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“Dictatorship of TECH” – MezhyhiryaFest 2021 Explores How Technology Has Changed Investigative Reporting and Media Sustainability in Ukraine

September 4-5 – The Media Development Foundation (MDF) organized the 7th MezhyhiryaFest international media festival, titled “Dictatorship of Tech”, with the support of the USAID Media Program in Ukraine (Internews), the US Embassy, the Open Society Foundations, the European Union Anti-Corruption Initiative, the EU Delegation to Ukraine, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), Solidarity Fund (Poland), and SCOOP Supporting Investigative Journalism. The event gathered 450 investigative journalists, media managers, anti-corruption and transparency activists, media and journalism experts, tool/solution providers, researchers, and policymakers from 12 countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including Eastern partnership countries, at the Mezhyhirya residence of former president Victor Yanukovych.

The festival focused on two main topics – investigative reporting and media management – and looked at how technology, particularly with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, has permeated so many aspects of journalists’ lives. The participants discussed how technology can be used to make investigative work better, how AI has become part of the media’s work, what technologies journalists are using now and what they will use in the future.

The winner of the Investigation of the Year Award was the journalism investigation American Dream of Victor Medvedchuk by RFE/RL’s team of Maksym Savchuk, Liubomyra Remazhevska, and Oleksandr Chernovalov. A special award was given to the UA:PBC investigative team of Inna Biletska, Alla Sadovnyk, Oleksandr Stratonov, and Dmytro Bondar, for their investigative report 100 Years of Isolation: What Is Ukrainian Psychiatry Hiding?

Photo credit: Media Development Foundation