Just as the country was witnessing a massive protest rally, Den’s team... went to Luhansk! We did so at the invitation of the Eastern Ukraine Center for Creative Initiatives and local journalism department students, to know them better. It should come as no surprise, since we are absolutely convinced that any revolution must begin first and foremost in the minds of people, especially young people as the most progress-inclined part of any society.
Den has voluntarily assumed a duty to meet with students across the country, and has been doing so for 17 years. It has never been an easy job. As independent Ukraine is emerging, civic-minded young people need frank and serious dialog more than ever. It is an important factor of civil society formation.
This is why Den’s editor-in-chief Larysa Ivshyna addressed crowded lecture rooms in Dnipropetrovsk, Lviv, Odesa, Lutsk, Ostroh, Donetsk, Kirovohrad, Chernihiv, Sumy, and other cities. Some of these meetings she covered in her book My Universities. “During the meetings and debates at universities in the east, west and south of the country, I have often seen how much we need targeted internal (along with European!) integration,” Ivshyna wrote in the preface to the book. “We need it for a better understanding of each other, for mutual enrichment, to sense that fortunate diversity so prevalent in this country.”
Some universities send their representatives to us for the Summer School of Journalism. By the way, the school has taught over 400 students over its 11-year-long history! It has prepared a full-fledged national media team, substitutes and all.
Despite the stress and crazy work rhythm we are experiencing now, Den sent me to Luhansk to promote better mutual understanding and close contacts.
We discussed the topic “Analytics in a Convergent Media Outlet: Den’s Experience” for two hours and... saw our discussion transformed, according to the students, into “a tete-a-tete meeting with the newspaper.”
I was pleasantly surprised by Luhansk youths’ vigorous participation in the debate. They were interested in everything, including how a trilingual newspaper’s editorial office functions?, what should articles look like, what journalists one needs to read if one is to achieve Den’s team’s level, and how to get a place on the Summer School of Journalism.
I saw one more time that the division of this country into east and west is an artificial one. Students who grew up in a Russian-speaking environment understood my Ukrainian perfectly, as it is the language of instruction in the university. I noticed that some young people were excited to get a hand on issues of The Day, the English-language version of Den! Some of them were sure they would read it through... They are active, ambitious, interesting young people who seek knowledge and self-development. I am sure this newspaper’s projects will help those who first discovered Den at that meeting.
Our family includes Den, glossy supplement Route No. 1, multimedia platform day.kiev.ua, Summer School of Journalism, project “Ukraina Incognita” which consists of Online Museums, Ukraine’s Family Album, and Intellectual Map of Ukraine units, International Photo Contest, James Mace Prize, Online Self-Education project, new video outlet Den-TV, and Den’s Library, a collection of book series. The students could not believe that all this work was done by one journalistic team.
I conveyed to Luhansk youths Ivshyna’s informative greetings in the form of “Subversive Literature” book series, the latest addition to our Library. Unusually for such meetings, the gift did not go to the best question’s author, as we transferred it to the subdepartment of journalism’s library for public use. The subdepartment’s head, Candidate of Science (Philology), Associate Professor Natalia Fedotova graciously accepted the books.
Of course, we were unable to discuss everything during the meeting that lasted just a few academic hours. It was probably unnecessary to do so, too, as it could overload the young people’s brains. Still, we have contacted each other. Some Luhansk residents know and read Den. Even if they are a tiny minority yet, these are the city’s intellectuals... Hopefully, they will understand our topics and provide feedback.
In conclusion, I would like to advertise our local partners, specially for students who persistently asked me where one could buy Den. Press kiosk chains Luhanskdruk and Mega-print offer it in Luhansk, while the traditional mail subscription is still working as well.