Donbas Media Forum 2023

Kyiv, November 10-11

●  Warsaw, November 27-28

DONBAS MEDIA FORUM — is an annual conference that brings together journalists and media managers from Ukraine and around the world, providing an opportunity to discuss current issues of the profession and establish communication. Founded by the media organization DII-Ukraine in 2015.



Warsaw, November 27-28

The two-day conference is a direct continuation of Donbas Media Forum 2023, which will take place in Kyiv. The forum is dedicated to exploring the transformations that the Ukrainian media community is experiencing due to the Russian invasion. One of the goals of the event is to strengthen cooperation between Ukrainian journalists and foreign colleagues.
About 80 participants from Ukraine and EU countries are expected to attend the event in Warsaw. We invite journalists, media managers and media experts to participate in DMF-Global. 

Day 1 | November, 27

  • 15:30-16:00

    Opening, Welcome Speeches

    ● Liubov Rakovytsia, Head of the NGO "DII-Ukraine"● Roman Shepeliak, Minister-counsellor of the Embassy of Ukraine to the Republic of Poland● Ruth Kronenburg, Executive Director of Free Press Unlimited● Maksym Eristavi, Partnerships Lead of Free Press for Eastern Europe● Thibaut Bruttin, Assistant Director General "Reporters Without Borders"

  • 16:00-17:20

    The Role of the Local Media in Creating Global Content

    Moderator: Andrii Romanenko, journalist, media expert
    ● Vadim Lubchak, Chief Digital Editor FREEДОМ ● Yuliia Surkova, journalistб working with for the Agence France-Presse and the UN● Liubov Rakovytsia, Head of the NGO "DII-Ukraine"● Yelyzaveta Kovtun, Project Manager at "Donbas Frontliner media"● Zuza Olejniczak, journalist "Outriders Magazin"● Sabra Ayres, journalist, reporter in Los Angeles Times and Spectrum News 1 Texas

  • 17:40-19:00

    Russian propaganda in the world: Cross-border experience of countermeasures

    Moderator: Kateryna Zhemchuzhnykova, journalist, Communication Manager at Civil Network OPORA
    ● Hannes Nagel, head of the Crisis research center (Estonia)● Ruta Jukneviciute, Investigative journalist at LRT (Lithuania)● Przemysław Witkowski, political scientist, lecturer at Collegium Civitas (Poland)● Aliona Romaniuk, Factchecker, Editor-in-chief in "NotaEnota", Taras Shevchenko national university of Kyiv professor (Ukraine) 

Day 2 | November, 28

  • 10:00-11:00

    About Ukraine with Ukrainians

    Moderator: Liubov Rakovytsia, Head of the NGO "DII-Ukraine"
    ● Oksana Meleschenko, journalist at the Ukrainian edition of the Tagesspiegel newspaper● Maksym Eristavi, Partnerships Lead of Free Press for Eastern Europe● Roman Tsymbaliuk, author of the YouTube channel, the last Ukrainian correspondent accredited to the Russian Foreign Ministry on a permanent basis before the full-scale invasion● Oksana Kuyantseva, Member of the Board of East SOS Charitable Foundation, Humanitarian Programs Manager● Marichka Buchelnikova, project manager of the War Archive project, co-founder of the Ukraine Explainers project ● Vadym Lubchak, digital editor of the Ukrainian foreign language broadcasting channel FreeDom

  • 11:00-12:20

    Technology and media in times of war: international cooperation for sustainable solutions (in partnership with International Media Support)

    Moderator: Roman Shutov, Strategic Advisor, International Media Support
    ● Yevheniia Stadnik, lawyer, project manager of the Independent Media Program, coordinator of the Independent Media Council, Center for Democracy and Rule of Law (CEDEM)● Maksym Dvorovyi, Head of the Digital Rights Department, Digital Security Laboratory, NGO ● Sofia Skiba, editor-in-chief of the publication "Pershyi Kryvyi Rih"● Natalia Belikova, Head of International Cooperation, Press Club Belarus● Joanna Szymanska, Senior Programme Officer | Europe and Central Asia in Article19● Sofus Goldschmidt Pedersen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark

  • 12:40-14:00

    How journalists in Ukraine can help document war crimes: experience without borders

    Moderator: Olga Kotsiuruba, Senior Legal Advisor Civil Network OPORA (Center for War Crimes Documentation in Warsaw) 
    ● Anastasia Abramets, editor-in-chief of the Memorial memory platform● Hanna Mamonova, special correspondent, war crimes documentarian, Babel and The Reckoning Project: Ukraine Testifies● Valeria Yegoshyna, journalist of the "Schemes" project at Radio Liberty● Oksana Kuyantseva, Member of the Board of East SOS Charitable Foundation, Humanitarian Programs Manager● Andriy Kosylo, Head of the Center for International Crime Studies at the University of Warsaw

  • 14:00-15:30


  • 15:30-17:00

    Media Viability in the Times of War

    Moderator: Mariia Leonova, senior project lead at Jnomics 
    ● Tetiana Stepykina, communications, program manager for East and South of Ukraine, Internews(Ukraine)● Olga Gnatkova, Deputy editor-in-chief at NewsMaker(Moldova)● Anna Murlykina,Editor-in-chief at 0629 (Ukraine, Mariupol)● Anna Serdiuk, Editor-in-chief at Vilne Radio (Ukraine, Bakhmut)● Alyona Nevmerzhytska, Chief Executive Officer at (Ukraine)● Halyna Petrenko, Director at NGO "Detector Media"(Ukraine)

  • 17:00-18:30

    EuroDonbas Film

    The investigative documentary Eurodonbas aims to debunk Soviet myths and bring to light that more than 100 years ago, Donbas was an integral part of the European economy.Director - Kornii HrytsiukWriters - Kornii HrytsiukAnna Palenchuk

  • 18:30

    Closing of the Forum

DMF-2023 | Day 1

The forum program can be updated

  • 9:00-09:50

    • Registration of participants

      Room 1
      We invite you to have a morning coffee, get to know the participants, and take a walk around the location. Please feel free to contact DMF volunteers if you have any questions!

  • 09:50-10:35

    • Opening of the event

      Room 1Welcome speech from the organizers of the Forum.  

  • 10:35-11:25

    • Mini-discussion “Ukraine's path to the EU: what is the role of the media in this process?” with the EU Ambassador Katarína Mathernovа́

      #eurointegration | Room 1
      Katarina Mathernovа́, EU Ambassador to Ukraine;Daria Kaleniuk, Co-Founder of International Center for Ukrainian Victory, Executive director at Anticorruption Action Centre;● Sergiy Solodkyy, First Deputy Director of the New Europe Center

      Moderator: Serhii Stukanov, founder of the Donbas Integration Institute, head of the analytical department at the Content Analysis Center, host of Ukrainian Radio

  • 11:25-12:45

    • Transformation, conversion, victory: the role of media and influencers

      #transformations | Room 1 | DonetskSince the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the role of the media has also significantly increased: to inform people about the course of hostilities, to report vital information, and to tell stories about the causes and consequences of this war. Even more so, a person with confirmed information from the field can gain an audience of thousands in a matter of hours. Thus, regional media and local bloggers are becoming sources of first-hand information for international news outlets. And how will these transformations of the media environment help to restore the information field after the Ukrainian victory?
      ● Artem Shevchuk, Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, StratCom Directorate, Head of analytics;● Andriy Kulykov, Head of Board of the Journalism Ethics Commission, co-founder of Hromadske Radio;● Mykola Chernotytskyi, Head of Suspilne Ukraine Managing Board;● Oleksandr Bogutskiy, President of StarLighn Media;● Yulia Ostrovska, Director General of the State Enterprise "Multimedia Platform of Foreign Broadcasting of Ukraine"● Stephane Siohan, Senior reporter in Ukraine for Liberation and RFI. Projects coordinator for the French agency CFI Media Development in Ukraine;● Dmytro Sholomko, Independent expert;● Liubov Rakovytsia, Head of NGO DIІ-Ukraine;

      Moderator: Oleksiy Matsuka, Director General of the Ukrainian National News Agency Ukrinform

  • 13:05-14:25

    • Co-regulation and self-regulation: willingness of journalists to cooperate and take responsibility. With the assistance of the OSCE Support Programme in Ukraine

      #ethics and war | Room 1What does the new media law say about the principles of regulation and co-regulation of journalists, and how does it propose to create co-regulation mechanisms? Are journalists ready to cooperate and take on some responsibility, and what are the most effective ways to do so?   
      ● Taras Shevchenko, Deputy Minister on European Integration, Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine;● Olena Nitsko, Member of the National Council of Television and Radio Brodcasting;● Yevheniia Motorevska, The head of War Crimes Unit at The Kyiv Independent;● Diana Dutsyk, Executive director, Ukrainian Media and Communication Institute;
      Moderator: Andriy Kulykov, Head of Board of the Journalism Ethics Commission, co-founder of Hromadske Radio

    • Safety of Journalists in Times of War: Physical, Legal and Digital Aspects | with the support of the Council of Europe project “Safeguarding Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Media in Ukraine”

      #safety of journalists and media | Room 2The main focus of this discussion will be on presentations and discussions of research on which dangers are more likely to be faced by Ukrainian journalists at the moment: threats to health and life, threats of being sued, or digital threats? Participants will also try to find an answer to the question: do the dangers associated with the war devalue other threats that have always existed?
      ● Katerina Sergatskova, Director of 2402 Foundation;● Yevhen Vorobiov, Lawyer, “Platform of Human Rights”;● Svitlana Ostapa, head of the Public Broadcasting Supervisory Board, deputy editor-in-chief of the Detector Media portal;● Iryna Chulivska, digital security trainer at IREX, co-founder of the Digital Security Lab NGO; ● Kateryna Diachuk, the head of the NGO "IMI” Freedom of Speech Monitoring Department;● Yuliia Derkachenko, the Representative of the Commissioner for Information Rights (The Office of the Ombudsman);● Vladyslava Nechai, representative of the Department for the Protection of State Interests in the Field of Information Security of the Security Service of Ukraine.
      Moderator: Oksana Romaniuk, Director of Institute of Mass Information

    • Algorithms vs Content. How to talk about the war online on social media and beyond

      #social media in journalism | Room 3Social media in general is an integral channel for delivering content and communicating with audiences. It doesn't matter whether it is radio, broadcast television, or a fully online media outlet — it must have active, engaging social media pages with large audiences and views. In addition, after the outbreak of war in 2014, social media pages became almost the only channel of communication with audiences for many media outlets, especially in the East of Ukraine. The occupation of new territories during the full-scale invasion, as well as the transformation of content consumption in general, made this true for all Ukrainian media. But this makes newsrooms dependent on tech giants and owners of social media platforms. Some of which do not even have representative offices in Ukraine. Shadow banning, strict rules on sensitive content, and the need to constantly adapt to changes in algorithms — Ukrainian media face this every day while trying to tell the truth about the biggest war in the center of Europe since World War II. What should individual newsrooms and the community as a whole do in such a situation? If only to adapt, how? If we try to convey something to the owners of social networks, what are the ways, and will it have an effect?
      ● Olha Odarchenko, Olga Odarchenko, partner at SEOforMedia, SEO specialist;● Haiane Avakian, Chief Product Owner at Abo Agency● Igor Rozkladai, CEDEM, Deputy director● Evseev Kyrylo, YouTube Certified Specialist, News of Donbas● Veronika Nanovska, journalist of Mediamaker● Iryna Masliukova, Social Media Editor Donbas.Realities project

      Moderator: Olena Dub, Media consultant. Social media expert of the Human Rights Center ZMINA

    • The role of media in post-war reconstruction: Journalists in between government and society (in partnership with Detector Media)

      #reconstruction, rebuilding | Room 4Journalists, as the main watchdogs in the post-war reconstruction, will have a lot of work to do. The government will seek re-election, the society will seek to rebuild the devastated regions and public communication, and journalists will seek to find a balance between reporting and criticism. But to fully restore the country, the media news outlets must be not only an information platform, but also full-fledged actors in the process. How can journalists find a new balance between their new roles in the new environment?
      ● Pavlo Kyrylenko, Chair of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine;● Oleksandr Burmahin, Member of the National Council of Ukraine on Television and Radio Broadcasting;● Nataliia Klymova, Deputy Director ISAR Ednannia;● Valeriya Iegoshyna, Investigative journalist at “Schemes” by RFE/RL● Oleksandr Ostapa, СEO at Thebuchacity;
      Moderator: Vadym Miskyi, Program Director, NGO “Detector Media”

  • 14:25-15:45

    • The challenge of information reintegration: how, about what, for what purpose and in which language to communicate with Ukrainians in occupied territory

      #resistance to propaganda | Room 1De-occupation is not so much about liberating territories as it is about liberating people. For this process to be effective, Ukrainian journalists must work with the residents of the occupied territories here and now. What are the ways to keep people on the occupied territories on the Ukrainian agenda and help them resist propaganda?
      ● Oleksii Tretyakov-Grodzevych, Chief Specialist of the Project Work Division of the Department of Information Policy and Information Security of the MCIP;● Anna Romanenko, editor-in-chief of (Mariupol);● Elizaveta Zharkikh, Head of the editorial department of the Vgoru Media Platform;● Sabina Iliasova, CrimeaSOS Co-coordinator;● Artem Zakharchenko, Head of NGO Communication Analysis Team (CAT-UA), associate professor in the Institute of Journalism, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv;● Gluschenko Oleksandr, media expert in digital broadcasting;● Liubov Rakovytsia, Head of NGO DII-Ukraine
      Moderator: Tetiana Ihnatchenko-Tiurina, head of the department of information activities and communications with the public of the Donetsk regional state administration;

    • The new “Media Law”: Adapting to the new rules of the game | with the support of the Council of Europe project “Safeguarding Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Media in Ukraine”

      #transformations | Room 2After the adoption of the “Media Law”, Ukraine saw fundamental changes in the regulation of the media sector. In particular, the law launched a procedure for reforming local TV channels founded by local governments. In addition, the new legislation regulates the activities of online media. However, the legislation also expands the responsibility of the media. Are they ready to exist in the new environment? 
      ● Oleksandr Burmahin, Member of the National Council of Ukraine on Television and Radio Broadcasting;● Igor Rozkladai, CEDEM, Deputy director;● Lygachova Nataliia, Head of The Detector Media NGO;● Mykyta Poturaiev, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy;● Tetiana Smyrnova, GR Director of 1+1 Media
      Moderator: Tetyana Lebedyeva, Media expert, member of CJE

    • Tone of voice and crisis communications: how media should communicate with the audience 

      #transformations | Room 3
      How can the media find its own special tone of communication with the audience? During the practical meeting, we will share mistakes and life hacks of crisis communications. Visitors will get real-life cases, lots of practice, and a gift — a new MDF communications guide for the media.

      Trainer: Yulia Salizhenko, Media Development Foundation

    • Presentation of opportunities for regional media professionals: launch of the Window of Recovery Media Network 

      #reconstruction, rebuilding | Room 4 Why is it important for media to cooperate, and what are the benefits? Presentation of the Media Network and discussion of tools to strengthen the impact of media and think tanks on the challenges of Ukraine's recovery.
      Roman Danilenkov, co-founder of Nakipilo media group;● Mariia Smyk, Senior editor of solution media “Rubryka”;● Valerii Bolgan, editor-in-chief at Intent;● Taras Zhovtenko, International Security/Defense Analyst, Ilko Kucheriv “Democratic Initiatives” Foundation;● Yulia Mincheva, Budget Watchdog project leader, VoxConnector Editors Club, author, and host of the podcast “What's wrong with the economy?”
      ● Moderator: Anastasiia Rudenko, CEO at Eastern Variant, RecoveryWin MediaNetwork

  • 15:45-16:35

    • Lunch

  • 16:35-17:55

    • From reporting to justice: The role of the media in covering and documenting war crimes | with the support of the Council of Europe project “Safeguarding Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Media in Ukraine”

      #journalism in times of war | Room 1Documentation of war crimes is undoubtedly one of the most important processes for bringing perpetrators to justice, ensuring justice and establishing justice. What role should journalists play in this? Should they simply tell the truth to the audience? Should journalists record these crimes for history or to document them for use in future trials? And can journalists, on the contrary, somehow hinder the investigation, and what is their responsibility?
      ● Natalia Humeniuk, Co-Founder of The Reckoning Project and Public Interest Journalism Lab;● Mysiak Viktor, prosecutor of the first Unit of the Division Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Crimes of the Department for the Counteraction to Crimes Committed in the context of Armed Conflict;● Mathias Boelinger, correspondent of Deuscthe Welle in Kyiv;● Liz Corbin, Deputy Head of the European Broadcasting Union for Media, Head of News● Jeta Xharra, Director of Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) in Kosovo;Halenko Kate, Kateryna Galenko, Head of the Ukrainian office of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting;● Wayne Jordash KC, Queen's Counsel, Head of Global Rights Compliance Mobile Justice Teams

      Moderator: Stephane Siohan, Senior reporter in Ukraine for Liberation and RFI. Projects coordinator for the French agency CFI Media Development in Ukraine

    • Ethics and a war: relevant challenges for journalism (Union of Journalists of Ukraine)

      #ethics and war | Room 2
      During a full-scale war, media professionals face ethical dilemmas, the outcome of which can actually save someone's life or, on the contrary, lead to fatal consequences.Should media publish explicit images that may traumatize the audience? Should one interview the wounded or relatives of the dead at the scene of the tragedy, and how to do it without causing harm? How should we cover what is happening in the temporarily occupied territories? Should we make pieces about prisoners of war, and how exactly?During the discussion, the participants will be offered ethical dilemmas, the answers to which they will seek together in a moderated dialogue.
      ● Lina Kushch, First Secretary at National Union of Journalists of Ukraine;● Pogorelov Oleksii, President of the Ukrainian Media Business Association, Member of the Commission on Journalism Ethics;● Oleksandr Demchenko, Ukrainian Armed Forces soldier, “Come Back Alive” consultant;● Valentyna Troian, Host of Ukrainian and Hromadske Radio, coordinator of the regional service of Hromadske Radio, representative of the Institute of Mass Information in Luhansk region;● Vladyslav Hladkyi, Deputy editor at “” (Kherson);● Diana Butsko, “Hromadske” journalist
      Moderator: Tetiana Ihnatchenko-Tiurina, Head of the department of information activities and communications with the public of the Donetsk regional state administration

    • Media support for Ukraine: what can Ukrainian editorial boards expect from international partners | (The Partnership Fund for a Resilient Ukraine (PFRU)

      #transformations | Room 3Supporting Ukrainian media professionals during the war has become a priority for many Western foundations and programs. What are the peculiarities of the work of these funds in the context of war? What are the priorities of their grant programs? How have they changed in response to the needs of the media? What are the criteria for participating in these programs? And do these programs include strategic goals for the development of the media themselves?
      Organizer: Partnership Fund for a Resilient Ukraine (PFRU), Сhemonics
      ● Iryna Savchenko, Regional Development Manager, Internews NetworkRoman Kiflyuk, National Counsel, Ukraine, IMS● Olga Prokopenko, Head of the "Media" project in OSCE, Support Programme for Ukraine ● Vira Kostenko-Kuznyetsova, Media director UCBI4, Chemonics International
      Moderator: Vitaliy Moroz, Ukraine Country Manager, eQualitie / StratCom Media Advisor, PFRU, Chemonics

  • 18:00-19:20

    • The first day after de-occupation: journalism and informing

      #reconstruction, rebuilding | Room 1What will the first day after the de-occupation of the cities of the East and South of Ukraine be like? The authorities and journalists have already started planning their reentry to the currently occupied Ukrainian cities. The basis for this return should be a clear algorithm that balances the media’s right to comprehensive coverage of events in the de-occupied territories and security guarantees, especially for media professionals. The algorithm’s development should take into account the adverse cases during the work of journalists working in the liberated Kherson, Sviatohirsk, or Lyman.
      ● Olesia Vakulenko, Host and editor at Suspilne;● Aleksander Anderson, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) Project consultant Prishtina, Kosovo;● Olena Leptuha, Chief editor of the Nakypilo Media Group, academician;● Galina Prishchepa, Press officer of the Security Service of Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk regions; Artem Lysoghor, Head of Luhansk regional military administration
      Moderator: Andriy Romanenko, journalist, media expert

    • Propaganda and vulnerable groups of the population (side event of Detector Media)

      #resistance to propaganda | Room 3
      Russia systematically tries to spread disinformation about vulnerable groups in Ukraine: women, members of the LGBT community, religious and national minorities, residents of the occupied and de-occupied territories, children, etc. The audience will learn about the specific methods and tools used by Russia to target disinformation, as well as how to ensure the rights and safety of these vulnerable groups.
      ● Lesia Bidochko, Deputy Head of the Detector Media Research Center;● Marina Nesterova, Senior Analyst at InMind.
      Moderator: Galyna Petrenko, Director at NGO Detector Media

    • What is becoming the main source of news, politics and security for citizens (in partnership with Civil Network “OPORA”, with support of NDI)

      #resistance to propaganda | Room 3Are social networks and personal blogs beating classic newsrooms? Why is Telegram dangerous? Social media are super popular, but that does not mean that critical thinking will be formed, as no one checks the information — it's information fast food. How can the media overcome these challenges, especially in a situation of shrinking audiences when digital becomes paywalled?. Many media outlets switch to subscriptions when it's not popular. This means that people will live in parallel realities. Digital inequality — some will live in the world of verified information, while others will be in social networks because they are not ready to pay for content. The media need to become more distinctive, not just retransmit what has already been everywhere — less newsy, more meaningful. But this means that their audience will become smaller and smaller.
      ● Ganna Krasnostup, Director of the Department of Information Policy and Information Security of MCIP● Kruhlii Olha, Head of Communications at Svidomi Anton Maksimenko, co-founder of the Grunt media outlet● Maksym Dvorovyi, Head of Digital Rights at Digital Security Lab Ukraine● Yuliia Kaplan, Head of a department, The National institute for strategic studies. Expert of the National platform of resilience and cohesion
      Moderator: Anastasiia Romaniuk, Digital platforms analyst, Civil Network OPORA

  • 19:20-20:00

    • Networking

      Free discussion of the event, meeting colleagues and establishing contacts.

DMF-2023 | Day 2

The forum program can be updated

  • 9:30-10:00

    • Welcome Coffee

  • 10:00-11:30

    • After the National TV marathon “Єдині новини”. Societal expectations

      #journalism in times of war | Room 1
      The National TV marathon “Єдині новини" was to some extent an effective response to the full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022. This issue will still require reflection and analysis. But the war has been going on for almost two years now, and during this time, the professional community and some of the audience have raised a number of questions about the prospects for the future development and transformation of the Ukrainian media field. At this stage of the war, is it harmful or advisable to continue broadcasting the “Єдині новини"? Where is the line between the state information policy and high-quality information for the audience? If the marathon continues, how can the journalistic community influence the government's decisions on information policy? And if the marathon is over, what will the future hold for the Ukrainian media field?
      ● Diana Dutsyk, Executive director, Ukrainian Media and Communication Institute;● Fedir Skrypnyk, Head of Content Monitoring and Broadcasting Standards Department (Suspilne)● Oleh Baturin, Journalist, investigator of the Crimean Center for Journalistic Investigations in the Kherson region, documenter of the Reckoning Project: Ukraine testifies, head of the NGO Evroprostir;● Anastasiia Rudenko, CEO at Eastern Variant, RecoveryWin MediaNetwork;● Volodymyr Runets, Anchor and authour of the analytical program Decide for Yourslef;● Vlasta Lazur, Journalist, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
      Moderator: Tetyana Troshchynska, Editor-in-Chief, presenter, Hromadske radio

  • 11:35-13:00

    • Artificial intelligence in journalism: Exploring new dimensions and potential threats

      #Technology, AI | Room 1
      Artificial intelligence, like any new technology, always brings new opportunities and new threats. How can we use the opportunities and protect ourselves from the risks. Can AI improve Ukrainian journalism, or will it “leave some professionals out of work”?
      ● Pavlo Bielousov, Digital security expert, Internews Ukraine● Denis Teyssou, керівник Agence France-Presse MediaLab ● Tetiana Avdieieva, Senior Legal Counsel, Digital Security Lab Ukraine● Olha Petriv, Artificial intelligence lawyer of Independent Media Direction, Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law● Diana Khrushchova, AI Direction Manager, Ministry of digital transformation

      Moderator: Serhii Mitiaiev, Co-founder & Editor-in-Chief of

    • Media of the occupied and devastated territories. Why, for whom and how to work further? (in partnership with MDF)

      #transformations | Room 2What does it mean to be the media of a city that no longer physically exists? For whom and what to write about? And most importantly, why? How and for whom should journalists whose cities are occupied write? Should we try to reach the "other side" or write for those who have left? In this panel, we will discuss how the media from the occupied and destroyed territories can find their mission and bring meaning back to their work. 
      ● Anna Romanenko, editor-in-chief at (Mariupol)● Oleksii Artiukh, Editor-in-Chief (TRIBUN, Rubizhne)● Alona Schekodina, (public media portal● Yana Chumachenko, editor (Sievierodonetsk online)
      Moderator: Oleksiy Khutornyy, Project manager at Media Development Foundation

    • Professional education vs. self-education: how Ukrainian media can solve the problem of personnel | with the support of the Council of Europe project “Safeguarding Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Media in Ukraine”

      #transformations | Room 3Recently, Ukrainian media have been facing an increasingly acute problem of finding trained journalists. At the same time, almost every humanitarian (and not only humanitarian) higher education institution has a journalism school from which several dozen people graduate yearly. During the discussion, the participants will try to find out why these young professionals do not apply for work in the media, and why their level of training often does not meet the expectations of newsrooms. Is it possible to adapt the journalism school’s curricula to the new realities? Is non-formal education able to remedy this situation?
      ● Tetyana Marena, Vice-Rector for Scientific and Pedagogical Affairs, Mariupol State University;● Olena Popova, Head of the Department of Journalism and Ukrainian Studies, Volodymyr Dahl East Ukrainian National University;● Viktor Pichuhin, Nakipilo Media Group, development director, trainer;● Alona Romaniuk, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Institute of Journalism;● Oksana Romaniuk, Director of the Institute of Mass Information;● Viacheslav Mavrychev, Editor-in-Chief of the Eastern Hub, Suspilne Ukraine
      Moderator: Anton Liagusha, Dean, Graduate Department of Social Sciences and Humanity at Kyiv School of Economics

    • Media commentators vs. actual experts: who is promoted by the modern media and for what reason

      #ethics and war | Room 4
      Military experts, bloggers, journalists — many new people are becoming commentators on current events. What is the basis for confidence in their expertise? Is it the frequency of mentions in other media, the number of followers on social media, their personal brand and positioning? However, the Ukrainian media field has not seen as many public refutations and disclosures of evidence of pseudo-expertise as it did during the full-scale invasion. So, how can we avoid creating idols, but at the same time have new and interesting commentators for news stories?
      ● Dukhnich Olga, journalist at NV.UA● Dmytro Lykhovii, editor-in-chief of the Novynarnia media outlet● Tatyana Troshchynska, Editor-in-chief, presenter,● Maryna Synhaivska, Deputy Director General – National News Agency of Ukraine - Ukrinform● Yaroslav Zubchenko, Deputy editor-in-chief of Detector Media● Andrii Ianitskyi, Development Director of Espreso (online&digital)
      Moderator: Otar Dovzhenko, Expert of NGO Lviv Media Forum

  • 13:00-14:00

    • Lunch

  • 14:00-15:25

    • Regional journalism as the first step towards high-quality content on a national and international scale: formats of cooperation and ways to become global voices of Ukraine | with the support of the Council of Europe project “Safeguarding Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Media in Ukraine”

      #journalism in times of war | Room 1
      Regional media in the East and South of Ukraine have once again found themselves at the center of global events. The largest land war in Europe in recent decades, the brutal war crimes of the occupiers that do not leave anyone indifferent, the valorous bloody struggle for democracy — all of this is of interest to audiences from every corner of the planet. Suddenly, regional media professionals have become almost the only contextual experts to tell the Ukrainian story to the world through the prism of local experience. But do they have enough expertise to fulfill this role well?
      ● Bohdan Karkachov, Editor-in-Chief at News of Donbas● Fabrice Deprez, Correspondent in Ukraine, La Croix newspaper ● Hanna Arhirova, Reporter for the American news agency The Associated Press● Viacheslav Mavrychev, Editor-in-Chief of the Eastern Hub (Suspilne Ukraine)● Luke Harding, correspondent of The Guardian● Kristina Berdynskykh, independent journalist
      Moderator: Daryna Anastasieva, Suspilne Radio — event manager; manager of special projects at Suspilne Radio

    • Modern media dictionary: for how long has "bavovna" (‘cotton’) became our new norm in journalism

      #трансформація | Зала 2New times create a new vocabulary: cotton, orcs, Russia with a small letter, the direction of movement of a Russian warship... Is this psychological relief or a substitution of concepts? How long will this way of formulating stay with us? And how identical is it to the ideas of Russian propaganda with their “claps”? And if we go deeper into the details, to what extent do words shape meanings? Especially in a situation where the population has been exposed to different media realities as a result of the Russian attack. And under certain conditions, incorrect terminology, which is spread both in everyday life and in the narratives of media personalities, creates more barriers in society. To what extent does the language that is being formed under the influence of the great war meet the needs and demands of people in qualitatively different conditions and regimes: long and short-term occupation, a loud front or a deep rear, displacement and refugee. What language will truly take into account not only reality but also lay the groundwork for returning to a common communication field? What is the role of the media and experts involved in the broadcasts, what are the red lines and do they exist at all? This is what we will try to talk about during the panel, how this dynamic manifests itself from the vocabulary to the selection of experts as commentators.
      ● Otar Dovzhenko, Expert of NGO Lviv Media Forum;
      Yevhen Bryzh, Тext editor,;
      Igor Rozkladai, CEDEM, Deputy director;
      Hanna Kurtsanovska, journalist at Svoi.City.

      Maksym Ieligulashvili, Coalition “Ukraine. 5 AM” — Institute for Peace and common ground

    • Workshop by The Reckoning Project
      De-occupation: documenting evidence of war crimes

      #journalism in times of war | Room 3This workshop aims to provide journalists with answers to the following questions: 
      What are the basic principles of documenting war crimes, and how do they differ from journalistic work?- What can journalists do to help witnesses and not harm the investigation while working on this topic?- What are the ethical principles of working, talking, and communicating with victims and witnesses? - How to make this process of documentation as useful and as traumatic as possible for both parties.- What journalists can do in their communities and neighborhoods. What can be the unique role of national, international and local media in documenting war crimes. 
      ● Nataliya Gumenyuk, Co-founder of The Reckoning Project, The Public Interest Journalism Lab● Kostiantyn Korobov, managing editor at The Reckoning Project

    • Telegram vs. media. Struggle for facts, money, and audiences' attention (in partnership with Institute of Mass Information)

      #social media in journalism | Room 4
      Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, anonymous Telegram channels have gained huge audiences. Their secret to success is the lack of responsibility: there is no need to verify information and consider standards.
      So now, quality media have to fight for the audience while adhering to journalistic and ethical standards.

      Katerina Rodak, author of the investigation about "Труха", journalist at NGL.mediaKhrystyna Havryliuk, editor-in-chief of Suspilne NovynyAndriy Boborykin, executive director of Ukrainska PravdaOleh Derenyuga, editor-in-chief of NikVesti (Mykolaiv)● Dmytro Barkar, Head of Analytics at the Institute of Mass Information
      Serhii Mikhalkov, Analyst at

      Moderator: Oksana Romaniuk, Director of the Institute of Mass Information

  • 15:30-16:30

    • How to convey difficult topics to the audience during crises and wars using the example of the European integration of Ukraine

      Room 1European integration is a complex and multi-vector process that requires the efforts of both society and the government. Implementing reforms and synchronizing legislation is systematic work. Meanwhile, society wants quick and easy solutions that are impossible during hostilities and crises arising from armed conflict. Many citizens think that joining the EU is “simple and fast,” but it requires a profound restructuring of society. Is it possible during the war? How fast can this transformational restructuring go, and how can we avoid fueling Euroscepticism? What is the role of the Ukrainian media in effectively communicating such a complex topic to its audience?
      ● Tetiana Yakubovych, Editor, Radio Donbas Realities project (RFE/RL)● Nataliia Pakhaichuk, Chairwoman NGO CID Media Group● Taras Zhovtenko, International Security/Defense Analyst, Ilko Kucheriv “Democratic Initiatives” Foundation● Anton Grushetsky, Executive Director of КМІС● Iryna Sushko, EWB executive director
      Moderator: Andrii Klymchuk, Communication specialist at the Ukraine crisis media center

    • The psychological trauma in the work of journalists amidst the ongoing war: the ways for journalists to escape the mental crisis

      #safety of journalists and media | Room 2
      Ukrainian journalists, along with Ukrainian society, have once again found themselves in a situation of a “destroyed world.” But can a traumatized professional do their job properly? At what point can you limit yourself to self-help, and how do you know if you or your colleagues really need the help of a specialist? And how do you find a specialist?
      ● Nataliia Umerenkova, PhD, psychologist, psychotrauma therapist, Senior Researcher of Institute for Social and Political Psychology at the National Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine (Laboratory of Mass Communication Psychology and Media Education)

    • What threatens Ukrainian media professionals in the online space? Examples of case solutions from the Nadiyno Hotline team for digital security

      Room 311% of citizens have experienced cyber fraud since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, according to a survey conducted by Opendatabot and the National Bank of Ukraine, which involved more than 112,000 Ukrainians. Threats in the digital space are now more than ever affecting Ukrainian journalists, who are being targeted by well-planned attacks from Russia. The workshop will focus on what attacks Ukrainian editorial offices and journalists are facing in the online space and how well the specialists of the Digital Security Hotline manage to solve the problems.
      Organizers: eQualitie and Internews Ukraine
      ● Pavlo Bielousov, Digital security expert, Internews Ukraine● Vitaliy Moroz, Ukraine Country Manager, eQualitie / StratCom Media Advisor, PFRU, Chemonics

    • How to scale up regional investigative journalism during wartime

      #investigative journalism | Room 4According to last year's data from the Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy, the share of investigative journalism in Ukraine's regional media is 0.1%. How do we make sure that high-quality local investigations become a popular media format? How to scale up your topics and talk about complex issues in a non-boring way? We learn from the experience of our colleagues.
      ● Nataliya Onysko, co-founder ● Andriy Romanenko, Journalist ● Oleg Oganov, editor Nikcenter● Anna Bureyko, communication manager at YouControl
      Moderator: Oleksa Shalayskiy, Co-founder of the portal "Наші гроші", Expert in investigative journalism

  • 16:35-17:35

    • Resilience of Ukrainian media in wartime: how to adapt the business model? (in partnership with RSF)

      #journalism in times of war | Room 1
      After the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, Ukrainian media outlets had to adjust their business model to continue operating. How can they maintain the quality of their news, increase advertising and grant revenue, and remain viable?
      ● Galyna Petrenko, Director at NGO Detector Media● Oleg Dereniuga, НікВісті● Rodion Kochubey, Member of the Board of Suspilne, responsible for operational activities● Daryna Shevchenko, Chief Executive Officer, The Kyiv Independent (Partner at Jnomics Media Consulting) ● Dmytro Zinchuk, Project team leader at Internews Ukraine● Oleksiy Soldatenko, Co-founder and Program Director of the Institute of Regional Press and Information (IRMI Ukraine)
      Moderator: Pauline Maufrais, project manager Ukraine, RSF

    • East of Ukraine: a vision of the future

      Room 3
      The Ukrainian information space is full of plans to rebuild destroyed buildings, the government declares the priority restoration of critical infrastructure in the de-occupied and frontline territories, and the information focus is on the liberation of all temporarily occupied Ukrainian land. At the same time, we understand that de-occupation and reintegration are not only about territories but also about people. It is about how urgent issues for Ukrainian citizens (real estate, housing, etc.) will be addressed, how human-oriented the approach will be. What threats and problems are waiting for Ukrainian society if the vision for the future is not discussed in advance? What kind of future is offered to people from these regions? How should we speak to people from Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and how can we better integrate/return people mentally to the Ukrainian information space?
      ● Olena Shapoval, Press secretary of the head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration;● Tetiana Ihnatchenko-Tiurina, head of the department of information activities and communications with the public of the Donetsk regional state administration;● Katheryna Zarembo, Associate fellow (New Europe Center);● Serhii Stukanov, Head of analytical department of Centre for Content Analysis;● Svitlana Tkachenko, Head of the Board of the NGO "Access Point";● Victor Levit, Zeus Ceramica in Slovyansk;● Oleksii Artiukh, Editor-in-Chief TRIBUN;
      Moderator: Andrii Romanenko, Journalist, media expert

  • 17:35-18:00

    • Closing of the forum

Transformations of media communities in the eastern and southern regions during the full-scale war

The full-scale war in Ukraine has brought changes to every industry, both globally and locally. Ukrainian media is going through turbulent times but continues to accept challenges and adapt to new realities in the frontline and in the rear.

On November 10 and 11, we invite you to discuss the transformations taking place in the Ukrainian media environment.


For whom it will be useful:


● journalists and media managers 

● other media professionals

● independent fact-checkers and analysts

● communication specialists

● representatives of NGOs and CSOs

● students of relevant specialties

How it was

Heading photo

Donbas Media Forum 2021

The seventh DMF was held online for the second time with elements of a talk show in a TV studio. During the two days of the Forum, 14 discussions took place in the studio in Kyiv, and before that, another regional one in Kramatorsk.
In total, about 100 people were able to join the Forum in a mixed format of online and talk show, including participants from the Czech Republic, Estonia, and Nicaragua. The total number of views of the online broadcasts of all the discussions reached more than 28,000.

Donbas Media Forum 2021

Donbas Media Forum 2020

The Forum program included 18 discussions and workshops by Ukrainian and foreign experts from 14 countries: Great Britain, Georgia, Hungary, Estonia, France, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Poland, the Netherlands, Bosnia, Croatia, Australia, Nicaragua, El Salvador. All events had simultaneous interpretation in Ukrainian, English and sign languages. All discussions took place in the format of a talk show in the studio.

Another special event took place online from Kramatorsk — a press discussion with two heads of Donetsk and Luhansk regional state administrations.

Donbas Media Forum 2020

Donbas Media Forum 2019

On September 5-6, Kharkiv hosted the anniversary 5th "Donbas Media Forum", which was organized by the NGO "Donetsk Institute of Information". The main theme of this year's Forum is "Time to choose journalistic standards." This landmark media event gathered more than 600 participants from Ukraine and the world, including leading media experts and representatives of national and regional media.
The tasks of the Forum this year were:● reducing the level of manipulativeness of the mass media, which distort objective reality or distract from it,● helping to reduce the vulnerability of audiences to manipulation by certain political forces and non-professional journalists.

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Donbas Media Forum 2018

The 2018 Donbas Media Forum became a kind of continuation of an already established tradition. This time special attention was paid to regional media. Over the course of two days, new challenges and opportunities faced by regional media were discussed in Kharkiv. Separate panel discussions were devoted to the problems of denationalization of the media, establishment of local mass media, preservation of independence in the process of pre-election and election campaigns, monetization and sources of financing of journalistic work, trust of the residents of the country and in particular of Donbas in the mass media and in the state as a whole, tolerance and gender challenges of today.

Among the forum participants and guests who took part in discussions, round tables and master classes were journalists Andriy Kulikov, Maria Davydenko, Anastasia Stanko, Natalya Humenyuk, Andriy Dikhtyarenko, Gennadiy Chabanov, Natalya Kurdyukova, Vyacheslav Petrovskyi, Oleksandr Bilinskyi, Olga Simanovych, Kyrylo Lukerenko, Vitaly Golubev and many others. They shared the experience of surviving in market conditions of competition, finding sources of financing, monetization, contacts with communities, independence from local authorities, working on the demarcation line, etc.

Donbas Media Forum 2018

Donbas Media Forum 2017

During the project implementation, “Donbas Media Forum”, the major media event in the region, was prepared and held (the town of Sviatohirsk, June 28-29, 2017). 285 representatives of media and other home and foreign organizations took part in it. The participants represented 14 regions of Ukraine, 92 editorial offices, 22 Ukrainian and international organizations, 13 Ukrainian institutions of civil society, including media NGOs. About 70 people were from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions (including 20 from Mariupol, 24 from Kramatorsk), about 70 — from Kyiv (IDPs from uncontrolled territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, representatives of national and local media, NGOs and charity funds).

Besides representatives of local MM of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, there were journalists and editors from Kharkiv, Sumy, Zaporizhzha, Dnipro, Chernivtsi, Odessa, Volyn, Cherkasy and Lviv regions among the participants.

Donbas Media Forum 2017

Donbas Media Forum 2016

DMF 2016 was the second forum organized by DII-Ukraine. In 2016 we gathered 254 representatives of Ukrainian media and international organizations in Mariupol.
Three major panel discussions took place during the two-day conference:
- Information Aggression. Combatting disinformation. Countering Russian propaganda.
- Media survival in the liberated territories. Denationalization: how not to lose media
- Journalists in the frontline areas: establishing a dialog. Overcoming hate speech

In total, DMF 2016 was attended by representatives of 67 editorial offices, more than 100 participants from Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Donbas Media Forum 2017

Donbas Media Forum 2015

The first Donbas Media Forum was held in Kyiv and became a platform for a safe dialogue between journalists separated by the war.
In 2014-2015, several dozen regional newspapers and TV channels ceased to function in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, and websites and radio stations were shut down. Armed Russian and pro-Russian militants seized editorial offices and imposed censorship on the occupied territories, which led to complete information isolation of the local people.

For the first time, we gathered to discuss the problems and seek international and domestic support for Donbas media during the crisis. We also studied the international experience of media in local armed conflict and raised the issue of media in exile. In 2015, 247 media representatives gathered in Kyiv, and a "Propaganda Kiosk" was presented to demonstrate how propaganda works on Russian-language television.


DMF Network 

is a network of independent regional newsrooms from all over Ukraine, which currently has 10 members from different regions of Ukraine.

We created this community in 2019 to promote the development of independent journalism in Ukraine and improve the sustainability of independent newsrooms. Over the years, we have created more than 250 materials together with partner newsrooms. In this way, the editors reached 7 million users in Ukraine with high-quality content on socially important issues. Thanks to the support of DMF Network projects, partner media have launched new formats for the audience, expanded their influence and efficiency, and improved people's information.

Donbas Media Forum 2023

The new media law: Adapting to the new rules of the game | Panel discussion






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