By invitation of the Social Communication Department at Kherson State University’s Faculty of Linguistics and Journalism, this writer had a discussion with his future colleagues on the challenges of a multi-vector approach and professionalism in the present-day media. A demonstration lecture, attended by senior students, instructors, and professors, was delivered in a three-piece format: the report, questions and answers, and a master class by Den’s editor-in-chief Larysa IVSHYNA video-recorded by Telekrytyka journalists.
Speaking of the arousal of Ukrainianness by way of various Den projects, such as a trilingual publication, an own website, the Den’s Library, the Internet portal Ukraina Incognita, the glossy supplement Route No.1, the Summer School of Journalism, social networking site pages, and the Den-TV video channel, the discussion put emphasis on the necessity of a profound historical education for journalists. The latest events in Ukraine have reminded us painfully again that professional journalism cannot do without adequate knowledge of the historical background – this applies to Ukraine’s contemporary history and its centuries-old past. Accordingly, lack of this knowledge often leads to wrong accents in texts and transfer of “foreign” senses to newspaper pages and TV programs.
The debate on Den journalists’ multi-vector work enabled Kherson students to see the way a modern newspaper reaches out to its reader and the readership maintains a feedback with editors.
Here are a few impressions of the discussion.
“DEN BROACHES THE SUBJECTS THAT OTHER MEDIA ESCHEW”
Nalalia ORLOVA, Senior Lecturer, Social Communications Department, Faculty of Philology and Journalism, Kherson State University:
“Our department has been subscribing to the newspaper Den for many years, for it is the example of a really high-quality publication based on Ukraine-centered views. We find it interesting to read and analyze Den at seminars in terms of content, layout, and genres, for it is the model of a successful convergent media. Knowing that there is Den’s own correspondent in Kherson, we decided to seize this opportunity to give students firsthand information about the publication’s projects. For it is no secret that it is sometimes more interesting for would-be journalists to listen to a young practitioner than to a university theoretician. The debate was held in a warm atmosphere, and some participants discovered Den’s new projects, including those online. I also saw the young people’s interest in Den’s books and glossy supplement. Also interesting and topical was the viewing of Larysa Ivshyna’s master class. It was almost a live contract with the editor who heads a team that creates high-quality elitist journalism. Den often broaches the serious and profound subjects that other media eschew, such as travels across Ukraine, the unknown pages of history, and the forgotten names of well-known Ukrainians. I think both students and the faculty left the classroom, bearing Ms. Ivshyna’s message on what moral and ethical principles Ukrainian journalists need today, what knowledge should be learned to avoid making mistakes in life. It is of paramount importance today, with due account of the current events.”
“I UNDERSTOOD HOW VERSATILE A JOURNALIST SHOULD BE”
Oleksii PALCHUNOV, 2nd-year student, Faculty of Philology and Journalism, Kherson State University:
“It was interesting for me, a student, to come to know about the practical particularities of working in a contemporary national Ukrainian publication, for there is a shortage of this information in a university that mostly furnishes theoretical knowledge. And, from the angle of a young journalist, it was also useful to borrow certain experience from an older colleague and to see what I should aspire for. When you take into account Den’s multi-vector approach, you understand how versatile a contemporary journalist should be and what professional skills he or she must possess. This is a challenge of today. But as much important is the quality of work and the awareness of responsibility, for we can often see the manipulation of people through the media.
“I had very little known about the Den’s Library before this, so I gladly discovered this side of the newspaper. I share Den’s view that journalists need a high-quality historical education. It is important to get rid of the obsolete stereotypes that were planted into the brains of Ukrainians. And it is very difficult to do so unless you know your own history. Independent Ukraine must have seen too few high-quality historical publications which reconsider our heritage. So, from this viewpoint, the Den’s Library is filling gaps in historical knowledge.”
“THE PUBLICATION HELPS UKRAINIANS KNOW THEMSELVES”
Yevhen PASIEKA, 3rd-year student, Faculty of Philology and Journalism, Kherson State University:
“It was a topical and useful discussion. I personally liked the master class of Den’s editor-in-chief Larysa Ivshyna because I think the ideas she was expressing are crucial for modern-day journalists. A journalist must always think over the reaction that his or her work will trigger, if at all, in society. Therefore, one must do his or her work in a professional manner, being guided by conscience and journalistic standards, not only by material motivations. If we put these ideas into practice, it will take us a shorter time to build a democratic civil society. It is important that, in spite of everything, Den continues large-scale work to help Ukrainians know themselves. It is doing this in such a way that the reader and wise ideas will never miss each other.”