The first foreign Lviv Media Forum residency. Results

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Ukrainian journalists have faced a significant burden: financial difficulties, high-stress levels, and, in some cases, even life-threatening conditions. To help them regain their strength and continue to work for the victory, Lviv Media Forum has held a monthly residency program in Przemyśl (from May 7 till June 11).

It provided participants with scholarships, accommodation, workspace, and opportunities for professional growth. In addition, a significant component of the program was the interaction: networking with Ukrainian and foreign colleagues; the optional support of a psychotherapist and a mentor.

Media workers who:

  • were not subject to compulsory mobilization; 
  • worked on significant social issues; 
  • experienced traumatic events due to work on the front line of war; 
  • had more than two years of professional experience 

could join the first LMF Media Residency Program.

Kateryna Levchenko, a project manager of the residency program: “We created this project to support Ukrainian journalists. The residence in Przemyśl has become an island of rest and physical and psychological recovery for further work in Ukraine.

Participation in the collective residency allowed to feel mutual support, sharing experiences, gaining new professional contacts, and working through traumatic events with professional psychotherapists.”

11 media workers took part in the first foreign residency of the Media Forum in Przemyśl. For safety reasons, the organization can only speak about those who came in public. Among them were representatives of Hromadske Radio, GRE4KA.INFO, Censor.NET, Chytomo, Marie Claire Ukraine, and Rayon.Lutsk, as well as public activists from Mariupol and Lutsk.

Professional training during the residency

The work of journalists and other media professionals in Ukraine now requires additional skills. Therefore, the residency program included a series of educational events.

  • A three-day training from IREX, an organization specializing in international assistance to education and development, crisis management, first aid, and the basics of digital security.
  • Training from Outriders, a Polish media organization that covers global issues of a local impact, on how to create multimedia projects, write stories and lead reporters teams.
  • Visiting Gazeta Wyborcza, where the residents learned about the financial model, the principles of working with the audience, and the organization of internal processes of one of the most influential editorial boards in Poland.
  • Lecture on fundraising to show the possibilities of new funding sources for the media.

Ksenia Minchuk, a journalist and live host of Hromadske Radio: “The residency in Przemyśl inspired me. The city is beautiful, and the ladies are amazing. Leisure, study, and work are a successful combination. Training, workshops, and live communication are essential to feeling the vortex of our ordinary life before the war.”

Anel Sudakevych, a journalist and an editor of Censor.NET: “During the residency, we compared the work of the Polish editorial offices Outriders and Gazeta Wyborcza. The CEO of Outriders Jakub Górnicki spoke about the principles of his media: the approach to the implementation of collective projects and storytelling methods aimed at different audiences. It was surprising that Jakub explained the ways of storytelling on the example of my favorite edition of Schemes.”

The cultural program of the residency

The cultural program complemented the residency educational program. Its purpose was to inspire participants to work on individual projects. For this purpose, tours to the historic center and the castle of Przemyśl, kayaking, watching movies, visiting Krasiczyn, and the blues and street food festival took place.

Anastasia Dziubak, a journalist and an editor of the GRE4KA.INFO information portal: “This is my first experience in the “workation” format. The month passed quickly and intensively: work, training, trips. At the same time, it helped to reboot from the ordinary, to see the new. For the first two weeks, every suspicious sound seemed like an alarm to me. It was not possible to be a tourist. Eventually, the tranquility of the small town relaxed. The group of participants was lovely, and I had much to ask and learn from them.”

Victoria Feshchuk, a project manager of Chytomo: “The residency was intensive. We had a cultural program, a series of workshops, and psychological sessions. It contributed to the all-around activity and resembled the format of a journalism school at the same time. In the end, I feel fulfilled with communications, impressions, and instrumental advice.”

The Media Forum team plans to continue the residencies, as the support and comprehensive rehabilitation of journalists is one of our priorities during the war. To become a member of the next program, follow the announcements on our website or social networks.

The LMF Media Residency Program was implemented with the support of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED).

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