Gearing up for Community Media in Ukraine

The first national Community Media Forum of Ukraine will take place on Friday December 15 in the capital city, Kyiv. The forum is a culmination of several years’ preparatory activities, working to learn from other European country experiences and to identify the best ways to introduce media channels into the hands of civil society in Ukraine. Among others, Steve Buckley and Gergely Gosztonyi, members of the CMFE expert group, have been involved in the process.

After the opening ceremony, the Forum will take off with a keynote by CMFE’s board member and incoming president Birgitte Jallov, who looks at why community media are so important today. She further dives into what it is that is so special about community media – based in global experiences with community media as platforms for dialogue, debate and positive change.

The forum is convened for all stakeholders to share thinking and to debate the future legal regulation of community media along with a discussion of the ongoing Ukrainian process of destatisation of the media. With some pilot grassroot community media initiatives across Ukraine presently, there is no appropriate legislation in place yet. For now the main idea is to have membership-based associations in charge of community media and Steve Buckley, the CoE expert on Community Media, will present recommendations to Ukraine for a framework for sector associations. These are based in a comparative review of European experiences and examples.

The needs in view of a future legal framework will be debated during the forum including the main challenges for community media in Ukraine; Media destatisation and lessons from Poland, to be shared by CMFE’s secretary and board member Urszula Doliwa. The day will end with discussions about transparency and trust standards as well as ethics of non-profit communication.

We look forward to share the outcome of the forum with you here.

The forum is financed by the following partners: Council of Europe, Embassy of Germany, DZI, Internews, IAB and Charity Tuner.