Update on our work for Media Lifeline Ukraine
From the very beginning, our teams in Amsterdam and Prague, and our partners in the region, have been working day and night to bring journalists to safety and/or provide them with essentials to continue their important work. "It is very rewarding to be able to help journalists in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia and so keep the reliable flow of information alive," says Free Press Unlimited Director Ruth Kronenburg in an update about the time since the start of the invasion.
This would not have been possible without all the support. We have received so many supportive messages and generous donations. The partners and supporters of Media Lifeline Ukraine have been essential to realise this Lifeline. We are not there yet, but the start has been made.
Up until now we have been able to get 375 Ukrainian, but also Russian journalists to a safe place, we have brought 150 high-quality ballistic vests and helmets across the border for the direct protection of journalists reporting at the front lines, and we are continuously working on the digital security of journalists in the region, for example by providing VPNs and protection against hacks. This way they can continue to share their information with the rest of the world.
In addition to the immediate danger to the thousands of journalists still working in Ukraine, the few independent media that still remain in Belarus and Russia are increasingly threatened by censorship, criminal prosecution and open intimidation. Free Press Unlimited continues to advocate for the provision of emergency visas to these independent journalists who are determined to continue their reliable coverage of Ukraine-related events.
Emergency aid is still much needed, but it is also very important to look ahead. Long-term support is needed to sustain independent journalism in the region in the future. For example, by placing media hubs in safe places in the region where journalists receive psycho-social support, can work together, and receive advice on legal, digital and physical safety. We are busy realizing these complicated, but much-needed refuges, also in a collaboration with Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Two hubs that we initially set up in Poland for journalists from Belarus, are now also used by journalists from Ukraine.
I am very thankful for all the support we have received thus far. Let's continue to stand up together for the right to information of the people of Ukraine and neighboring countries. Free Press Unlimited will continue to work to protect journalists and their vital role in society and to ensure access to factual, timely and relevant information. For everyone.
Through our dossier, and our social media channels, we will keep you informed on our work.
With kind regards,
Director Free Press Unlimited
See here who the partners and supporters of Media Lifeline Ukraine are.