Czerska 8/10 Street
Numer KRS: 59944
March 15, 2023 / 14:10
March 2023 marked one year since journalists from Poland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway established the Ukrainian Media Fund (UMF) to help the media in Ukraine survive. The funds raised allowed, among other things, the purchase of equipment necessary for journalists working in war zones, as well as financial support for these journalists and local media organisations. In the first days of March this year, another convoy with equipment was delivered to Ukraine - and this is not yet the end of the activities of the Fund, which is jointly created by Bonnier and Agora, through the Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation, and 4 media organisations from northern Europe.
In the face of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and widespread disinformation, Agora and the Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation, together with their partners, decided to create a fund for Ukraine dedicated to directly supporting journalists and publishers in the war zone. Media and journalistic organisations from Europe, including Bonnier News from Sweden, quickly joined the initiative. The Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation also began fundraising for this purpose. In total, almost EUR 150 000 was deposited on the Fund's account in the first five days of its operation, and the value of the funds collected during the one year of the UMF's activities amounts to more than EUR 877 000.
This money made it possible to support the Ukrainian media - initially, the funds were used to purchase equipment necessary for journalists working in war zones, to provide financial support to individuals and journalistic and media organisations in Ukraine, and to relocate journalists to Poland and other EU countries.
- The founders of UMF believed that it would not take long to help our colleagues in Ukraine. At first we sent them bulletproof vests, helmets, goggles, first aid kits, then - computers. Today, we know that support is still needed, so we focus on helping local and regional media, which have seen a significant drop in revenue. Journalists do not get paid on daily basis, so it is UMF that pays them mini salaries once every 1-2 months. Since the spring, we have been steadily supporting more than 170 people from remote cities and regions of Ukraine in this way. Why from there? Kiev media have more ways of earning money and better access to aid funds - we are trying to fill a gap in the system - explains Jaroslaw Slizewski, Managing Director of UMF.
In the first days of March this year, another UMF convoy with equipment worth almost a quarter of a million PLN arrived in Ukraine. Thanks to it, the 36 local editorial offices do not have to worry about power cuts - the equipment supplied by the Fund, including modern, computer-controlled battery packs, ensuring that several to a dozen devices can work for many hours. With their help, the server on which the local website is hosted can function, internet connection can be established, a newspaper can be completed and even a room can be heated. Solar panels can also be connected to the devices. In addition, 200 reporters and photojournalists received special portable powerbanks, which allow them to charge not only their phone or camera in the field, but also their laptops.
- We greatly value our partnership with the Ukrainian Media Fund, which provides economic support to Ukrainian local newsrooms. Already in the first weeks after the full-scale invasion began, I was in touch with Bonnier News and Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation (the founders of the future UMF) about emergency security assistance to Ukrainian journalists and about getting the first batches of protective equipment for them. The most pressing issue now is the economic sustainability of the media in Ukraine, which is necessary for journalists to continue to do their extremely important work, especially during the war - says Serhyi Tomilenko, President of the Union of Ukrainian Journalists (Національна спілка журналістів України), one of the closest UMF partners in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Media Fund is a project of Bonnier News, Agora and media organisations from northern Europe: Tidningsutgivarna from Sweden, Medialiitto from Finland, Mediebedriftene from Norway and Danske Medier from Denmark. The Fund is managed by the Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation, which handles, among other things, fundraising and donor relations.
The UMF was established as an expression of solidarity with journalists and photojournalists covering events from the frontline in Ukraine on a daily basis. Its main goal is to mobilise international support - both financial and material - for local media in Ukraine.
More about the Fund - https://uamediafund.com/#Effects
The Fund can still be supported - by direct donations to the indicated bank accounts of the Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation: https://uamediafund.com/#Contact
PL92 1090 1056 0000 0001 5001 0538
EUR PL29 1090 1056 0000 0001 5001 0605
The Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation was established by Agora in 2018. Following the example of the New York Times Company and The Guardian Media Group, the publisher of Gazeta Wyborcza created the non-profit organisation to develop valuable media projects and pursue important social goals. More about the Foundation's current projects - at www.fundacjagazetywyborczej.pl.