Staying informed about everyday life and events in Ukraine is crucially important for the refugees who have fled the war.
By April 2023, 1.06 million Ukrainians had sought refuge in Germany. It is this audience Thomson Media sought to engage with its MC2C (Media city–to–City) project linking independent regional journalists in Ukraine with their German counterparts.
It has had some notable successes. Svidomi, a storytelling organisation reported increases in traffic of 300% to its Instagram site and the You Tube channel of Was. Media, a historical and scientific media outlet, saw an increase in subscribers of 20%.
LiRoom, a Ukrainian music and culture media outlet, increased its younger audience to include people under 27 years old. Before joining the programme its readers were much older.
“We had the opportunity to develop social media pages that we previously didn’t have resources for,” says LiRoom’s executive director Mariia Kravchenko. “This programme has given us a lot. It has become a powerful catalyst for the editorial work and the media’s growth."
It has become a powerful catalyst for the editorial work and the media’s growth
Research carried out at the start of the project identified the need amongst the refugees for news that isn’t focussed solely on the devastating consequences of war but about day to day life in Ukraine, including sport, art and culture. A requirement also shared by those still living in the country.
However, an awareness of where to find news and information in a trusted and independent form is low so as part of the Thomson programme media outlets received funds to promote their organisations.
WAS.Media and Speka, an online media organisation about technology, entrepreneurship and IT news, decided to focus on building brand awareness.
Speka’s 31 Facebook advertising campaigns allowed them to reach over 1.2 million people and bring 28,000 unique visitors to their website.
Ukrainian audio journalists, those producing podcasts, working on radio shows or music productions and blogs, worked with their German counterparts in another part of the programme.
Expertise was provided by staff from Germany’s largest radio group RTL who shared their insights on audience reach, measurements and analytics as well as content production.
This growth in awareness and engagement across independent multimedia organisations has been beneficial both in the short term, increasing traffic, increasing audience and social media reach, attracting new readers and donors and in the long term, opening up a new effective format for content and increasing the awareness about the Ukrainian media.
The programme was run in partnership with the Lviv Media Forum (LMF) and funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).