Daily Press Hosts Ukrainian Journalists

NEWPORT NEWS, VA -- The Daily Press Media Group hosted a group of multimedia reporters from the Halytsky Korespondent in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, this week.

Three multimedia journalists, Iryna Fedoliak, Nataliia Mostova and Nataliia Derkevych, from Halytsky Korespondent in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, were joined by translators Olena Pashnina and UMPP leader Svitlana Zholobaylo for a week of training and cultural experiences in Newport News and the Peninsula-area.

Iryna Fedoliak, Nataliia Mostova and Nataliia Derkevych represented their media organization's staff of about 15 for a week in Newport News.

The journalists were joined by translator Olena Pashnina and Ukrainian Media Partnership Program manager Svitlana Zholobaylo.

The exchange program is part of the Ukrainian Media Partnership Program sponsored by IREX, an international nonprofit group.

Staff members from DPMG will visit the Halytsky Korespondent newsroom later this year.

Independent media in Ukraine still is developing since the fall of the Soviet Union.

The partnership allows for the exchange of ideas and practices.

"We have been committed to this partnership for more than five years. This is our fourth partnership, and we will host another news organization later this year," said DPMG publisher and editor-in-chief Marisa Porto.

"The reason for this partnership is simple. We believe in open government and a free press. We believe journalism is a foundation for democracy. This exchange with our Ukrainian colleagues helps us to foster dialogue about our industry and our countries. But more importantly, it reminds all of us that what we do is important not just to our community and our nation but to our world."

The journalists met with several members of the newsroom staffs at the Daily Press and Virginia Gazette.

Topics of discussion included covering local government, courts and investigative reporting.

"Monday was the highlight of my week, when I got to sit on a porch, eat pizza and talk local politics with our Ukrainian friends," said Daily Press reporter Reema Amin, who covers the City of Newport News.

"The content of their thoughtful questions quickly reminded me that journalists everywhere, though divided by culture and language, are typically the same: curious and critical. They were so curious that they attended a Newport News City Council work session, where they were asked to stand up so the entire room could clap for them.

"It has been so cool to hear about their reporting methods on some of the same topics in Ukraine." 

Ivano-Frankivsk is located in the western portion of Ukraine, in the Carpathian Mountains.

Halytsky Korespondent dedicates a group of reporters, freelancers and bloggers to its website and many sessions focused on how digital content is managed at the Daily Press.

There also were sessions dedicated to social media and breaking news.

"I was impressed by digital tools that the Daily Press uses to illustrate publications at the website," Derkevych said.

"We will try to use these tools for building interactive elements for our articles." Zholobaylo said, "On behalf of UMPP, I'd like to thank Daily Press team and leadership for their readiness and willingness to do this media partnership for the fourth time now.

"Having this experience of exchanging professional skills with Ukrainian colleagues, the Daily Press brings new components with every new partnership.

For Halytsky Korespondent, they focused on digital, especially working with social media and interactive tools for presenting stories in a better way for readers."

During the group's visit, the journalists went on guided tours of Fort Monroe's Casemate Museum and historic site, and heard a cannon fire at the new American Revolution Museum in Yorktown before taking in the 4-D movie.

"The Peninsula is so rich in history, so I love sharing the locations of so many crucial moments in our country's history with our Ukrainian colleagues," said Daily Press digital engagement specialist Jonathan Heeter.

The group also saw a bomb squad demonstration by the Newport News Fire Department and toured several fire stations.

Before getting to town, the group enjoyed the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., and visited many of the monuments and Smithsonian Institute museums.

"We started our trip with Washington, D.C., and then we came to Newport News and everything on this trip was amazing," Fedoliak said.

"But for me, personally, I was impressed the most by Fort Monroe. It's so beautiful. ... It's a perfect combination of beautiful views and rich history."

Source: Daily Press