public interest journalism
public interest journalism lab
Founded by Ukrainian journalists Nataliya Gumenyuk and Angelina Kariakina,
the Public Interest Journalism Lab is an interdisciplinary coalition of partners, including the Arena Programme at the London School of Economics, Kharkiv Institute of Social Research, and Lviv Media Forum.
Public Interest Journalism Lab
Public Interest Journalism Lab
Arena Programme at the London School of Economics
Kharkiv Institute of Social Research
Lviv Media Forum
The Lab seeks to popularise best practices for public interest journalism in the digital age.

Experts research public opinion and test content among audiences, and media architects develop editorial strategies based on sociological research and analysis of the reactions of different audiences.
The Lab's main tasks are creating high quality content to promote a constructive discussion around complex social topics, and testing this content on audiences, before developing editorial strategies based on the sociological research.
The Kharkiv Institute of Social Research

is an independent, non-profit organisation. Since 1999 their research has mainly focused on access to justice in Ukraine, police transparency, public safety in regions which are located near to zones of military conflict in Ukraine; discriminatory practices and the reformation of social services at the community level.
The Lviv Media Forum

is the biggest media conference in Central and Eastern Europe, an ecosystem of people, organisations and projects. It develops comprehensive media solutions and popularises the best worldwide media practices in Ukraine.
The Arena Programme LSE

The London School of Economics researches the causes of disinformation, polarisation and hate speech and creates counter responses. specialises in best practices for creating media content in the public interest, and in cutting-edge sociological research that investigates how to overcome the challenges of polarisation and disinformation.
Public Interest Journalism Lab

The Lab seeks to popularise best practices for public interest journalism in the digital age.
Pilot project by the Public Interest Journalism Lab, a joint interdisciplinary project by Ukrainian and British journalists and sociologists, with contributions from the Arena programme at the London School of Economics, the Lviv Media Forum and the Kharkiv Institute of Social Research, which aims to develop editorial and information strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Authors: Igor Balynskyi, Nataliya Gumenyuk, Denys Kobzin, Angelina Kariakina, Peter Pomerantsev.

The report was prepared with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation within the framework of the project «Humanity and mutual cooperation». The material reflects the position of the authors and does not necessarily coincide with the position of the International Renaissance Foundation.
the aim
The aims of the study are to better understand Ukrainian citizens' attitudes towards the COVID-19 pandemic, to study the way society consolidates itself in the fight against it, to analyse the influence videos of a particular theme have on the audience, as well as to decipher the audience's concerns, by looking at which types of content they trust and whether this content relieves their anxiety. .
The hypothesis
The research hypothesis was based on the assumption that stories about mutual assistance and solidarity, that commonly arise when people live through an unprecedented crisis, can evoke positive emotions,
and re-establish a sense of control over a situation and the desire to
act proactively instead of being overcome by anxiety, confusion and hopelessness.
The team created 5 original videos based on the "constructive journalism" approach, and analysed audience reactions to them.
The research methodology was developed in collaboration with experts" from the Arena programme at the London School of Economics together with sociologists at the Kharkiv Institute of Social Research. The latter collected and analysed primary data.
Throughout late April and early
May 2020, 30 in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted,
both remotely and face-to-face.

The use of interviews made it possible
to obtain more detailed data on perceptions of COVID-19 coverage in
the media, to study the existing attitudes, motives, expectations and patterns of human behaviour during an epidemic, and to test interview participants' responses to the media content created by the project.

Participants were chosen according to region (6 from each of the north, south, east and west of Ukraine, as well as from Kyiv and the Kyiv region), with an equal representation of men and women, and of different age groups, divided into young (up to 35 years old), middle-aged (36-59 years old) or elderly (60+ years).
The chosen method and results collected allowed for an in-depth analysis of the various individual responses.

However, due to the small sample size of this study, caution should be exercised when drawing generalisations and conclusions on the different age and regional groups in Ukraine.

These people are inspiring. They show that things can be done and should be done. There are positive emotions. I think that this should be shown on television as
it can set an example. It remains in one's mind and can be developed.
It gives one hope that we still have people like this, that not everything is lost, and that anything can be good and will be good.

Research participant
Based on the results of the study, we propose a range of conclusions and recommendations not only for the media, but for any other organisation and institution whose work concerns discussions around the COVID-19 pandemic. While some of the conclusions may appear to be obvious standards of good-quality journalism, it is nonetheless worth noting that they are confirmed by the participants' responses.
Contact us
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For media and all other requests please send an e-mail:
Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, London
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