Our journalist tours across universities of Ukraine

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Our journalist Iryna Vyrtosu has recently toured across the universities of Ukraine. The meetings with mostly the journalists-to-be were focused on human rights, discrimination, investigative journalism, and the challenges for modern media.

The students were usually interested in the practical examples: what the human rights are, how they can be protected in case of abuse, and why it is important to be active in protecting your rights, not only talk “in the kitchen.”

Iryna visited five universities of Ukraine – the Yuri Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University, the National University “Ostroh Academy”, the V.N. Karazin National Kharkiv University, the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, and the Irpin Economic College.

The journalist noted the high level of activity of the students: they were not afraid of asking and arguing, being honest and seeking answers to their questions.

The campaign “Discrimination restricts. Resist!” was also presented within the framework of the tour across universities.

Iryna Vyrtosu later shared that it was sometimes difficult to talk about human rights when the state violated them all the time. Moreover, it is difficult to believe that a person can resist pressure.

The human rights journalism is primarily aimed at changing – solving of a particular situation of a particular person, destroying certain stereotypes, preventing discrimination, or changing legislation, etc. And if little strokes fell great oaks, the professional journalistic materials surely have the impact on the improvement in human rights field, Iryna Vyrtosu believes.

Communicating with students, I noticed that their understanding of human rights is mostly ‘taken from the books.’ When I cited everyday examples, the students often could not distinguish between the human rights and the domestic conflicts. It happens not because they are bad students. The overall legal awareness of the Ukrainian population is not very high. We do not come across with the big victories in the field of human rights in the media very often, so we have no examples to learn. Unfortunately, the human rights debates often take place in the expert environment. So, its presentation for the mass audience has to become one of the tasks of journalists,” the journalist commented.


The tour across the universities was launched within the framework of the project “Polish scholarship for investigative journalists” implemented by the Polish Journalists Association in partnership with the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine and the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine with the financial support of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation Region in Transition” – RITA program, implemented by the Education for Democracy Foundation.

Later the tour was supported by the campaign “Discrimination restricts. Resist!” implemented by the Coalition for Combating Discrimination with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation.