In 2023, the LMF conference unfolded from May 25 to May 27, 2023. The event took place live, with online streaming, in the bomb shelter of the Lviv Tech City business center in Lviv.
The LMF 2023 had several goals
- Enhance international solidarity with Ukraine.
- Counteract harmful narratives about Ukraine in the global information space.
- Reflect on the media’s experience in covering the war and its significance in Ukrainian and global media.
- Promote the effective communication of the Ukrainian perspective to global media audiences.
- Aid stakeholders in sharing their vision for a people-centric recovery in Ukraine.
The central theme of LMF 2023
In 1989, it appeared that dictatorship, militarism, and economic decline in Europe were relics of the past. However, the current global “axis of evil” is gaining strength, and Western civilization is once again on the brink of a major war — a battle for the very existence and authenticity of democracy. In this war, media is not just a chronicler but also a cornerman, where the future confronts the past, civilization grapples with modern barbarism, and life contends with death.
Considering the ways in which civilizations decline, the organizers sought to understand how they endure. To what extent are we responsible for ensuring that the democratic world remains true to itself? These questions were collectively explored during the IX LMF.
Speakers and Participants
The conference language was English, with simultaneous translation into Ukrainian.
In 2023, the conference drew 469 attendees from Ukraine and 17 other countries, including Belarus, Latvia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany, France, Czech Republic, the UK, the USA, Canada, Switzerland, Moldova, New Zealand, and Denmark.
Participants of LMF 2023 included:
- Media professionals,
- Politicians and diplomats,
- Representatives of international and Ukrainian non-governmental organizations,
- Civil activists and human rights advocates,
- Business representatives, and others.
The speakers at LMF 2023 included representatives from Financial Times, CNN, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, France 24, The Reckoning Project, Libération, and other international media and organizations. Out of the 50 speakers, 29 were from Ukraine, including Liubov Halan, Yevhen Hlibovytsky, Liubov Tsybulska, Volodymyr Yermolenko, Pavlo Klimkin, Anastasiia Stanko, Boris Davidenko, and others, while 21 were from other countries, including David Stulik, Peter Pomerantsev, Peter Kreko, Ron Haviv, Sabra Ayres, and others.
The conference was moderated by the German political scientist, founder, and director of the European Resilience Initiative Center, Serhiy Sumlenny.
The headline speakers at LMF 2023 were Janine di Giovanni and Oksana Zabuzhko.
Janine di Giovanni is a writer, war correspondent, and former researcher at Yale University.
For three decades, she immersed herself in 19 conflicts and wars spanning the Balkans, the Middle East, and Africa, providing notable coverage of the Bosnian and Rwandan genocides. Her professional dedication centers on the experience of civilians and the observance of human rights. Presently, Janine scrutinizes attack patterns on civilians in Putin’s wars and leads The Reckoning Project documenting war crimes in Ukraine.
Watch Janine di Giovanni’s full presentation here.
Oksana Zabuzhko is a writer, poet, and essayist.
In the 1990s Oksana Zabuzhko, after Ukraine’s declaration of independence, taught Ukrainian studies at Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Universities, and Harvard. Confronting future pivotal moments in Ukraine’s history, she delved into researching the theme of national identity, serving as a writer and public figure.
In 2022, Oksana Zabuzhko authored the essay “The Longest Journey,” unraveling the motifs and profound aspects of the Russo-Ukrainian war for Western audiences. This encompasses both the ongoing war and the broader 300-year ideological confrontation.
Feel free to watch Oksana Zabuzhko’s full presentation here.
LMF 2023 was proudly supported by the Public Broadcasting Company as its official information partner. They extensively covered and showcased the event nationwide through broadcasts and online platforms, featuring numerous stories and interviews with participants.
Among the information partners were The Ukrainians Media, Media Group Nakypilo, Radio Svoboda, Euromaidan Press, and various Ukrainian and international organizations (Prague Civil Society Centre, Press Club Belarus, DW Akademie, and more).
Beyond Ukraine, international media outlets such as Dwutygodnik, Agencia EFE, Infobae, La Prensa Latina Media, ddb24.pl, The Fix, Belsat, Baltics News, and others reported on the conference.
Conference Content Highlights
The conference team recorded all program events in both Ukrainian and English languages. These recordings are available for viewing on the link. Additionally, we recommend exploring the materials provided by the conference’s media partners.
- Beyond the headlines: insights from journalists covering the Russo-Ukrainian war. The FIX
- “Lviv media forum” – in the underground parking lot they discuss the war and the role of journalists. Baltics News
- Journalists discuss challenges in making Ukrainian voices heard in context of war. EPA Images
- What's your media job: War correspondent. The FIX
- Reporters debate how to make Ukrainian voices resonate around the world. La Prensa Latina Media
- Peter Kreko, a Hungarian political scientist and disinformation expert, remarked: “It was an absolute honor to participate in the Lviv Media Forum at a roundtable with very good experts. It was a brilliant event, with a lot of wonderful people in a supercool city.”
- Francisca Davis, researcher in the history of Central and Eastern Europe: “It was such an honour. This was not only the best organized conference I have ever been to, but also the coolest.”
- Botakoz Kassymbekova, Doctor of History from the University of Basel: “Lviv Media Forum 2023 was the most inspiring, moving and thought-provoking conference in my life. Learning from Ukrainian analysts who are also heroes and from war correspondents who speak through tears was a true honor and privilege.”
Donors and Partners
The IX LMF was organized by the team of the NGO Lviv Media Forum.
We would like to express our gratitude for the support of the event to the National Endowment for Democracy, the U.S. Embassy Media Development Fund in Ukraine, the U.S. Agency for International Development, Internews, the Media Program in Ukraine, the International Renaissance Foundation, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, UNESCO, and the people of Japan.
Program partners: Public Interest Journalism Lab, Healthy Solutions for an Open Society Foundation, The European Resilience Initiative Center.
General information partner: Public Broadcasting Company.
Information partners: The Ukrainians Media, Media Group Nakypilo, Prague Civil Society Centre, Press Club Belarus, DW Akademie, IMS (International Media Support), Global Forum for Media Development, Radio Svoboda, Ukrainian PEN, and Euromaidan Press.
The cultural program is organized with the support of the Ukrainian Institute and Ukrainer. Special thanks to Lviv City Council for their support. Logistics partner: Bolt.
LMF 2024 will take place on May 16-18. For all inquiries regarding the organization of the conference and media comments, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.