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

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.

Heading photo

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






Information partners


Financial support