Cross-border news exchange launched connecting Moldova to Ukraine and Georgia

The Independent Journalism Center in Chisinau, a SEENPM member, in partnership with Internews is launching a cross-border project “Strengthening Independent Media in Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia.”

This new project aims to improve access to useful information for citizens of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia by improving the capacity of local media, applying innovations in journalism, encouraging dialog among youth, training older people to get the most out of the internet, and stimulating collaboration between journalists from all three countries.

In Moldova, nine local media outlets will be selected as partners for the project. They will be involved in preparing a series of multimedia packages titled “Moldova Plus”. Partner outlets will learn how to diversify their content and make it more engaging for the public. Partners will be chosen by a group of experts and will include media outlets from the Transnistrian region and Gagauz autonomous region.

The “Moldova Plus” series will consist of seven multimedia packages that will be produced with the help of journalists from national media, selected via contest by the Independent Journalism Center. Multimedia packages will include video, audio, written materials, infographics, interactive maps, games, quizzes, and will cover thematic topics of national interest, which partner outlets from local media will be able to adapt for their audiences.Additionally, the project will provide microgrants for local media to produce content demanded by local audiences.

Cross-border content will focus on topics of significance to citizens in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine. These regional news packages will be the joint effort of journalists from all three countries, supported by the IJC in Moldova, Internews Georgia in Georgia and Internews Ukraine in Ukraine.

The project will establish an “Innovation Fund” to provide resources to media outlets and assist with technology upgrades to their newsrooms. This support will enable independent media outlets to model technological innovation in the media community and set examples for other media to follow.

A Media App Hackathon will connect software developers, local media, and citizen/media activists to create apps and online tools that independent media can use to better serve the information needs of their audiences.

Journalists and IT specialists from the three countries covered by the project will also be able to participate in a Media Innovations Lab that will be held in Kyiv. The lab will promote the use of Information Communication Technologies and online platforms to help media expand their online audiences, deepen their understanding of their audiences, and enhance audience engagement.

The project will include two components addressed exclusively toward young people: a media literacy camp and the “European Café” discussion club, which will be organized at different venues all around Moldova, to give young people the opportunity to meet journalists, activists, experts, musicians, and artists and discuss topics of common concern.

Finally, another component is an original and fun training initiative, “Get Grandma Online,” designed to popularize the use of the internet among the elderly, especially in rural areas, in order to better engage them in social and community life.

The project “Strengthening Independent Media in Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia” takes place between September 2016 and March 2018. Contact person: Rodica Catareu, project coordinator, сoordonator@ijc.md , tel.: 022 213 652.

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