"The project is very helpful. I, as a Ukrainian, watch the news and see with what professionalism the content is created. It is extremely important that Ukrainians have the opportunity to create content for Ukrainians. I feel like a needed Ukrainian in Moldova."
- Olena, a media professional from Ukraine working with TeleRadio Moldova
The project in brief
The project is implemented by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the Republic of Moldova, Romania, and Slovakia. It began in February 2023 and is currently ongoing.
As part of the UN Regional Refugee Response Plan, UNESCO launched its project “Support for Ukrainian Refugees through Media” to assist governments in their refugee response in the Republic of Moldova, Romania, and Slovakia through media. The project encourages the production, reinforcement, and broadcast of programmes tailored for and co-created with refugees and reinforces host-country media’s capacities for conflict-sensitive reporting, solutions journalism, and ethical coverage of refugees and related matters.
The project encompasses the following two key outcomes:
- Targeted host-country broadcasters (national and local TV and/or radio) serving public interest reinforce news segments or create programmes for and with refugees.
- Media help improve reciprocal knowledge and understanding between refugees and host populations.
Main activities of the Good Practice
- Baseline study and survey: A comprehensive baseline study and survey with nearly 700 Ukrainian refugees were conducted on their media habits and topics of interest in the three project countries using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. The findings were provided to the project partners and beneficiary media to inform and guide the media production activities.
- Integration of displaced media professionals: The project is helping the integration of displaced Ukrainian media professionals into the editorial teams of host-country media to participate in the preproduction and production processes. At the same time, they receive on-the-job training and coaching to enhance their skills.
- Media content for, with, and by refugees: The project provides support and mentoring to media outlets to produce and diffuse media programmes with content designed for and with refugees on key topics of interest guided by the baseline study such as education, livelihoods, health services, and psychosocial support.
- Audience consultative mechanisms: The project also works on establishing audience consultative mechanisms in the host-country media outlets for refugees and host communities to provide suggestions and complaints on coverage, ensuring the inclusion of their views in the media content and dialogue with editorial teams.
- Media capacity development: Workshops and mentoring sessions on solutions journalism and ethical and conflict-sensitive reporting are conducted to strengthen the editorial practices of host-country media in covering refugees and related issues.
- Multi-stakeholder partnerships: Through its activities and events, the project provides networking opportunities among media organizations and other stakeholders, promoting cross-sector collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Elements which helped facilitate the implementation of the good practice
- Strong national and local participation and ownership. The project ensured working with national partners possessing significant expertise in media development to benefit from their deep understanding of media in local contexts, leverage their networks and resources, and enhance the project's overall effectiveness and long-term impact. UNESCO and its partners actively promoted strong participation from host-country media outlets and local broadcasters, developing a commitment to delivering improved information services for displaced populations.
- Engagement in the Refugee Coordination Forums: Engagement in interagency coordination mechanisms was instrumental in securing a high level of relevance of the actions and fostering complementarity and synergies with the existing activities on the ground.
- Alignment with national priorities: The project additionally ensured close coordination with national and local duty-bearers to align with the priorities of the national refugee responses.
- Committed funder: The project was made possible by the generous funding of the Government of Japan.
- Center for Independent Journalism
- Centrul pentru Jurnalism Independent
- DW Akademie
- European Broadcasting Union
- Memo 98
- Norwegian Refugee Council
- TeleRadio Moldova
What challenges were encountered in delivering the project and how were they overcome?
Results of the Good Practice
- More than 15 Moldovan, Romanian, and Slovak beneficiary media have reinforced their broadcasting schedules and editorial content regarding refugee-related programmes, producing and airing weekly or monthly programmes or news segments since August 2023. Around 500 minutes of new original content are being aired monthly on Ukrainian refugees' topics of interest and concern.
- Over 30 displaced Ukrainian media professionals engaged in the production teams across the host-country media and receiving on-the-job training from the editorial teams. Refugees are becoming vital contributors to the content with their voices at the forefront.
- Host-country media outlets trained in ethical and conflict-sensitive reporting, enhancing their capacities to address refugee-related subjects and strengthening the delivery of quality information that promotes dialogue between refugees and the local host community.
- The Global Compact on Refugees notes media as a key stakeholder group; however, the full potential of established media in refugee response mechanisms has somewhat been overlooked. This project is innovative in nature, as it involves established media in a systematic and comprehensive manner and positions media as an integral contributor to the refugee response. It represents significant opportunities for institutional learning and generates good policies and practices regarding refugee media coverage.
In what way does the good practice meet one or more of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees?
Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries
The project activities alleviate pressures on host countries by bolstering the capacity of host-country media outlets. This integration of ethical principles into host country media equips them to effectively respond to any future refugee flows.
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
The project enhances refugees’ self-reliance by increasing their access to relevant and reliable information on key topics of their interest and concerns, enabling informed decision-making and access to opportunities. Countering disinformation and communicating fact-based and balanced information fosters dialogue and favor the type of coexistence that will be paramount in the refugee response.
Given the protracted state of the full-scale war, UNESCO is exploring an extension of the project to provide support to additional countries hosting substantial refugee populations from Ukraine. With adequate resources, UNESCO, as an intergovernmental organisation, will be able to replicate its actions in other regions of the world, particularly in countries with protracted refugee situations.
Are there areas in which support would be required to continue and/or scale up your good practice?
Funding and partnerships with entities who are interested in advancing support for refugees and other displaced people through media.