Three journalists from 0629.com.ua, an online news outlet in Mariupol, Ukraine, visited Charlottesville Tomorrow last week. The three-day visit was part of an exchange program organized by non-governmental organization International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) that could result in members of our newsroom visiting Eastern Europe within the next year. Editor Yuliia Sviashchenko and reporters Hanna Krivutsa and Alona Kaliakina — half of the newsroom — exchanged tips with our newsroom on government and climate reporting and building trust with our communities. The team at 0629, whose name is the area code for Mariupol, talked about being an independent news outlet when other outlets are prevented by their owners from covering certain topics, like the pollution caused by the factories in the town. They also spoke on the challenges of reporting in an area that was close to the Russian military intervention in Ukraine. Svitlana Zholobaylo, Ukraine Media Partnership Program program director at IREX, and interpreter Oleksandra Didukh helped bridge the English and Ukrainian conversations.
The visiting team went to several regional cultural destinations, including the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, the University of Virginia, Monticello and Montpelier. CBS19 also took the visiting journalists on a tour of its newsroom. You are welcome back anytime, 0629!