Ukraine Crisis Media Center

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Ukraine Crisis Media Center

Ukraine Crisis Media Center (UCMC) is a non-governmental organization that provides information about events in Ukraine, challenges and threats in the national security, in particular in the military, political, economic, energy and humanitarian spheres. UCMC assists media representatives that cover Ukraine in their materials around the world.

History[edit]

UCMC was founded in March 2014 with the efforts of leading Ukrainian experts in the sphere of international relations [1], communications and public relations. It was established to help Ukraine amplify its voice on the international arena [2] about the events connected to annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation.

Funding[edit]

The activities of UCMC are enabled with support of its partners: Public Affairs department of the Embassy of the United States, Kiev; International Renaissance Foundation; National Endowment for Democracy (USA); Ukrainian World Foundation (Canada); European Endowment for Democracy (EU); Matra Programme (Embassy of the Netherlands in Ukraine); Internews Agency; Mondelez International and others. UCMC does not receive any financial support from any political party. It is a civil society project.

Departments[edit]

Press Center[edit]

Jan Tombinski, Head of the EU delegation to Ukraine at a press briefing at UCMC

Press Center of UCMC provides opportunity for civil activists [3], experts, national politicians and representatives of the government as well as representatives of diplomatic missions [4] to inform society about the events and processes that take place in Ukraine and around it. Since July 2014, UCMC has hosted daily briefings on military developments in Ukraine [5] by a government representative – Presidential Administration spokesperson on ATO related issues [6], following them up with press releases in all its working languages.

Over two years of its activities, UCMC held over 2500 press briefings engaging in total over 6000 speakers. Among the most well-known speakers there were visits by the U.S. Senator John McCain, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State Victoria Nuland, EU Ambassador to Ukraine Jan Tombiński, OSCE SMM Principal Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug, Odesa region governor Mikheil Saakashvili, Minister of Finance of Ukraine in 2014-2016 Natalie Jaresko, and many members of Ukrainian parliament, ministers and other government officials.

International Outreach[edit]

International Outreach Department aims at spreading information about Ukraine abroad and ensuring presence of Ukraine in the Western media discourse. This department provides assistance to the journalists who cover Ukraine from abroad, drafts its own analytic materials [7], infographics [8], and translates press releases of UCMC into English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. International Outreach cooperates with the western academic and political circles to promote positive attitude towards Ukraine, organizes press tours of foreign journalists to Ukraine, ensures Ukraine’s representation at various international conferences and informs foreign audiences about the situation in Ukraine through mailing and social media profiles in different languages.

National Outreach[edit]

The work of the National Outreach department is aimed at supporting information activities in the regions of Ukraine, integration of eastern and southern regions into all-Ukrainian information context. The department organizes meetings with local journalists, representatives of the local governments, non-governmental organisations, civil activists and volunteers, experts and key opinion leaders in order study the needs of the regions, identify topics for joint work and center the efforts on solving issues of a certain region in the previously identified spheres.

  • Newspaper “Mir v Donbasse” (English – “Peace in Donbas”) – is an information product, produced by UCMC with the support of Germany’s Foreign Federal Office. This was a free bulletin with the most up-to-date information for the residents of the area near the contact line in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The newspaper was circulating in the eastern Ukraine for 6 months in 2015.
  • Pilot project “Spokesperson of peaceful life” [11] - is a project that organizes communication with each city on the Ukraine-controlled territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions in a form of press conferences over Skype. This project is ongoing.

Arts Department[edit]

Main push to establishing Arts Department at UCMC was a desire to shift focus on covering the life in Ukraine towards more peaceful events. This department provides organization and information support of Ukrainian culture projects. The department also creates and implements its own culture initiatives and projects within the premises of UCMC and across the whole Ukraine. “Culture diplomacy between the regions of Ukraine” – is a UCMC complex program aimed at establishing dialogue and reconciliation between the residents of East and West Ukraine with tools of modern art. Among the implemented projects: Religious Icons Exhibition by Lev Skop [12] [13] exhibition of artist Lilia Teptyaieva and a series of workshops “Colored paper” [14], media play “il Camprese”: letters of [Ukrainian writer] Mykhailo Kotsyubynskyi from the Capri island [15] [16], arts and culture residence “Upon Boh” – place of culture in the context of decommunization processes, workshop “DE”: revitalizing public spaces and building communication between the local communities and local governments, photo exhibition of Sergey Loiko “Airport” and many more.

Ukraine Reforms Communications Taskforce[edit]

This project of UCMC was launched in July 2014 with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation as a platform for dialogue between the public institutions and the expert communities and non-governmental organisations. The aim of this project is to shape common attitude towards the directions and strategies of reforms. Ukraine Reforms Communications Taskforce (URCT) also acts as advocate and promoter of reforms in the country by means of drafting and spreading all kinds of information products as well as holding its own events that facilitate shaping public opinion towards reforms and understanding reforms processes [17].

Main activities of URCT[edit]

  • Interaction with experts and civil activists;
  • Interaction with central executive authorities and their press offices;
  • Holding public and expert discussions, round tables on the topic of strategies and implementation of reforms;
  • Creating information products about reforms for traditional and social;
  • Maintaining relations with media;
  • Organising workshops for media in Kyiv and the regions of Ukraine;
  • Holding explanatory sessions with media concerning reforms and providing expert commentaries;
  • Promoting reforms over social media;
  • Monitoring and analyzing reforms coverage in the traditional and social media;
  • Supporting special projects that cover reforms progress in media.

Energy reform communication campaign[edit]

This was a separate activity of the URCT, carried out in the course of 2015 with support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden. The aim of this communication campaign was to explain the reform in the energy sector of Ukraine involving civil activists into public discussions with the representatives of government.

Reforming government communications[edit]

This is an ongoing UCMC project with the aim to promote systematic and effective communication of the central authorities by coordinating and synchronizing information, strategic planning and analyzing communications. The project is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine

External links[edit]