Half Year Report 2019
Change or Die: How We Were Creating New Things In The First Half of 2019
Every single minute of the day on the web users watch 4.5 million YouTube videos, perform 3.8 million Google searches, send 188 million emails and scroll through almost 350,000 Instagram posts. 65% of today's first graders will have professions that do not exist yet.
The new reality sends into oblivion outdated approaches and produces unprecedented threats. Robots already write articles for The Associated Press and The Washington Post, and algorithms understand us better than ourselves at a time when an ordinary toaster can «leak» our personal data.
It’s impossible to stop the digital revolution, but we are definitely able to become part of it. See what we've managed to achieve in the first half of 2019 in this whirlwind of change and technological innovation.
At the beginning of the year, we rebranded ourselves: we’ve changed our logo and corporate identity, launched a new site and also visually updated our newsletters and social network pages. We rebranded our Instagram page to expand our audience and create new interactions. Such changes didn’t leave our audience indifferent. Thank you for all your kind words in comments, letters, and messages.
WATCH OUT, BOTS AND TROLLS!
In January, with the support of the NATO Information and Documentation Center in Ukraine (NIDS), we developed a new training module and organized a pilot event called “Antibot: How to Expose Information Manipulation”. Trainers from the Netherlands, Lithuania, and Ukraine shared their own experience of fighting off bots, and explained how they contend with false information and “fake news” (including news of Kremlin origin). As a result, we prepared the analytical materials #WordsAndWars Digest and detailed training summary.
Moreover, we’ve declared a real war on Facebook trolls! Thanks to the TrollessUA project, anyone can join the CyberElves Team. Its members are already compiling a base of accounts that use hate speech and spread fakes. We have in the works an appeal to Facebook requesting the checking and blocking of such profiles. Also, we’re preparing a special Google Chrome extension that will mark troll accounts and warn users of the information danger.
As part of the UkraineWorld initiative, we co-organized a panel discussion at the Kyiv Security Forum for the first time. “Words and Wars: How to Balance Information Freedom and Information Security?”: Ukrainian and foreign media experts were looking for the answer to this question. You can read about the outcomes of the discussion on UkraineWorld.
IN THE WORLD OF VIRTUAL REALITY: INTERACTIVE INSTALLATIONS
How to talk about important problems in society in the language of emotions? How to foster understanding between Ukrainians through interactive art? How to increase media literacy with the help of the latest technologies? Our answer is: let’s wear VR glasses!
Fit Your Life into the Valise (Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa)
Our goal: to overcome stereotypes and prejudices that exist towards IDPs, as well as to deepen mutual understanding between displaced people and residents of large unoccupied Ukrainian cities.
We equipped two interactive rooms for this. The first one recreated the atmosphere of an ordinary Ukrainian flat. In this flat visitors, within limited time, needed to collect things from the list. Afterwards, the visitors proceeded to the next room where they wore VR glasses. The 360-degree view provides the most realistic representation of the typical locations that IDPs usually meet on their path. The checkpoint, the station, social security center, boarding house and, finally, a rented flat.
- 976 visitors
- 121 materials in media
- 110 publications on social networks with the project’s hashtag #LifeFromTheStart
Propagandarium (Kramatorsk, Atlas Weekend in Kyiv, Odesa, Donbas Media Forum in Kharkiv)
Our goal: to teach Ukrainians to distinguish real and fake news, and not to be manipulated by the Kremlin. In an easy and entertaining way, the installation demonstrates that media literacy is now just as important as computer literacy.
Visitors had to prove in practice that #IAmNotBeingManipulated is about them. To do this, they went through a bizarre "propaganda museum" and an interactive "media literacy room". Unique “fakeologists” jokingly determined the number of “kiselov” in the bodies of visitors and prescribe high-quality “mediamins” and an effective VR therapy. All for the sake of making Ukrainians completely “Kiselov-free”!
- 2,110 visitors
- 93 materials in media
- 150 publications on social networks with the project’s hashtags #Пропагандаріум (Propagandarium), #НеВедуся (Idon’tFallForIt)
BIG DATA: SOCIAL NETWORK RESEARCH
How do social network users influence political life in the country? What do they write about the candidates, and what impact does this have on the real election results? We were looking for the answers to these questions in unison with data analytics company Singularex.
During the presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine, with the help of Neural Networks and other methods of Artificial Intelligence, we examined posts from users who have designated Ukraine as their country of residence.
- What Russian social network VK says about Ukrainian election
- What Facebook, Instagram, VK users are saying about the parliamentary race
- Memocracy: How Facebook, Instagram and VK users influenced the New Ukrainian Parliament
We also held three press conferences to present research findings and received 125 mentions in the media.
NEW RECORDS: UKRAINE FOR THE WORLD
“UkraineWorld – one of the most useful communities I belong to. It helps to understand better how certain Ukrainian events are perceived abroad”, Dmytro Kuleba, Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, wrote in his book “War for Reality”.
UkraineWorld.org journalists and analysts were telling the world the truth about Ukraine through:
- 52 articles,
- 22 infographics,
- 7 podcasts,
- 5 explainer videos,
- 14 articles in foreign publications, including Atlantic Council, DisinfoPortal, Ukraineverstehen, NewEasternEurope.
The main topic was the Ukrainian presidential election: more than 27,000 readers were following the two rounds of the race on the Ukraine's Election 2019 page, which we were updating LIVE. We were the first among all English-language media in Ukraine on the basis of page views.
VIDEOS TO THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
To encourage Ukrainians to come to the polls on election day and make informed choices, we created two videos.
- Come out and vote to protect the future of Ukraine – 109k Facebook views
- What the President of Ukraine is responsible for? – 17k Facebook views
STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE PUBLIC SECTOR
As part of the Pact’s ENGAGE program, which stands for Enhance Non-Governmental Actors and Grassroots Engagement, we have strengthened the strategic communications of 20 NGOs in Ukraine. For this purpose we conducted:
- 20 communication audits,
- 193 consultations,
- 20 sociological studies.
Each organization has received an individual plan with recommendations. Updating communication strategies, expanding the competencies of teams, developing informational campaigns – all for the sake of making the communication of Ukrainian NGOs bright and effective.
DIGITAL SECURITY AND INTERNET FREEDOM
How can you practice digital hygiene and avoid becoming a victim of cyber fraud? How to protect your personal data when so many apps hunt for it? Our experts from Digital Security School 380 know the answers. They share their knowledge and practical tips on the DSS380 Facebook page as well as in the IT compilations of nv.ua.
On 18 June 2019 we celebrated “the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Free Internet. One year ago several media NGOs supported our initiative to support the free development of the Internet in Ukraine. We continue to handle this topic through the netfreedom.org.ua resource. During the first half of 2019, 180 materials about the freedom of the Internet (news, reviews, longreads, analytics) were published on the site.
MEDIA DEVELOPMENT – THE CONSTANT FOCUS
We’re sure that the success of Ukraine is not possible without the establishment of successful independent media outlets. That’s why we train journalists and support the sustainable development of media projects.
- Training in solutions-focused journalism: training of trainers with the participation of Lithuanian experts and further training of journalists. It will promote Solution Journalism in Ukraine.
- Storytelling Lab for participants from 12 countries in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the Caucasus.
- Grants for multimedia production (regional and international).
- Media Development Grants (new call - annually). The publications create additional platforms for their promotion, improve their own sites, attract business in order to expand advertising.
- Instagram-contest for Journalist Day: 5 winners have received certificates for the Book Forum in Lviv.
OUR FIRST HALF-YEAR 2019 IN NUMBERS
- 22 projects
- 50 team members
- 72 events (training sessions, seminars, installations)
- 5,249 members
- 215 scholarships and grants for media
- 15 video products
- 1,232 new Facebook subscribers
- 42,939 site visitors
The digital era dictates new forms but it does not change the essence. We continue to work in three areas: media development, strategic communications, information security. Innovation, professionalism and efficiency remain our foundation. Our main aim is to serve Ukrainian society. There are still many unbreakable peaks ahead, but we will manage. Glory to Ukraine!