Natalia Burlaku, RIA Media, specially for ANRVU
Only good is immortal, and evil does not live long! Shota Rustaveli, known to many of us, once said so. In the conditions of war, terrible murders and atrocities, which the occupiers have arranged in our country, it is very important for all of us to unite and help. Now, more than ever before, it is important to support the media community, which in an extremely difficult situation continues to wage an informational war with the enemy.
Both large, all-Ukrainian and local independent media need protection and help. Association “Independent Regional Publishers of Ukraine” (ANRVU) implements a number of projects so that media workers from different regions have the opportunity to work during martial law.
And today – in fact, very cool news for all newsrooms: on May 3, on World Press Freedom Day, Ukraine began accepting applications for journalist insurance. The International Insurance Fund for Journalists (IIFJ) is a truly unique initiative and a revolutionary event for the media community, because we have never had such an experience before!
What opportunities have become available for Ukrainian journalists (including regional ones), who and to what extent can insure their own health and life, how to prepare for work in hot spots? We are talking about this with the executive director of ANRVU, Oksana Brovko.
- Congratulations, Oksana! Thank you for doing your best to support independent media in such a difficult time.
- Hello. The war made adjustments in the lives of each of us. We all probably reconsidered many values, defined new priorities for ourselves.
That is why our Association (ANRVU) together with five other respectable public organizations became the founders of the International Insurance Fund for Journalists.
- Tell us about the project. How is insurance for the professional activity of mass media workers carried out?
- The creation of the insurance fund is an initiative and consolidation of the efforts of six public organizations: Association “Independent Regional Publishers of Ukraine” (ANRVU), “Society” Foundation, IMI, “Detektor Media”, TsEDEM and IRRP. Thanks to the long-term cooperation of ANRVU and our membership in the World Newspaper Association WAN-IFRA, international media immediately responded to the request to support the idea of journalist insurance. Vincent Peyregne, director of WAN-IFRA, not only recommended us an international insurance company specializing in such insurance, but also allocated funding of 10,000 dollars for the start of work. For which we are very grateful to our colleagues. Such a quick and effective reaction and response to our problems is a great example of mutual support.
- This is a great opportunity for us journalists. Do we, the local media, have the opportunity to insure our employees as well? Who exactly can use the program?
- Journalists of independent Ukrainian media who plan to travel to war zones, occupied territories, or liberated territories can get insurance (if 30 days have not yet passed since the liberation). They must have protective equipment. It will also be important if journalists have completed specialized courses in providing pre-medical assistance. This will not be the main, but an additional, important priority when providing insurance, because it is important for us as participants in the process to understand that we are facilitating such business trips for already prepared journalists.
- Can a journalist submit an application himself or does it need to be completed by the editorial office?
- There is a special form for applying for insurance. To do this, follow the link: here. There are fundamental points in the application: you must upload a travel order, your journalist’s card, accreditation (if you are going to a war zone or occupied territory). The IFSC Coordination Council reviews each application and makes a decision on insurance or rejection of the application. We issue insurance for one to three days per journalist so that more people can use the program.
This is truly a unique experience for Ukrainian media. International insurance programs have long been available to foreign media. But this has never happened in Ukraine. After 2014, there were statements at the state level, from insurance companies that wanted to implement such an idea. But there was no progress in this direction. And we succeeded! Thanks to the important first support from WAN-IFRA, we believe in the successful start of the work of the IFSJ. We want many companies and foundations to join in supporting our initiative so that more journalists can benefit from such protection.
- Oksano, what exactly does the insurance cover? And for what amount?
- Insurance coverage – up to USD 100,000 for reimbursement of medical expenses in case of injury. In case of death of a journalist, the family receives USD 100,000.
- International insurance is not the only successful project that the Association “Independent Regional Publishers of Ukraine” manages to implement. On this occasion, I would also like to thank you for the technical support of our editorial office during the war. Tell me, please, is the world community willing to respond to your request for help to the media?
- Helping each other, we speed up our victory! Personally, I have always firmly believed in support, but I did not even expect that there would be such a tangible quick reaction from European colleagues. We feel not only humanitarian and financial, but also powerful emotional support from colleagues from Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland. This story will need to be dedicated to a separate conversation to convey all the emotions, note all the teams involved and thank everyone involved in the good work of supporting Ukrainian media workers! About 1,000 units of technical assistance alone were transferred to the regions. Currently, the second batch of humanitarian newsprint for printing by regional publications, members of our association, is arriving. For the relocation of newsrooms from the combat zone and the restoration of their work, for technical support and restoration of printing, for the production of content in regional media, we secured grant support from the Press and Culture Department of the US Embassy.
- Thank you for your initiative, support and inexhaustible energy that charges us all today!
- This is just a small example of how good does defeat evil. And we will win!
Briefly about the initiative:
Founders: “Independent Regional Publishers of Ukraine” Association, “Society” Foundation, IMI, “Detektor Media”, TsEDEM, IRRP.
Financially supported by: WAN-IFRA World Association.