Media professionals to be trained to hold investigations and protect their rights – training organizers

Reforms experts and journalists team up to train media and communication professionals, journalists to cover economic reforms in Ukraine.

A series of master-classes “Up-to-date tools for media workers” starts on April 19. It is called to help journalists, bloggers and other media and communication professionals cover reform process in Ukraine. It was stated by Olena Khotenko, head of the board at the NGO Institute for Tax Reforms, during a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Ukraine is going through the reform process that is of utmost importance and that develops quickly. Civil society demands the quality, quick, analytical coverage of these developments and reliable information on each of the reforms. That is the reason why in the framework of the Media etc. initiative we train journalists, assist them with information and in practice, help them hold journalistic investigations and cover Ukraine’s economic reforms in the professional way,” Khotenko said. “Freedom of speech depends on how professional the journalists are. Training is one of the most efficient tools,” said Andrii Kulykov, head of the board at the NGO Hromadske Radio (Public Radio).

Themes of the master-classes were chosen based on the needs of the journalists themselves. They include holding journalistic investigations, protection of the rights of journalists and civic activists during investigations. “We will focus on up-to-date methods and forms used to get information, as information is the journalist’s main weapon. We will be highlighting the sources which the journalists can use to get public and open information. We will also discuss how to work with this information, how journalistic investigations can be transformed into particular cases,” said the project’s lecturer Yurii Tsymbal. “Investigations in the energy sector are the most efficient. Without high-quality journalistic investigations the reforms that are slowly moving would not be possible at all. It is important for us that the journalists are skilled in holding investigations that would later become part of investigations led by law enforcement and would help eliminate the abusive schemes that are killing our energy sector,” added Taras Tkachuk, senior expert at the DixiGroup analytical center.

The master-classes will be also dedicated to interaction with law enforcement and controlling agencies. “One needs to know how to use their rights. We will familiarize them with legal mechanisms so that they know how to protect themselves,” noted lecturer Alisa Kozulina. Other aspects covered by the course include conflictology in journalism, taxes, finance, budget, procurement in agriculture, access to public information, protection of dignity and business reputation, analysis of legal practice and fiscal aspects of journalist’s work.

A total of five master-classes will be held. All of them are free of charge. Thirty five media workers from across Ukraine have already registered. Participants of the economic journalism competition held by the Institute of Tax Reforms and Hromadske Radio last year, were automatically enrolled in the master-class. Other media representatives were also encouraged to apply for participation in the training event.