The tour began in Budapest, Hungary, where our fellows connected with leading independent newsrooms, including Telex, RTL, Mangyar Hang, and hvg. These discussions revolved around topics like freedom of speech, democracy, and the European coverage of Ukraine, shedding light on the power of journalism to promote understanding and transparency.
Italy was the second stop on the tour, offering the Ukrainian fellows the chance to engage with various media outlets. They visited Rai public TV, where they met with reporters who had covered the Russian war against Ukraine extensively. Another significant meeting was with Internazionale, a weekly newspaper that translates articles worldwide to offer Italian-speaking audiences diverse viewpoints. The visit aimed to provide the fellows with insights into the Italian media landscape and facilitate potential publication opportunities.
In Sofia, Ukrainian journalists had a lecture by Yavor Siderov, a journalist and political scientist, who delved into the reasons behind Russia's influence on Bulgaria and the country's relations with EU partners. They also visited BTV, Bulgaria's most-watched TV channel, known for its extensive coverage of Russia's war against Ukraine. This visit allowed for valuable exchanges with colleagues from BNR, Economedia publishing house, and its publications, including the weekly magazine "Kapital" and the online newspaper "Dnevnik." In all these newsrooms, the Ukrainian fellows presented their work.
The visit culminated in a panel discussion titled "Between Political and Cultural Decolonization in Eastern Europe: Ukraine and Bulgaria vis-a-vis Russian Influence." The event, moderated by Bulgarian journalist Krasen Nikolov, featured insightful contributions from Bohdana Neborak, Daria Hirna-Krylevska, and political scientist Deyan Kyuranov. This discussion was hosted by the Association of European Journalists - Bulgaria and was followed by informal networking, facilitating even more in-depth connections and understanding.
The final stop on the tour took the Ukrainian journalists to Madrid, Spain. Here, they visited the European Parliament headquarters in Madrid. Next, the group visited the newsroom of El Pais, one of the most influential newspapers in Spain and Latin America. Our fellows also had a cozy meeting with Borja Lashersa, a Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis, discussing topics related to transatlantic defence and security.
The tour concluded with a visit to the newsroom of El Confidencial, the oldest Spanish digital newspaper. This meeting showcased the approach to covering Ukraine through data journalism, human stories, and visualization. As a closing event, a panel discussion at El Español "Understanding the 10 Years of Russia's War Against Ukraine," moderated by Jara Atienza, was hosted. The event featured documentary photographer Alvaro Ybarra Zavala, political scientist Nicolás de Pedro, and Ukrainian journalist Olena Removska.