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Ukrainian journalists use their T-shirts to speak out about the war in Ukraine at the Global Media Forum

18.06.2024, 15:15

Ukrainian media workers arrived at the Global Media Forum (GMF) wearing T-shirts with numbers related to the war in Ukraine. The purpose of the rally was to draw the world's attention to Russia's aggression against our country, reports the IMI representative in Cherkasy oblast, Yelena Shchepak.

The Global Media Forum is taking place in Bonn on June 17–18.

Ukrainian journalists at the Global Media Forum / Photo by Vitaliy Ulybin

The heads of nine regional Ukrainian media outlets joined the rally: "Chetverta Vlada", "Poltavska Khvylia", "Varosh", "Kramatorsk Post", 18000, "Mayak", "Zmist", "Shpalta",

The 18000 director, Yelena Shchepak, was in a T-shirt stating that 37,961 people are considered missing due to the war in Ukraine.

Vitaliy Ulybin in his comment to IMI noted that the GMF organizers did not invite Ukrainians to speak at the plenum.

"There was room for Navalny discusions and even the good Belarusians and Russians had a spot at the panel. So today our entire team of Ukrainian journalists will be conveying information in any way available to us," Ulybin wrote.

The "Varosh" development director, Iryna Soviak, wrote on her T-shirt, "Russia has killed at least 551 children in Ukraine."

"We saw how little attention is being paid to Ukraine in the discussions at the GMF. More precisely, this topic is almost absent, especially in discussions on specific topics such as the safety of journalists, where Ukrainians could certainly share their experience of working in combat areas. For us, making inscriptions on t-shirts and wearing them all day is a very quick, obvious and yet unobtrusive way of reminding that the war in Ukraine is still going on," Iryna Sovyak said in her comment of IMI.

Ukrainian journalists speak out about Ukraine war statistics at the Global Media Forum / Photo by Vitaliy Ulybin

She stressed: the fact that the war has been going on for a long time is not a reason to remove the discussion of it from the agenda.

The editor-in-chief of the Odesa media outlet "Mayak", Tayina Fedoseyeva, wrote the number 1395 on her T-shirt – the number of air raid alerts in her hometown since the start of the full-scale invasion.

"And this number is growing by the day. I want to show that the alert sound that rings on the phones of Ukrainian journalists is not just an unpleasant sharp sound, it is a sign that you are once again participating in a terrible lottery: will the missile fly to your city or to another? Will it hit your house, the house of your relatives, or will it be shot down by our air defense?" Tayina Fedoseyeva said.

She stressed that it is important to show what is behind the numbers on the T-shirts.

"For many of us, the numbers are personal: 'Five of my friends have died in the war', 'one of my homes was taken away by Russia'. It's not about statistics or abstract stories, it's about what's happening to us and to each Ukrainian right now," emphasized the "Mayak" editor-in-chief.

According to IMI, 82 media workers have died during the war in Ukraine.

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