Voxeurop: Supporting independent news media from Ukraine
Ukraine invasion: local perspectives
Our news feeds are filled with news on Ukraine. But, because of our reading habits, filter bubbles and linguistic skills, we mostly get Western or national perspectives. Coverage from local sources and perspectives is essential to diversify our understanding and explore the nuances of a fraught environment.
To this end, with the support of European Cultural Foundation’s Culture of Solidarity Fund, news outlet Voxeurop endeavours to expand its coverage of the crisis by providing its readers and partners with content that is otherwise hard to access. Their project ‘Ukraine invasion: local perspectives’ is already in motion and is supporting local independent news media from Ukraine and the countries concerned– Russia, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Moldova, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.
After buying editorial content from independent media outlets and journalists in Ukraine and neighbouring countries, Voxeurop translates, edits, publishes and syndicates those articles to a wider European audience.
Established in 2014, Voxeurop is a team of 30 journalists based across Europe, reporting unique experiences on European affairs and beyond. They address topics including climate change, migration, the health crisis, deepening inequality, the erosion of democratic principles and press freedom – always from the point of shared European values. Their ethos is to empower civil society to have a prominent role in producing journalistic content based on solidarity, inclusivity, fraternity and collaboration.
From the early days of the 2014 invasion of Ukraine by unmarked Russian troops, Voxeurop has been following the issue through local and neighbouring countries’ sources.
Voxeurop’s editor-in-chief Gian-Paolo Accardo describes the process by which Voxeurop curates its content: ‘First, we look at selected independent sources that are preferably small-to-medium size – and of course reliable. We have known some of them for a long time, others more recently, and we asked our correspondent to vouch for them. Then, we assess whether the topic is relevant for our audience and partners: Is it new? Is it original? Is it something one would not find in Western media? Does it provide a local perspective? Finally, we check if it’s well written both in terms of reliability and readability.’
In today’s media landscape laden with fake news and echo chambers, independent journalists recognise their responsibility to be vigilant against biased perspectives. ‘Our expertise and that of our local correspondents,’ says Gian-Paolo, ‘as well as our trust in the sources we use, helps us to navigate through fake news. We understand that some media might be biased and tend to be as transparent as possible by providing some context on the media itself. We tend to privilege trustworthy local voices – journalists, experts, writers, academics, civil society actors.’
A network of solidarity
Voxeurop poignantly asserts that solidarity is one of Europe’s core values. In practice, this means that in the media sector, organisations support each other both professionally – through sharing experiences, know-how, skills and tips – and financially – through finding new ways of getting revenues from their work.
Voxurop shares a view into the present and future of what solidarity in this field looks like: ‘We already are exchanging the content we produce or that we syndicate with our partners. Ideally, we would do it on a larger scale, with more partners and monetising this service. We would – as we already are doing – share the revenues with the authors and the sources to sustain the process and support independent journalism throughout Europe.’
Gian-Paolo shares a recent example: ‘We’ve reused an investigation by our Czech partners from Deník Referendum and syndicated it with our French friends from Alternatives Economiques. The fee paid by the latter devolved to the former. We wish there were more of these operations, but most small-to-medium independent news organisations have few resources for purchasing content. Therefore CoS’ support is very much appreciated and is helping to develop a culture of syndication in both directions (sharing and purchasing).’
Follow Voxeurop’s stories here.