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GFMD’s emergency media support for Ukraine in 2022: achievements and next steps

An overview of GFMD’s emergency media support for Ukraine in 2022 and what we hope to achieve with our members and partners in 2023.

Author: Yelyzaveta Bezushko | 25. January 2023

GFMD media support for Ukraine in 2022

Information-sharing and coordination

  • 100+ organisations have mapped their needs, capabilities and support via regular information-sharing meetings.
  • 400+ individuals working for Ukrainian and international media support organisations, as well as donors and funders share information via our dedicated mailing list. 
  • 17 meetings attended by an average of 35 participants: Our information-sharing meetings have moved from crisis response to focusing on key thematic areas resulting in briefing documents for donors on emergency energy equipment and psychosocial support for journalists. 
  • 90% of participants said via a survey that GFMD’s overall information-sharing activities on Ukraine are useful and effective. Most participants noted that information-sharing meetings helped them to identify gaps, avoid duplication, and foster collaboration. 

GFMD’s information-sharing and coordination efforts have also facilitated connections between donors and Ukrainian support actors. This has been complemented by GFMD responding to queries and requests for advice submitted to the help desk of our International Media Policy and Advisory Centre.

“We’re grateful to GFMD for its efficient coordination and information-sharing efforts because that is what we need right now – uniting donors for coordinated support and spreading information about these opportunities to a wider media community. In the long-term media support’s goal should be to save the diversity of media in Ukraine and transparent access to information,” – President of the National Union of Journalists in Ukraine Sergiy Tomilenko.

In July 2022 GFMD was awarded a certificate of appreciation from NUJU for solidarity and significant assistance to journalists in Ukraine during the war.

Resource centres

Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, GFMD has been curating an extensive list of organisations providing emergency funding, available for journalists and media in Ukraine as well as crisis and emergency resources.

Responding to a request from members, partners, and donors, in March 2022 GFMD created a resource centre Ukraine Media Support Coordination for Ukrainian journalists and media organisations, those who are in Ukraine and those who have been forced to leave the country.

It is regularly updated with the information previously translated into Ukrainian. The resource centre consists of three main sections:

All of this information is being fed into the chatbot – UA Media Support Centre – run by The Fix Media which allows media and journalists to locate accommodation, equipment, funding, and employment options, as well as learn how to operate during the conflict.

Perugia Declaration for Ukraine

GFMD launched the Perugia Declaration for Ukraine in April 2022 at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy.

Signed by over 200 organisations and translated into 10 languages, the declaration was drafted by members of the GFMD information-sharing group with a Ukrainian organisation taking the lead.

The declaration calls for action “for the sake of the immediate future and safety of our Ukrainian colleagues, and the long-term viability of independent, public interest journalism everywhere” from:

  • international media and journalists;
  • private and public donors, and funders of professional journalism;
  • the EU, its member states, and members of the Media Freedom Coalition;
  • technology, telecoms, internet intermediaries and advertisers.

The Perugia Declaration was also presented on 4 May at the World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) Conference in Uruguay 2022 at a high-level session “Safety of Journalists in Ukraine War” organised by UNESCO and GFMD (Watch the full session here)

The aim of the session was to offer a platform for discussions on the current issues confronting journalists in Ukraine, providing the viewpoints and observations of media professionals within and outside the country, as well as comments from the international community.

The discussion moderated by GFMD’s Deputy Director Tom Law included President of the National Union of Ukrainian Journalists (NUJU) Sergiy Tomilenko, Deputy General Secretary of the International Federation for Journalists (IFJ) Jeremy Dear, Co-founder and Editor of The Fix Daryna Shevchenko, Director of Operations and Campaigns of the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Rebecca Vincent and OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Ms Teresa Ribeiro.

WPFD Safety of Journalists Ukraine

Needs assessments

GFMD has collected and promoted needs assessments conducted by Ukrainian media organisations such as the Lviv Media Forum, Media Development Foundation, IMI to inform the priorities and approaches of donors and international media support organisations.

This proved especially useful when responding to the urgent need to procure, deliver and install emergency energy equipment over the winter.

It also enabled GFMD to connect Ukrainian media and journalists (Suspilne Ukraine, Kyiv TV, Rubryka, ABO Local Media Development Agency) with organisations able to supply emergency equipment and financial support.

Emergency energy equipment

Following the widespread blackouts throughout Ukraine caused by heavy shelling of vital infrastructure, in October 2022, GFMD organised additional information-sharing meetings on emergency energy equipment.

This resulted in a detailed mapping of emergency energy needs and capacities among Ukrainian media support actors and a briefing for donors advocating for increased funds and/or funding reallocation to cover the power supply and internet access needs of media and media support groups over the winter.

This pre-emptive and coordinated needs assessment and capacity statement presented donors, implementers, and the private sector with a concise emergency plan to procure, deliver and distribute power generators, heaters and other urgent energy supply equipment.

Next steps

  • Information-sharing: Our information-sharing meetings, briefings and curation of emergency resources will continue. Meetings will be held every month with focused thematic agenda for each call.
  • New resources: On February 6, 2023, GFMD launched the MediaDev Fundraising Guide in Ukrainian which hopefully will help Ukrainian media and media support organisations seeking funding in the long term.
  • Advocacy: We will continue to use the Perugia declaration as a foundation for future collective advocacy efforts of GFMD, its members and partners.
  • Anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2023: We’re planning to collaborate with members and partners on advocacy issues to commemorate the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

To find out first about GFMD’s latest media support activities join our growing community by signing up for MediaDev Insider – which is read by over 3,000 leaders in media development and journalism support all over the world!


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