It is not an easy task to highlight current events during pandemic. Nevertheless, journalism has succeed in tackling this problem. Such questions as how different countries battle disinformation, fake news and disturbances in the society under political pressure were discussed within the international project “Mediadialog 2020 for Participation and Understanding”.
The project, which has been funded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany for more than 5 years, faced an unexpected obstacle in 2020 – coronavirus pandemic. However, the project managers succeed in combining usual work methods with the up-to-date techniques and approaches. Though the majority of the problems (regarding armed conflicts and wars in Georgia, Armenia and Ukraine) remain unchangeable, new challenges have emerged. In particular, the election processes in Georgia and Belarus require a more detailed analysis from the media. The situation in Moldova, part of which has been out of the official control of Kishinev for decades, remains on the agenda too.
Therefore, Dr. Wolfgang Ressmann has initiated a videoconference for the second time since the beginning of the project.
Directors of the non-governmental organizations and representatives of universities from different countries took part in a substantive dialog: Mkrtic Tonoyan (Armenia), Mamuka Andguladze (Georgia), Andrei Bastunets (Belarus), Lina Kushch, Yuriy Zaliznyak, Volodymyr Danyliuk, Tetiana Kuznetsova, Yevhen Tsimbalenko (Ukraine).
It is established that the project “Mediadialogue for Democracy and Peace” will be implemented in a flexible mode, according to the quarantine restrictions of the participating countries.
“It is interesting to learn how journalism functions in different countries. Though dreadful COVID-19 statistics occupy the vast majority of media space, it is not the only problem that needs to be addressed. Participants from Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia claimed that political instability and wars, which destroy public welfare, must be highlighted in mass media too. These problems did not evaporate. They become even more urgent.” – student of Applied Linguistics Department (Faculty of foreign languages) – Anna Smoliar.
“In fact, such events are not really new to me: conferences, seminars, lectures etc. However, a serious online meeting on an online platform is totally new experience! It perfectly illustrates the challenges people, including journalists, face during today’s pandemic. Such projects, which involve countries with acute problems that cannot be ignored, force us to look at the world from a different angle, people who know exactly what they have seen with their own eyes, who are experiencing right now, they are valuable informants. I am pleased to be a part of this project. It is an opportunity to re-evaluate what you see and what you know.” – Solomia Nylolaievych added.
Professional journalist must be flexible, precise and objective. Mediadialog has changed its traditional format due to the current restrictions. However, the communication remained rather effective. This means that a positive result will be achieved and there will be more young journalists, who will create objective news and battle hostile propaganda.
In the photo by Serhiy TSYURYTS: participants of the videoconference from Volyn – student Solomia Nykolaiyevych, director of the “Forum of Ukrainian Journalists” Volodymyr Danyliuk, student Anna Smoliar; on the computer screen – participants from different European countries.