Kiev, Ukraine - October 2009
Ukrainian journalists recently gathered near Kiev with guests from five other countries to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Novomedia, the association of Christians in news media in Ukraine, and to discuss trends in new media.
International guests from Russia, Latvia and Germany reflected on Novomedia's accomplishments while they took in the two-day conference sponsored by Novomedia.
“During the last 5 years with Novomedia more than 1300 people have participated in over 40 conferences, workshops and seminars," said Novomedia's founder and enthusiastic leader, Ruslan Kuharchuk, currently an editor in Ukrainian regional TV-news.
"We have produced 15 CDs and DVDs for educational purposes in this period as well as thousands of pages of printed material. In the future we need to continue to build ‘power lines’ in Ukraine to communicate truth and honesty both in secular and Christian media," says Kuharchuk.
Yuri Reshetnikov, the head of the Department for Nationalities and Religions in Ukraine expressed concerns over media’s role in the society. He criticized media's infatuation with scandals in churches and the failures of inter-faith dialogue. Reshetnikov asked why it is not possible for journalists to write more about positive things that would lead the country forward.
Alexei Yefetov, publisher of www.okolokino.net and a prominent blogger in Ukraine, highlighted the new opportunities to express ideas through blogs. Paul Levushkan, director of the Latvia's Center for Effective Communication, joined Yfetov in calling on Novomedia members to be well prepared and creative users of the new ‘blogosphere’ and to produce content that adds real value to the lives of everyday people.
A special guest at the conference was the Executive Producer from channel "Inter", Yegor Benkendorf, who spoke about the quality and exclusivity of journalistic materials and kept the audience captivated for almost an hour telling stories from his life as a documentary producer in war-torn places like Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Dr. Arne H Fjeldstad, CEO of The Media Project, talked about the challenges journalists confront in a new-media environment. He highlighted how the situation for mass media around the world has changed dramatically.
Fjeldstad says we have moved into "the age of participation," and media no longer serves a passive, uninformed audience.
“Credibility and trust are still essential in our profession as journalists. Everyone related to journalism will always be judged by their honesty, transparency and credibility, even more so in the future as we develop "personal mass media" such as blogs,” said Fjeldstad.