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The challenge for Ukrainians: to change and to be changed

Olga Klinova with Sean-Patrick Lovett in studio at Vatican Radio  - RV

Olga Klinova with Sean-Patrick Lovett in studio at Vatican Radio - RV

10/07/2015 11:10

(Vatican Radio) I have been studying in the journalism master's program at UCU, in Lviv, for almost a year. We often talk about Russian propaganda as a factor in the war in the East of Ukraine. We also discuss the role of Ukrainian media in solving this problem. But recently I have noticed that people are a little tired of this topic: nobody wants to repeat the same things, hear the same words.

Listen to Olga Klinova's full interview with Sean-Patrick Lovett:

In my opinion, the young generation of Ukrainians has to start thinking and acting strategically. Journalists don’t have to respond to the Russian propaganda. Rather, we have to focus on two things:

1) making Ukraine not the object, but the subject of the media landscape in a global context;

2) doing our daily work honestly and well.

I don’t know which one is more difficult to implement. Obviously, the first isn’t possible without the second.

Now we are more than 1000 km away from Ukraine. Every day we communicate with people from different countries. And I have understood that journalists are not doing enough to help people in the world understand Ukraine and Ukrainians.

We are in Rome for an internship and a lot of people ask which city we come from. We answer that we study in Lviv but me and my colleague, Oleksii, come  from different cities: I am from Mykolaiv and he is from Mariupol. Most people have heard about Lviv and some people we met have visited this city. But I have to explain that my native city Mykolaiv is situated in the South, between Odessa and Kherson. And as for Oleksiy, nobody has questions. People know where Mariupol is. Unfortunately, the world has heard a lot about Ukrainian cities like his because of the war in the East.

I am convinced that traveling helps get rid of unconscious bias. It’s very important to have different opportunities not only for young journalists like us. It allows us to see objective reality. We want people to know about Ukraine not because of the war. We want the world to see the Ukraine we dream about. That’s why we have to make sure that Truth triumphs.

And this is the challenge for the new generation of Ukrainian journalists. We don’t need to see journalism as a mission. We just need to do our job honestly and to understand who we are working for. It is not a vocation, it is a daily duty. And this crisis is the best time to test our sense of responsibility.

The slogan of our university sounds like a popular commercial: "Just do it!” Our professor of history, Yaroslav Grytsak, is an intellectual who calls UCU “the place where a new powerful generation is appearing”. This is the generation that can change and that wants to be changed. Yaroslav Grytsak teaches us to be optimistic because pessimism, he says, is cheap and lazy.

Now the most important thing for us is not to be afraid. We must overcome our fear of the first leap. We must overcome a lot of fears and stereotypes as we try to make our country better. And we can’t wait until the war is over.

To be successful, the main thing is for us to understand that the future of Ukraine starts from communicating the Truth right now. If we do, then I’m sure the dreams we have for our country will come true.

By Olga Klinova

10/07/2015 11:10