Participating in a Humanity in Action program inspired Senior Fellow Mariana Pryven to broaden the issues she covered as a journalist. The program expanded her knowledge about many human rights issues that she knew were problems in Ukraine, and she wanted to spread awareness about these problems in the hope that they would be better understood and addressed.
Mariana was especially interested in covering civic rights, translators’ rights, economic difficulties, migrant problems and health issues (such as lack of vaccinations).
Mariana contacted the editor-in-chief of The Kiev Times and discussed the possibility of writing a series of publications on social topics for the print and online editions of the newspaper. She explained that she wanted to write informed pieces, and that her articles would feature interviews with experts on each social issue. After rounds of negotiations with the editor-in-chief, the topics were confirmed.
The next step was locating experts and requesting interviews. Many of the experts Mariana reached out to were suggested to her by professionals in the field. If she wanted to interview a particularly high profile expert, she requested that the publisher of The Kiev Times help establish contact.
Once Mariana had confirmed interview dates, she prepared for each interview by conducting extensive academic research in order to come into the interview with an informed understanding of the issue.
Mariana wanted to write informed pieces and wanted her articles to feature interviews with experts on each social issue.
She also outlined her interview questions before meeting each expert. After conducting each interview, Mariana wrote the news article and submitted it to the editor-in-chief.
Mariana found that because human rights topics are not well-publicized, especially in major news publications, media outlets are often intrigued when journalists approach them with a proposal to write about such issues. She emphasizes the importance of researching the topics before conducting any interviews, as it is crucial to know about multiple aspects of the topic before having a conversation with an expert. She also suggests that while each interview should contain specialized information, it is important that it still be interesting and accessible to a wider audience.