Hromadske Radio: By 2020, we plan to become accessible for 95% of Ukrainians

Hromadske Radio: By 2020, we plan to become accessible for 95% of Ukrainians
August 25, 2016.

Founders of Hromadske Radio while presenting plans for the nearest future touch upon technical upgrade of the radio, expand their broadcasting and introduce new elements to the content.

Kyiv, August 25, 2016. In the next four years Hromadske Radio plans to broaden its content and audience, to receive higher frequencies and to start broadcasting in as many Ukrainian cities as possible. “By 2020 we intend to create a successful multimedia platform that would provide access to our content for nearly 95 per cent of Ukrainians,” stated Andriy Kulykov, head of “Hromadske Radio” Board, at a press conference in Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Creation of public broadcasting was and still remains our main priority, not only through advice, but through our active work that could become a prototype of it. We are ready to work not only apart from public broadcasting, as an additional broadcaster, but also in partnership with it or as a part of public broadcasting,” he noted. To achieve these strategic goals, “Hromadske Radio” is going to lobby necessary bills, arrange partnership and improve its content quality.

As of today, “Hromadske Radio” is broadcasting in 12 Ukrainian cities, reminded Oleksandr Buziuk, director of NGO “Hromadske Radio” enterprise “TV & radio company “Hromadske Radio”. “We have four licenses in the east of Ukraine and one more in Kyiv, in VHF-range. We also received temporary broadcasting license in the frontline areas for the period of war,” he said. Recently the radio launched Youtube-stream.

“Our next plan is to start broadcasting in Dnipro (former Dnipropetrovsk), where we received a frequency in lower range. We continue our participation in all tenders of the National Council for Frequencies Distribution and hope that in the future we will receive frequencies in regional centers. This would allow us to struggle for survival on the media market,” said Mr. Buziuk. The radio plans to spread broadcasting on the whole territory of the country, however, eastern regions are the priority. “We addressed to the National Council once again with the request to provide frequencies for broadcasting in Mariupol, Kostyantynivka, Severodonetsk and Lysychansk,” he added. “Hromadske Radio” has already tried to receive frequencies in Kherson region, close to Crimea, that would allow broadcasting on the occupied peninsula. However, competition results turned out to be successful for commercial structures: they received all the available frequencies except for one, given to the national radio. “As of today, the only possible way to listen to us in Crimea is through satellite,” noted Oleksandr Buziuk.

On the technical side the radio is switching to the latest technologies. “We decided to stop developing VHF broadcasting and to use Web-broadcasting instead. […] The main reason is that we hope that 4G і 5G Internet once will be launched in Ukraine, and our audience would have opportunity to listen to radio stream,” noted Kyrylo Lukerenko, chief editor at “Hromadske Radio”. They will also develop a special mobile application.

“Hromadske Radio” will continue producing materials with “long-lasting” effect, those inciting reflections on issues that are important for Ukraine on its way of transformation. Meanwhile, we will give more attention to routine issues – how to fill in bills for public utilities services, how to use resources more efficiently. […] We will also continue developing our studio as a platform for discussions on sensible issues, a place for debates and achieving compromise,” said Iryna Slavinska, producer of programs “Rankova Khvylya” (“Morning Wave”) and “Hromadska Khvylya” (“Civil Wave”). The news block will be broadened, as well as entertainment content, more languages will be used. In addition, “Hromadske Radio” is going to open reporter offices in other cities. The first one will be opened in Kramatorsk.

Another internal aim is to enhance management efficiency, as during these 3 years a grassroots initiative of three journalists has grown into a team of 70 people. “To manage this number of people and tasks is quite a serious challenge. […] We are trying to create a management system that would allow everyone to work efficiently and to concentrate on main tasks,” said Petro Koshakov, development director of “Hromadske Radio”. One of the problems is a permanent uncertainty about the future, as the project depends a lot on donor’s financial help. “We want to create a salary fund, so that we could have at least six month planning horizon and that our staff could feel more confident,” he said. Andriy Kulykov added that financial contributions from the audience, as well as colleagues support remain “a priceless help”. In the very beginning our colleagues from “Europa Plus”, “Magnolia TV” and some others supported us, and we are very grateful to them. This is a proof that Ukrainian journalists and other specialists from this field can unite efforts when needed,” said Mr. Kulykov.

Kyrylo Lukerenko noted that “Hromadske Radio” is open for everyone willing to join its team as interns or staff members. Since the beginning 2016, 15 journalists have already participated as interns. “Preparing new specialists for Ukrainian media, and not Ukrainian only, is also a part of our mission. […] We are looking for new colleagues and we will be glad to see new talented people in our team,” he stated. As of today, “Hromadse Radio” has opened competitions on vacancies of website editor, newswire journalist  and project psychologist.

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