A new TV editorial team will soon be reporting on major changes in Ukraine. Their new TV magazine will focus on the country's ongoing decentralization reforms, and DW Akademie is getting the team ready for the launch.
The studio for the new TV magazine isn't finished yet and everyone is rushing around trying to get it ready on time. It's just as hectic in a seminar room a few kilometers away. It's already mid-August 2018 and the program, "Spilno", will be going on air in two months time.
Colleagues meet for the first time
DW Akademie and the Ukrainian public broadcaster UA:PBC are getting the 15-member production team in shape for the program's launch this October. The trainers and participants refer to this one-week workshop as "The Bootcamp", and it's definitely just as strenuous and ambitious.
The journalists, camera operators come from four regional stations and will be forming a closely-knit editorial team. The show will be produced here in Odessa, Ukraine's port city on the Black Sea.
Team members will supply the weekly TV magazine with reports from their various regions. It's no coincidence that the name of the program, "Spilno" in Ukrainian means "together".
During the workshop participants look at storytelling and journalistic standards, and practice filming and editing reports. They also get an overview of the how things stand with Ukraine's ongoing decentralization reforms. This will be the focus of the new show.
Making administrative reforms relevant to viewers
People in many of the regions are passive or even sceptical about the reforms, says 28- year-old Tetiana Fedorkova, a journalist from the northeastern city of Kharkiv. "I'm glad to be part of the new program," she says, "so that people in my region can better understand what's driving the reforms and what the benefits are."
Giving a final polish to the piece: as of October, the journalists will be producing their reports from four different regions in Ukraine.
At the heart of the reforms are efforts to give more power and financial resources to local authorities, so that they can solve problems more easily at the municipal level.
Oleksij Sylyno, the 33-year-old editor-in-chief of the new TV magazine, underlines the reforms' importance. "This way, local bodies will be able to meet their social obligations to the public," he stresses. "That's why it's so important to report on the current state of the reforms from various regions of the country," he says.
Learning to organize themselves as a team
As part of the "Bootcamp", Sylyno and his team are setting down production processes. There's not much time left – the new weekly half-hour show will be launched in October. By then, they'll need to have coordinated the workflows and thoroughly tested the equipment.
This intensive one-week workshop has brought the journalists and camera operators closer together. At the age of 45, Oleksij Tkachenko is one of the oldest members of the team and has worked as a camera operator for more than 20 years. Before switching to public broadcasting he had worked for a number of private TV stations. Journalism there, he says, was closely tied to public relations and owners' interests. "Now," he says, "we can finally do journalism exclusively for the interests of the viewers."
DW Akademie and UA:PBC will continue to coach the new editorial team.