Half a million for Kherson: Reporting on the collection and thanking everyone who contributed

At the end of 2022, we decided to assist the Kherson branch of Public Broadcasting by raising one million hryvnias so that our colleagues from the liberated city could purchase the necessary equipment. The idea succeeded halfway: Lviv Media Forum raised and transferred 515 thousand hryvnias for the needs of "Suspilne. Kherson".

When the Russians came to Kherson, they seized the office of the Suspilne branch, looted, and practically destroyed it. Despite this, the media workers continued their work: journalists in the occupation, risking their lives, collected and transmitted materials, while their colleagues in evacuation transformed them into articles and news.

After liberation in November 2022, the team returned and has since been working under daily shelling: reporting on events in the region and assisting law enforcement in documenting Russian crimes.

To help our colleagues, we launched the website suspilne.lvivmediaforum.com featuring stories from the journalists of Suspilne. Kherson and opened a fundraising campaign for the most essential items for them — laptops, cameras, smartphones, other studio equipment, and so on.

We approached fundraising creatively — together with "The Last Barricade", we hosted a conversation about the past and future of Kherson cuisine; we invited media professionals from Lviv to a charity party where cocktails were crafted by the legendary journalist and culinary marketer Vsevolod Polishchuk; we collaborated with YouTubers, opinion leaders, and popular performers.

We didn't manage to collect the expected one million hryvnias. Well, it happens, especially now when most Ukrainians prioritize supporting the defense forces. But half a million is still very good, especially when it can bring real benefits to our colleagues. With the money we collected, Kherson journalists purchased six powerful laptops and filming equipment. Editors and digital platform workers now efficiently edit timely videos for news and the YouTube channel on these laptops.

"The videos depicting the daily shelling of the city are edited precisely on these devices," the branch told us. "Also, videos were edited on them about a philosophy teacher, which garnered 1.3 million views; about the head of the OSBB, who survived the occupation and continues to work in liberated Kherson, with over a million views; and about the restoration of a farm in the village of Soldatske, with 227 thousand views".

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this fundraising effort and helped spread the word. Please continue to support Suslilne and other high-quality and responsible Ukrainian media. We also thank our colleagues in Kherson who persist and carry out their work on the front lines.