In May we got to sit down with the new CEO of Hromadske TV and have a conversation about the question ‘What is worth doing to support Ukraine?’ Razom came together to support Maidan. Now we work with volunteers around the world on projects that amplify the voices of people from Ukraine and that increase civic engagement. We do not have a specific project with Hromadske TV, but we were glad to have the chance to talk with someone who is leading an institution that also sprung from the street protests in 2013.
Katya Gorchinskaya was selected to the newly-created role of CEO from a pool of 260 candidates and took the job a few months ago. She gave us an overview of the organization and talked about their plans for the future. (Take a look at her slides below.) In contrast to most of the news outlets in Ukraine that are ‘part of the food chain that feed oligarch media,’ Hromadske TV is building something different. They want to set the tone for how news is showed in Ukraine. The team at Hromadske TV aspire to drive change in society and to show the people who drive this change. As a public broadcaster, they are accountable to their viewers and come under public scrutiny. As a result, they know they must hold themselves to a higher standard of quality.
‘Streaming the revolution was easy,’ Katya said. It required bravery, but not much technical or organizational skill to open up a phone or tablet and stream the images. Hromadske TV invented a new format of ‘budget TV.’ Now, however, the work is more complex and demands more teams to do it well.
Based on a comprehensive study of viewer needs, Hromadske TV is now focusing its work on creating shows for the market in Ukraine. They are concentrating on the topics that are under-represented:
- How is the economy going to develop? They intend to keep a focus on how the economy affects the individual citizen. They do shows about the hryvnia, for example and how it affects the consumer.
- What is going on with reforms and how does it affect viewers’ lives? What does decentralization actually mean for the average citizen?
- What is happening with the war and with corruption? State media shows the war through the lens of the military. Hromadske TV aspires to tell the stories of individuals affected by the conflict, including Internally Displaces Persons (IDPs) and the stories of the 200,000 servicemen and women.
Her first few weeks on the job were focused on building the organization and establishing processes to allow the organization to grow to scale. Hromadske TV strives for maximum transparency in its operations. Katya was in the US and Canada to meet with current and future donors and partners.
Hromadske TV is actively looking for funding so that they can increase their scale and reach. They are accepting interns (tell your friends in Ukraine) and they are looking for contacts who can help them place their content in film festivals and at other media outlets who can distribute documentaries.
We sincerely thank Kathy Nalywajko for hosting this conversation over lunch. Together we are Ukraine. Разом сила.