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Tolerance Workshop for Regional Journalists

August 22-23 – The Kyiv Post’s Media Development Foundation (MDF) conducted a two-day training for journalists titled “Journalism of Tolerance: Balanced Coverage of Minorities and Vulnerable Groups’ Issues.”

Offering journalists a carefully blended educational package, the workshop focused on story preparation, storytelling, writing skills, and developing reporting angles. The interactive and comprehensive program allowed 15 journalists representing 12 regions the flexibility to learn in small, friendly groups in Kyiv at their own pace.

MDF trainers and partners provided expert support and encouraged interaction throughout the workshop. Organizers selected the 15 participants from 128 applications, considered to be a high number of applications based on journalists’ interest in expanding their reporting perspectives.

On August 22, the workshop’s first day, MDF trainers Alyona Zhuk, Kyiv Post lifestyle editor, and Oksana Grytsenko, Kyiv Post war correspondent, presented on how to cover and write about ethnic minorities and other vulnerable groups.

On the second day, participating journalists heard from four representatives of Ukrainian nongovernmental organizations who presented as if in a news conference. Speakers included Yana Panfilova, an anti-HIV activist and founder of the organization Teenergizer, an online platform that strives to create a discrimination-free world with a focus on those who carry HIV; Tymur Levchuk, chairman of Fulcrum, an organization promoting greater acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people at home, work, and in society with equal rights and obligations; Yulia Myroniuk, an activist at Dostupno.UA, an organization working to make Kyiv a more accessible and comfortable city for people with disabilities; and Alyona Lunova, a lawyer from Vostok-SOS, an organization assisting people affected by the ongoing military conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Victoria Dubinets of the online newspaper in Ivano-Frankivsk said: “We had two busy days with great people. And it was really cool. Let’s be tolerant!”

Hromadske.Volyn’s Iryna Vlasiuk, based in in Lutsk, said: “My two passionate days that I spent, in the beginning with complete strangers, turned into me finding real supporters. It has been very interesting to listen to people who know who they are and what … they stand for. It is not a secret that, in Ukraine, we have a big problem with discrimination, but for whom it is still a secret, just be aware – we do have a problem. Journalism of tolerance should be available to every citizen of our country. And it is cool that MDF and Internews not only raise these issues, but also try to help us solve them. Thank you.”