鶹Լ

Media supporting mine safety in Ukraine

Ukraine is now the most mined country in the world - media can help keep people safe

We are supporting two frontline Ukrainian media outlets - NikVesti and News of Donbas - to produce content to help keep people safe from unexploded ordnance and mines. 

News of Donbas, in the Donetsk region, and NikVesti, located in the Mykolaiv region, provide crucial and lifesaving information in some of the most mine-contaminated parts of the country. They provide locally relevant information which their audiences can verify and discuss with relatives and friends.

Most people in Ukraine understand the risks of handling mines and explosive objects. However, there is a need for practical, clear information about what to do if you encounter a mine. Media is uniquely placed to reach people quickly at scale, providing clear advice on what to do if they see a mine. The slogan “Stop, Don’t Touch, Call 101” is helping to protect communities from unexploded ordnance.

In Ukraine, adult men are most at risk from mine-related incidents, which often happen while they are at work.

This initiative to strengthen local media is part a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project in Ukraine, funded by the Government of Japan. The project includes the production of media content in different formats across a variety of channels, and research to understand Ukrainians' media consumption habits and preferences, and what they understand and how they behave when it comes to mine awareness.

We talked to journalists at both media outlets to learn more about the importance of this work.

NikVesti journalist at work in the Mykolaiv region (Credit: NikVesti)

NikVesti: supporting audiences in Mykolaiv

We immerse ourselves in local problems, forcing the authorities and society to respond to them.”
— Kateryna Sereda, Editor-in-Chief of NikVesti

NikVesti is a local media outlet which prides itself in being in direct contact with their audiences - they know their needs and have their trust. Last year, they conducted a large audience survey which helped them to better understand their target audiences' problems and expectations. Their work focuses on ecological issues, and issues related to housing and communal services – their readers know if they are facing an injustice or a violation of the law, they can write to the editorial office and their journalists will investigate the issue and help to solve the problem.

"We are proud of our work when our publications influence decision-making by government representatives, or when our materials positively affect the state of affairs in the field we write about.” says Kateryna Sereda, Editor-in-Chief of NikVesti. 

"We understand that people who have been living in dangerous conditions for two years have adapted to it, which often leads to accidents.”

Their role is to draw people's attention to the danger of mines and other explosive objects by providing communities with lifesaving information. This is especially important for people living in villages or cities that were under Russian occupation and highly affected by the war, as familiar environments like the forests and fields aren't necessarily safe anymore.

News of Donbas journalist Kateryna Tereshchenko reports on mine contamination in the Donetsk region of Ukraine (Credit: News of Donbas)

News of Donbas

Due to the challenging situation regarding freedom of speech and access to information in Donbas, we make a lot of effort to provide these people with quality informational alternatives and strengthen their resilience to propaganda.”
— Yuliia Didenko, Editor-in-Chief of News of Donbas, Video

Since 2014, News of Donbas has been supporting communities in the occupied territories, cities and towns near the frontline and grey zone - providing truthful and reliable information for residents, highlighting the humanitarian crisis and giving information about security issues like mines.

"Our team is proud of the fact that despite sometimes very challenging working conditions and overall instability, we continue to work for our audience and adhere to the principles of conflict-sensitive journalism and professional standards," said Yuliia Didenko, Editor-in-Chief of News of Donbas, Video.

"When working on the issues of mine safety, it is essential for us not only to demonstrate the scale of the problem but also to underline the correct way for people to behave with explosive objects."

News of Donbas journalist Kateryna Tereshchenko speaks to a drone operator in the Donetsk region (Credit News of Donbas)

They support people living in areas with unexploded mines, providing vital information through simple and easily accessible media formats like short videos and explainer articles on how to keep safe. News of Donbas' content has already managed to reach a wide audience across various platforms - they now hope to reach even more people by sharing their content through a network of local distributors who have the trust of people on the frontlines.

鶹Լ Media Action trained Ukrainian media outlets NikVesti and News of Donbas to produce and disseminate explosive ordnance risk education (EORE) media content. This initiative is part of a programme implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine and funded by the Government of Japan.

Read the  here (link goes to third party site).

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