For Five Months, Four Media Outlets Wrote about Ukrainian Refugees’ Problems and Experiences in Moldova

The Independent Journalism Center (IJC) supported four media outlets – TV8, Jurnal TV, Elita TV, and Studio-L – in producing content with and about Ukrainian refugees in the Republic of Moldova. For five months, the four newsrooms were interacting with dozens of refugees, listening to their life stories and empathizing with the issues they faced. These activities were supported by the “Support for Ukrainian Refugees through Media” project funded by the Government of Japan. This is a UNESCO initiative developed under the Ukraine Situation Regional Refugee Response Plan coordinated by the UNHCR.

The initiative was intended to improve refugees’ access to reliable and relevant information about the topics they were interested in, such as humanitarian aid provided by the authorities and partners or employment.

During the project, the journalists from the four newsrooms attended coaching sessions, during which they learned the principles of ethical coverage of the problems faced by refugees from local and international experts, examined various strategies for presenting conflict-related situations, and studied covering refugee issues in an unbiased and balanced manner on the basis of the facts. In addition, they also discussed constructive journalism and the way its principles could be applied to covering issues concerning Ukrainian refugees. The journalists considered the importance of initiating constructive debates in society, which could help the authorities find necessary solutions without contributing to the division of society.

Besides, the four newsrooms benefited from mentoring conducted by the local and international experts who guided them in the process of correct and impartial coverage of the topics regarding displaced persons from Ukraine.

In addition, the section titled “Refugees in the Press” was created on the Media Azi website, where various materials and interviews regarding refugee issues were published.

During these five months, the IJC’s media partners created dozens of video reports about displaced people from Ukraine, sharing their life stories, challenges, and opportunities they found in the Republic of Moldova with the audience. In these reports, the journalists covered the refugees’ needs, experiences, emotions, and psychological state. They also addressed the authorities asking to help the Republic of Moldova take major steps towards these people’s integration into society.

Elita TV, a channel from Rezina, aired a series of shows included in the section titled “Așa cum este” (“As It Is”) dedicated to various topics related to Ukrainians’ integration, such as inclusion of children in the educational process in kindergartens and schools, employment, volunteering, and small business development.

The Jurnal TV team aired several special editions of the “Cealaltă Basarabie” (“Another Bessarabia”) and „DE FACTO” shows in which refugees’ stories were told and various aspects of their situation in Moldova were discussed.

The Studio-L newsroom from Causeni broadcast several shows and reports included in the section titled “Oamenii războiului” (“People of War”), in which they covered the war as it was seen by those who had witnessed it with their own eyes.

The TV8 team brought such important topics as social cohesion and raising citizens’ awareness of the problems of displaced Ukrainians in Moldova to the public attention. During the show titled “Bună seara! Noi suntem din Ucraina” (“Good Evening! We’re from Ukraine”), TV8 covered the stories of many Ukrainian citizens in Moldova, promoting awareness and empathy towards the complicated situation of people from Ukraine in society.

Two persons from Ukraine were also involved in implementing the project activities, working directly in two newsrooms. These are journalist Irina Stryapko who joined TV8 shortly after the war broke out, and director Irina Odinobecova working at the Studio-L team in Causeni.

“The movie consisting of 9 episodes which I created as part of the Studio-L team covers not only the topic of war and personal dramas, but also such issues as psychological and physical violence, problems faced by persons with disabilities, struggle for life, the power of faith and, certainly, unconditional love. It was important to reveal the essence and strong points of each of the 9 protagonists. I would like to express my profound gratitude for an opportunity to speak about my country’s tragedy, pain, and loss, and Ukrainian people’s difficulties and problems via the media. This project helped the people open their hearts and tell us about their journey through this war. If our work made at least one person more sensitive, this is already an enormous result and a step towards peace,” Irina Odinobecova said.

The “Support for Ukrainian Refugees through Media” project implemented by the IJC and funded by the Government of Japan is a UNESCO initiative developed under the Ukraine Situation Regional Refugee Response Plan coordinated by the UNHCR.


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