The start of Media Lifeline Ukraine
On March 4th, Free Press Unlimited organised a crisis meeting in Amsterdam to bring together journalists, media experts, involved organisations and others, to discuss how we can provide long term support for independent media outlets and journalists in Ukraine. This is where Media Lifeline Ukraine was introduced: a coalition to protect journalists and keep reliable information available in and around Ukraine.
During the crisis meeting, journalists and experts active in the region explained why supporting independent media in Ukraine and to neighboring countries in the long term is absolutely essential, and why a minimum of 2 million euros would be needed to keep the flow of reliable information going.
Joining us live via Zoom, Ukrainian journalist Nataliya Gumenyuk based in Kyiv told us: “What I hear is that very soon there won’t be electricity or internet. Everything is still very much in shortage. Things like batteries, generators, satellite phones, nobody can afford them. This should be considered now- we are not there yet, it’s not that urgent now, but it will be and then it will be too late. Unless we think about it now.”
Moderated by Free Press Unlimited Director Ruth Kronenburg, the crisis meeting, discussions were led together with organisations such as the European Journalism Centre, Raam op Rusland, the Dutch Association of Journalists, VPRO, PR Dashboard, Museum of WW2 Resistance, Beeld en Geluid Den Haag and the European Press Prize. Ideas were exchanged about what was most needed and how help could be offered to independent media in and around Ukraine. After the meeting, we also announced a cooperation with Reporters without Borders (RSF) to join efforts in the protection of Ukrainian journalists.
Introducing the start of Media Lifeline Ukraine
Together with our partners, we kick started Media Lifeline Ukraine on Giro 7676. Only with ongoing external support, will local media entities be able to continue to do their work. Media companies that we have been working with for over a decade now, indicate that there is a need for practical support and importantly, help for the longer term, to maintain the flow of reliable information.
This includes support through the provision of equipment: equipment to be able to continue reporting, but also digital security (VPNs) as well as the setting up of media hubs in neighboring countries with offshore newsrooms, where journalists are relatively safe and can come together to do their important work.
The coalition will work closely together to provide this and other aid for the longer term, in order to keep independent reporting alive - in what might soon become an occupied Ukraine.
Do you wish to contribute? Donate now and support Ukraine.