Journalists in Ukraine often lack adequate training. DW Akademie workshops are trying to help fill this gap and a former participant recently won a prize for his work.
Former DW Akademie workshop participant Sergej Rozhnovsky was recently awarded a major distinction for a radio program focusing on health. The 50 year-old radio journalist and university lecturer from Mariupol had produced the magazine-style program together with his students. The jury described the program as "vibrant, dynamic and appealing". Jury members came from the country's health ministry and national association for journalists. Thirty-seven Ukrainian radio stations had competed for the prize worth 4,000 hryvnia (approx. 375 euros). "My students weren't initially confident enough to submit the program," says Rozhnovsky, "but now they're overjoyed."
In 2010 Rozhnovsky took part in a two-week DW Akademie radio workshop in Odessa. "It was like a gift," he recalls, "and completely changed how I teach and the way I work as a journalist." It caused him to see the Ukrainian media in a different light, he says. "The media here is boring and hard to understand, and journalists often focus on themselves."
Rozhnovsky and his students produce vibrant reports using audio clips and clear and simple language - a rarity on Ukrainian radio. "And," he adds, "I'm constantly drumming it into my students that journalists have to stay neutral."
His journalism faculty suffers from a shortage of good technical equipment but at a recent campus radio competition Rozhnovsky's program won another prize - this time a high-quality, brand-name recorder. While his students were experimenting with the new device, Rozhnovsky attended another DW Akademie radio workshop in Kharkiv - one of the cities hosting the UEFA European Football Championship. "DW Akademie should continue offering workshops here in Ukraine," says Rozhnovsky. "They're a catalyst and can change the way we work as journalists."