Our fourth day was dedicated to the media in Rivne. The radio moderator and dean of the juristic department of the university of Rivne Andriy Vasilovych Matviychuk told us first of all, that it was surely no coincidence that we came to Rivne. Rivne was, according to him, one of the three most active cities during the Maidan (with Lviv and, of course, Kyiv). He explained the active participation with the engaged mass media and public organisations. There are all together 170 registered mass media sources in Rivne. He introduced us to the biggest newspapers and radio stations.
Mr. Matviychuk was very critical to the media. He said that sooner or later the Internet would destroy the traditional printed media. In the discussion we were surprised that very few people in Ukraine actually read newspapers; most of them consume TV or radio for information. “Not every pensioner in Ukraine can allow himself to buy a newspaper even for 2 UAH”, he said.
Alla Lichayeva, head of information services for the radio station “TREK” was even more critical. She said that she was glad to work with the radio and not on TV during the Maidan time. She conducted a lot of interviews and tried to have an objective view at the events, which was as she commented, very hard for her. “We are not just journalists, we are also people.”
She was very critical about the media reporting about on events taking place in the Eastern part of the country. She was not there, in the East, so she has to rely on information somebody gives her and retell stories somebody told her. She has the feeling that the Ukrainian media has no idea how to inform people about what is going on there. She only hears the figures, hears how many people died and it is in general hard to imagine what does that really mean. Also the terms are unclear: How do you call those people in the East? Terrorists? Separatists? Russian aggressors? Ukrainian media has not yet found a solution for that problem.
Alla Sadovnyk showed us some pictures about the Maidan in Rivne.
After the lunch we had a very special visit to the administration of the Rivne region. Ivan Solodukha, member of the party “Svoboda” and head of the department of culture and tourism, agreed to have an interview with us. He told us about himself (his grandmother is German, since 2010 he is a member of the Svoboda party and he spent two and a half months on the Maidan in Kyiv) and answered our questions.
Later he showed us his office, the cups he won and the letter of thanks he received. That impressed us a lot … well, a bit! =)
written by Anja Lange