatars founded an independent Crimean Khanate. In 1478 it became a Turkic vassal state of the Ottoman Empire. The population of the Crimea was very mixed at that time: there still were any Greeks, Italians, Armenians, Jews, and Slavs. Crimean Tatar language gradually became the language of international communication. Concerning religions there were many Muslims, Christians and Israelites. In 1774, it was released as a nationally independent state, and formally annexed by the Russian Empire in 1783, becoming the Taurida Governorate.

As Russian historian Andrey Zubow writes in his article “Is Crimea our?” the seizure of the peninsula by Russia was bloody: native Muslim population moved to Turkey and decreased till the end of 18th century in 5 times; Christians were forcedly resettled. Muslim communities lost the ownership of water and land, which passed on to Russian noblemen. Many Greeks, Bulgarians, Armenians and German colonists moved to Crimea at that time. So in 1795 Tatars amounted 87,6% of population, in 1897 – 35,6%, 1920 – 25% and in 1939 – 19,4%.

After the October Revolution Crimea became a sovereign state, but independence did not last long. After Bolsheviks seized the peninsula they shot many White Guardist and many of people, who were loyal to them (in total 60,000 of people died). In 1921, Crimea became the part of Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Bolsheviks also provoked famine in 1921-1922 took another 80,000 lives. However, the most tragic page of the Crimean history was the forcible deportation of the Crimean Tatars in from Crimea which began in 18th of May 1944. The deportation was ordered by Joseph Stalin as a form of collective punishment for alleged collaboration with the Nazi occupation regime in Taurida Subdistrict during 1942-1943. More than 230,000 people were deported mostly to the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. This included 191,000 Crimea Tatars, 15,040 Greeks, 12,242 Bulgarians, 9,600 Armenians, 3650 Turks and Persians. A large number of deportees (more than 100,000 according to a 1960s survey by Crimean Tatar activists) died from starvation or disease as a direct result of deportation. This is the example of terrible genocide.

The population of Crimea decreased by three times. Later the veterans of war, former Russian officers, members of NKVD and others populated the peninsula again. All historical ethnical groups disappeared. Only during the 1980-es, the process of their return began. Nevertheless, other people were already living at their lands untill that time, that lead to many conflicts.

On 19 February 1954, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR issued a decree on the transfer of the Crimean region of the RSFSR to the Ukrainian SSR. This Supreme Soviet Decree states that this transfer was motivated by „the commonality of the economy, the proximity, and close economic and cultural relations between the Crimean region and the Ukrainian SSR“. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Crimea became part of the newly independent Ukraine. Independence was supported by a referendum in all regions of Ukrainian SSR, including Crimea. 54% of the Crimean voters supported independence with a 60% turnout. In 1994, the legal status of Crimea as part of Ukraine was backed up by Russia, who pledged to uphold the territorial integrity of Ukraine in a memorandum signed in 1994, also signed by the US and UK.

In general, Ottoman Empire possessed the peninsula for three centuries, while Russian Empire controlled it less that one century with the half. It was part of Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic for 34 years and of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and independent Ukraine – for 60 years. As we see, to say that Crimea is either Russian or Ukrainian would be a mistake, because the native population was mainly Tatar. Anyway, Crimea was never “indigenously Russian land”, and Russian government in Crimea caused only disaster for population of the peninsula. We can just hope, that Russian will also understand that.

Yana Stepaniuk (Яна Степанюк), 19 from Ukraine