Help us keep Ukraine’s media going

Update from Mick, Are We Europe’s managing director

Ukraine is facing an unprecedented, full-scale war. Media across the country continue to operate under the most challenging circumstances. On 24 February, Russia invaded, with major consequences for the whole of Europe. On 25 February, a group of small-scale pan-European media partners rallied around a goal: raising £150,000 as an emergency fund for media organisations and individual journalists. A GoFundMe page—Keep Ukraine’s Media Going—was set up, hoping to raise a bit of money so we could contribute in a small way.

One week later, on Monday, March 7th, the counter now stands at £787,000. Along with pledges from publishers such as Axel Springer, over 1,3 million euros has been raised in over a week.

We wanted to give you, our members and followers, a detailed overview of what this campaign entails, and what it plans to do. And why we committed ourselves to it.

Keep Ukraine’s Media Going is a campaign led by a consortium of small independent European media organisations: The Fix Media (UK/UA), Are We Europe (NL), Jnomics (UA/UK) and Media Development Foundation (UA).

As Are We Europe, we wanted to help out. There was no doubt about it when the call from our partners at The Fix came on February 25th. Needless to say, we are strongly committed to supporting those impacted by the conflict in whatever way we can. Direct support to media organisations and individual journalists across Ukraine and the region is more necessary than ever. Apart from that, we’re starting our own growing digital magazine covering what goes on beyond the headlines of the war in Ukraine.

Fundraising Campaign

Donate directly to the GoFundMe page. That’s the most direct way to support this campaign. In short, the funds are aimed at helping media relocate, set-up offices and continue their operations from neighbouring countries.

We are working with a growing list of Ukrainian media, including the Kyiv Independent, Ukrainska Pravda, Zaborona, Detector Media and others. Support is allocated based on the urgency of needs in the first place, then distributed proportionally.

Some of our donors and supporters: Axel Springer publishing house (Germany), The Local (Sweden), Bonnier News media group (Nordics), Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland), Sifted (UK), Dennik N (Slovakia) etc. The list is expanding on a daily basis.

We already collected close to €1,5 million in direct funds or committed support in just over a week. Much of it is in transit, but we have already allocated around €100.000. We will share numbers and information about how we distribute these funds on a rolling basis.

Activities

6 main workstreams have been set up which require urgent or long-term financing:

  • First priority funding
    • Protection and media equipment purchases and delivery to Ukraine (here is a list of supplies–we are delivering via Poland and Romania)
    • Direct operational and financial support to media in Ukraine (e.g., covering IT costs, insurance, transport, purchase of supplies)
  • Long-term needs
    • Support for media staff relocation to EU countries
    • Setting up offices and accommodation of media staff in EU countries

We are also ensuring media receive tech support, by directly connecting publications with providers who have offered their services, helping to migrate hosting, boost storage, debug sites etc.

We are also connecting media to other donors and/or helping with grant applications so that media staff in Ukraine don’t have to spend time on paperwork.

Individual journalists and frontline workers affiliated with media organisations can also apply for the funds. The idea is to keep the fund open in the medium to long-run and expand it in the coming months.

At Are We Europe, we’ve received some direct small donations from individuals (thank you!) as well as a big donation from Veronica Foundation. We’ve so far transferred €20.000 to Ukrayinska Pravda, an online Ukrainian news portal doing invaluable work on covering the conflict, to help relocate their team and get safety equipment to the people on the ground.

Different Support Options

  • If you want to provide support to fund media operations in Ukraine, please reach out to us, Stichting Are We Europe – Foundation.
  • If you want to provide funds to individual media directly, contact us and we will provide a list with their details.
  • If you are representing other independent media covering the war, want to be a part of the campaign and receive financial or any other help, please send a short description of your media and the list of urgent needs using the contact button on our fundraiser page (bear in mind immediate support on the ground is extremely difficult to provide).

If you want to support local and regional media, which are covering the war in other parts of the country, you can also reach out directly to Media Development Foundation: https://www.facebook.com/mdfoundationUA