The Regional Press Development Institute (RPDI)
The Regional Press Development Institute (RPDI) is a Ukrainian nonprofit organization, founded in 2006, that promotes democratic civil society through the development of independent, sustainable, and pluralistic media in Ukraine. During 3.5 years of its activities RPDI has successfully implemented more than 20 media supporting projects financed by diverse donors for the total of more than US$ 850,000.
The three main directives of the RPDI are:
- To provide regular and demand-driven training and education for media professionals;
- To offer partnership opportunities and the exchange of information and experience between media outlets of Ukraine and other countries through internships, study tours, and more;
- To maintain information resources, such as media research and manuals, for access by media professionals.
In Ukraine, the media industry is dissatisfied with the current education level of journalists and media managers. Isolated training events address the problem only to a certain extent, so the RPDI seeks to establish regular basic training courses for journalists, editors, media managers, as well as for advertising, marketing, and distribution specialists.
New convergent technologies for media
The RPDI strives to satisfy demand in innovational technologies. With support from U-Media project of Internews Network, in coalition with Internews Ukraine and Independent Broadcasters Association the RPDI conducted four 11-day training workshops on new media for 64 editors and journalists of regional media in fall 2009 - spring 2010.
In 2008, the RPDI conducted a number of 2-day workshops, Internet media as advertising vehicle and Special projects in Web, conducted by experienced Russian experts. Earlier, in 2007, the RPDI conducted a 12-day training course, Universal Newsroom in a Digital Era, jointly with IREX U-Media.
Training for trainers
RPDI's experts are experienced in training journalism and media management trainers who have succeeded in conducting their own sessions for the industry. The latest 7-day training for media trainers, supported by the International Renaissance Foundation, took place in July 2007. In 2008 the RPDI put its efforts in establishing a joint Ukrainian and Polish team of media trainers to develop media of the post-soviet countries. New team members have co-trained at workshops in Ukraine, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tadzhikistan.
Workshops for press offices and public relations experts
In April 2007, the RPDI conducted a workshop on public communications for civil servants of the regional communication departments of the Anti-Monopoly Committee of Ukraine, funded by the Media Development Fund of the US Embassy in Ukraine.
From June 2007 till December 2009, the RPDI had been implementing a large-scale project on investigative journalism training and follow-up assistance to anti-corruption investigations, supported by the USAID within the framework of the project Promoting Active Citizen Engagement in Combating Corruption in Ukraine (Gidna Ukraina). The RPDI has conducted seventeen 2-day basic workshops, five 5-day advanced workshops and three 2-day special topic (land issues, environment) investigative reporting workshops all over Ukraine, attended by about 350 journalists. After training few dozens of journalists have started their own investigations getting advice from experienced journalists, lawyers and experts.
Since November 2007, RPDI had administered the Program of grants to investigative journalists, which supported 78 investigative stories by 53 reporters.
In June 2008, the investigative journalism manual was published. It is unique featuring the best Ukrainian examples of print and TV investigations. In December 2008 and November 2009 the RPDI conducted, correspondingly, the first and the second all-Ukrainian investigative journalism conferences, attended by 150 reporters. The Award Ceremony for the 26 winners of the Third National Competition for the best anti-corruption investigations took place in November 2009.
The RPDI continues its IR training and networking efforts in 2010 with support from U-Media Project. With support from IRF, RPDI monitors published investigations results and encourages reaction from the relevant authorities by filing legal requests.
RPDI's experts have experience in balanced coverage of the elections in Ukraine, which they applied in Voters' Guide project on the eve of 2010 presidential elections, with support from U-Media Project, when 95 regional publications were able to reprint 21 infographic pieces; and the project Tviy Vybir - 2007, electronic version of the special pre-election supplement for the regional press of Ukraine, in August and September 2007, supported by the Open Media Fund.
In 2009 and 2010 RPDI conducted a number of workshops on election as well as post-election coverage standards attended by 77 reporters.
The RPDI and Ukrainian regional newspapers, which have their own elections coverage projects, shared their experience with Armenian editors and journalists who visited Ukraine on the eve of the parliamentary elections in September 2007, under assistance of IREX in Armenia.
State media privatization
Privatization of the state and municipal media is very much needed step in the democratic development of Ukraine. With support from U-Media project, since May 2009 the RPDI implements the project of internships for employees of 8 municipal newspapers in 11 independent regional newspapers, based on previous successful experience of 2007 project.
In January-September 2007 the RPDI coordinated individual and group internships for staff members of five the most prospective municipal newspapers in eight independent regional publishing houses in regions across the country, with the support from the IRF.
In July-December 2007, the RPDI jointly with the Eastern European Democratic Centre (EEDC, Poland) conducted a series of training workshops for 15 municipal and 15 small private newspapers: two 9-day schools for top-managers and a 9-day journalism school, arranged internships in Polish media for 25 newspaper employees, and also assisted in Polish small grants program administration. The project was funded by the National Endowment for Democracy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland. In 2008 the RPDI assisted EEDC in conducting the
School of journalism and management for local newspapers.
During 2009 the RPDI jointly with EEDC, supported by Polska Pomoc of the Poland Ministry of foreign affairs, conducted two 9-day workshops on covering local governmental bodies for journalists and editors of print media in south and east of Ukraine. The partners also conducted the Competition for the best stories or cycles of stories about local power, assisted in organizing internships of Ukrainian journalists to Polish local media. With support from NED the partners conducted a series of workshops on advertising management for the south-eastern publications. The Polish partner assisted the RPDI in providing Polish co-trainers and experts for new media and election coverage workshops in Ukraine.
In August 2008 - September 2009 the RPDI produced weekly newsletters of the Delegation of the European Commission in Ukraine and Belarus for journalists as well as ad-hoc news and information materials.
International Partnerships and Exchanges
In 2007 the RPDI started to implement its long-term initiative, East-East: Partnership between Media of the Post-Soviet Space, over the course of several years through separate projects in different countries and in various formats, depending upon the country and current demands of the participating media outlets.
Immediate observation of the processes, possibility to ask appropriate employees, and informal communication with them are one of the most effective methods to exchange experience. Today Ukraine is on the border of the enlarged EU and the former USSR. For the last 10-15 years media of the Eastern and Central Europe have progressed several years ahead of the Ukrainian media. On the other hand, for Ukraine's neighbors - Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kirgizstan, Kazakhstan - experience of many Ukrainian media can be applicable and adequate.
Through the East-East initiative, advanced media outlets in Eastern and Central Europe will share information and best practices with their counterparts in Ukraine, whereas advanced Ukrainian media outlets deliver their experience further to neighboring, less media-developed CIS countries (through partnerships, internships, study tours, on-site consultations, trainings, coaching, etc.). The target audience includes print and online media publishers, editors, journalists, and managers of advertising, distribution, and marketing departments.
As part of this program, the RPDI initiated an Azerbaijan-Ukraine print media partnership by sending Ukrainian media consultants to the editorial offices of Azeri newspapers to assess their needs and select prospective internship participants. The project was partly financed by the Office of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Azerbaijan and supported by Open Society Institute's East-East Program. Staff members from three Azeri newspapers Gun Seher, Mengechevir Ishiglari and Jenub Haberleri visited private newspapers in Ukraine (Kafa, Melitopolskie Vedomosti, Kremenchuckyi Telegraf) as interns for one week in April 2007. In return, leading Ukrainian professionals from the hosting media outlets consulted the Azeri colleagues on-site in July 2007.
In February 2007, the RPDI launched a partnership and internship project between several Belarusian print and online media outlets and successful Ukrainian regional newspapers with the support of Internews Network's Regional Media Training Program. Ukrainian regional newspapers Melitopolskie Vedomosti, Kafa (Feodosia), Dancor (Sumy), Kremenchuckyi Telegraf, and RIA (Vinnica) were hosting three waves of Belarusian interns: top-managers, journalists, and commercial managers. Online publications Ukrainska Pravda, Gazeta po-kievski, Korrespondent and Glavred shared their experience with interns in Kiev. The roundtable to discuss project results and possible follow-up activities and cooperation took place in Kyiv at the end of summer in 2007.
Since September 2007, with support of IREX Armenia, the RPDI organized three study tours for Armenian journalists and editors to Ukrainian national and regional media on elections coverage, network radio management and regional newspaper management.
Ukrainian professionals are interested to learn newspaper business in the Baltic states, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania. In October 2007 eight Ukrainian publishers and editors took part in the study tour to Lithuanian media on newsroom management, product tailoring to readership needs and website development, funded by OSI's East-East Program. In return, the leading media experts from visited Lithuanian media visited editorial offices of the Ukrainian participants.
In October 2007, with the support of the OSI's EEP, eleven Ukrainian journalists were invited by Latvian NGO LATO to visit Latvia on media coverage of the issues of the EU and NATO integration. In December 2007 the RPDI conducted the summarizing roundtable on this project with Latvian experts for journalists of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, who participated in similar trips.
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel./fax +38 044 234 2566, corporate cell: +38 067 5472233, +38 067 2344216
Postal address: B.Khmelnytskogo St. 31/27 office 17,18, Kyiv, 01030, Ukraine