Keeping Independent Media in Ukraine Operational

The invasion of Ukraine has turned journalists into war correspondents under physical threat and into purveyors of lifesaving information to millions of refugees. Invading forces are destroying broadcast towers, kidnapping and killing journalists, and blocking internet access—over 243 such crimes have been committed against Ukrainian media to date. The Ukrainian people have been deprived of lifesaving information about accessing shelter, finding food, and traveling safely.

Journalists in Ukraine need our help now. Safety equipment, first aid kits, and secure technology—all now extremely difficult to obtain—are required to report on the crisis. As all eyes stay on Ukraine, ensuring the survival of independent, local media is paramount to maintaining the flow of accurate information that saves lives, debunks disinformation, and galvanizes global resolve.

“If the national media closes and goes bankrupt, there will always be an alternative. But if local media closes or goes bankrupt, there will be no replacement. Sources of information for local people will be propaganda sites and social media chatter.”

Haiane Avakian, head of online media outlet Svoy.city, May 16, 2022

Internews’ Track Record of Supporting Media in Ukraine

For nearly 30 years, Internews has worked to bolster independent media in Ukraine. We have supported investigative reporting and anti-corruption efforts, the introduction of media literacy in schools, crucial media regulatory reforms, innovations in combatting disinformation, and initiatives to help media outlets become financially sustainable.

Our team is working hard to protect and preserve the independent Ukrainian media sector and to help journalists continue their vital work. We are also committed to working for years to come to ensure Ukraine maintains a vibrant media sector that provides citizens with vital information, debunks disinformation, and holds power to account.

So far, Internews has:

  • Procured more than:
    • 300 journalist safety kits (flak jackets, helmets)
    • 250 IFAK field first aid kits
    • 80 laptops and editing computers
    • 340 solar chargers
    • 365 battery power packs
    • 140 smart phones
    • 10 Starlinks
    • 115 TunnelBear (VPN) licenses
    • 105 devices provided anti-virus software
    • 6 subscriptions to Cloudflare (DDOS protection)
  • Allocated more than:
    • $1M in new grant support for regional and hyperlocal outlets
    • $250k in emergency funds for 14 outlets in hard-hit areas including Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Odesa, Donetsk, and Luhansk
  • Provided funds to relocate dozens of journalists and media support staff to safer locations
  • Offered practical digital security support and guidance to help media and civil society cope with a massive increase in hacking, phishing, and DDOS attacks
  • Re-purposed our offices in Moldova and Lithuania to support refugee communication efforts and journalists operating remotely
  • Revised over 30 existing support projects for media production.

If you’d like to support our efforts, you can donate here. Your contribution supports journalists on the frontlines in Ukraine, outlets providing information to refugees and the internally displaced, and other journalists under threat in Eurasia and around the world. You can also support local outlets in Ukraine directly (see sidebar).

Real-Time Updates on Disinformation & Attacks on Ukrainian Media

We recommend these local organizations for credible, current information on the latest attacks against media in Ukraine and disinformation about the conflict.

Local Ukrainian Outlets to Follow & Support

We encourage you to follow local media outlets in Ukraine as they provide some of the best insights and updates on the crisis. We have vetted and recommend the ones below. Consider donating to them directly or becoming a subscriber as many have been cut off from traditional sources of revenue.

Ukrainska Pravda
Weekly Mirror
Detector Media
Ukraine World
Slidstvo.info
Bihus.info
Hromadske Radio
Kyiv Independent
Hromadske.ua
Novoe Vremye
Babel
Institute of Mass Information

Liga