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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

From the right angle

CNN, The Washington Post, ABC News, and AP showed the video Andrii Dubchak took from Euromaidan’s unfinished Christmas Tree
17 December, 2013 - 11:14
ANDRII DUBCHAK IN FULL JOURNALIST GEAR ON THE MAIDAN / Photo courtesy of Andrii DUBCHAK

“This marvelous video shows the true scale of Ukrainian protests,” “A stunning video of the March of Millions taken from the top of Maidan’s Christmas Tree” – Ukrainian and foreign media carried these and other similar headlines on December 8. This special video was taken by the Radio Liberty website editor. The three-minute-long footage of the Sunday rally on Independence Square was so successful that it immediately flew all over the world. Andrii once did a course, “Journalism of the Digital Future,” at Mohyla Academy’s School of Journalism, and what he was taught at the university is his daily bread now. The Day spoke to the video’s author and unearthed the secrets of his “right footage.”

“I didn’t know how many people were on the Maidan, so all I could do was to show the number of people by means of camera, which I eventually did,” Dubchak says. “From the Christmas Tree, you could get a full view of all the streets adjacent to the Maidan. As a result, this video unexpectedly ‘made it,’ although I think it would be strange if a cameraman did not make use of such a point of filming. CNN, The Washington Post, ABC News, AP, and others have shown my video which has also been reposted about 10,000 times in Facebook and other social networking sites, such as VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, YouTube, and Twitter. Even [Moscow oppositionist Aleksei] Navalny tweeted it. It is not my first Maidan video that has stirred up mass-scale interest. My previous video about the first clashes on Bankova St. was also widely used by many, including CNN. With a white helmet on, I was on the gate. I also beamed live the clash for a security service bus on European Square. I also chose a very advantageous point to film from. I saw the envious eyes of other cameramen, but there was room for one man only on the windowsill. I will also say that I saw all the main events of the Orange Revolution with my own eyes. And even when I was in New York, I contrived to get to the Manhattan bomb disposal scene with a photo camera in hand. I don’t know how to explain this – a flair for adventures?”

Why do you think it is so important now to give a correct picture of the Maidan events?

“The press must supply true information – otherwise we are no journalists. I do not have this information (the exact number of people) when I am filming, so the main goal is to just show the panorama of a rally and, naturally, ask the people: ‘Who are you? Where are you from? Why are you here today? What are your forecasts and impressions?’ If there are any oppositionists, you must show and interview them. The viewer should form his own attitude to the events, and we must only be a source of unbiased information.”

Why do Russian TV channels always make mistakes about figures and facts or even twist them deliberately?

“Nobody has banned the information war yet. A journalist’s main objective is to show a general true picture of what is going on. The positions of all sides ought to be spotlighted. Once you begin to twist facts, you are no longer a journalist!”

By Anna SVENTAKH, The Day
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