UZHGOROD, Ukraine, June 19
The International Festival of Local Televisions, held annually in Košice, Slovakia, moved yesterday to Ukraine, in a show of support for Ukrainian local televisions and in an effort to help Ukrainian producers to expand their services to their viewers.
The festival, established in 1995, is organized by the nonprofit City TV Foundation. Its original mission was to help newly established local stations in Central and Eastern Europe with training and program exchanges. It has expanded well beyond its original area of concentration. Its program competition this year includes entries from Europe and, for the first time, Iraq.
At their first meeting on Thursday night, media experts from the Czech Republic, Serbia and Slovakia traced the role of media in the course of their countries' recent development. There followed a two-hour discussion with Ukrainian journalists in which differences and commonalities were discussed. The Ukrainians emphasized the enormous effects on all media of the conflict in the country's east.
The discussion continues today, with an eye to establishing links between Ukrainian local televisions and those local stations which have traditionally participated in the International Festival of Local Televisions.
Also on Friday, Ukrainian stations' coverage of the conflict in the east of the country will be shown and discussed.
The festival will return to Košice on Saturday, Ukrainians included, for an awards ceremony.