News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Akron Children's Hospital

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government and Politics

Northeastern Ohioans help others keep tabs on Kiev
They've formed the Euromaidan Journalist Collective

Adriana Krasniansky in Kiev
Courtesy of WCPN
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The violent clashes that recently rocked the streets of Kiev have settled down, for now, as government and opposition leaders negotiate over the future of the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine. It's been a volatile and sometimes confusing situation, and three Northeast Ohioans are trying to explain what's going on to English-speaking audiences. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN’s David C. Barnett examines the challenges of reporting the news when the facts aren’t always clear.

LISTEN: An ear on Kiev

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (5:07)

The Ukraine of Adriana Krasniansky’s childhood was a very foreign place.

Growing up, she experienced what young people in many old world cultures across Northeast Ohio have struggled with --- an alienation from the peasant costumes, folk music and dancing lessons drummed into them by their elders.

“The Ukrainian culture that we were brought into was very strong and very beautiful, but outdated regarding what was currently occurring in Ukraine. The 90s, and 2000s and 2010s were very alive and very exuberant in culture and history, but that wasn’t something that we were taught.”

The Ukrainian disaspora
Krasniansky’s childhood friend Mike Fedynsky lives in Washington, D.C. But he’s never far from his cultural roots. Fedynsky says, unlike some members of Greater Cleveland’s ethnic melting pot, many Ukrainians have resisted melting --- maintaining a strong cultural identity, and even preserving the mother tongue across generations.

“I actually grew-up bi-lingual.  I don’t remember a time when I didn’t speak both English and Ukrainian.  And, even though my parents both speak English as well as I do, when we’re all together at home, we speak Ukrainian.”

Part of that cultural loyalty comes from Ukraine’s history of subjugation under the former U.S.S.R.  Though many fled their homeland for the freedom of the United States, the Ukrainian diaspora has always kept an eye on events in the mother country --- especially since the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991.  And in the past couple months, those events have been gripping.

Demonstrators have filled the “Maidan” --- or public square --- in downtown Kiev since late November, when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych backed down from a plan to join the European Union.  Many protestors saw this reversal as a step back towards the anti-Western Soviet days. The protests sparked a social media buzz among young people in the U.S.

“During the first days of this revolution, we were all sitting by our computers, hitting “refresh” every two minutes to see what news popped up.”

The birth of the Euromaidan Journalist Collective

The difficulty of getting enough news about the protests sparked an idea for Mike Fedynsky, Adrianna Krasniansky and another childhood friend, with the unlikely name of Seamus Kelleher.

“My blood is nearly 100 percent Irish, but my heart is 100 percent Ukrainian.”

In December, the three 20-somethings, joined several other friends to form the “Euromaidan Journalist Collective.”  There are seven members altogether, including three others in the U.S. and one on the ground in Kiev.  Together they aggregate news sources from around the world onto a website and Facebook page, and supplement it with information from their personal contacts in Ukraine. Kelleher says, although none of them have official training as reporters, they treat the collective as a journalistic enterprise, keeping out their personal feelings.

Vetting your material
“Our job is not to skew the perception to our own bias, it’s really to report on the cold hard facts of what is currently taking place.  We don’t offer any personal opinion in any posts.  We try to be completely objective --- “this is what happened” --- give everything from both sides, if we can.”

The rise of social media in relation to protests in recent years has led to the coining of terms like the “Twitter Revolution.”  Current technology also allows videos from the streets to be uploaded to YouTube and widely disseminated.  Kent State emeritus journalism professor Barbara Hipsman-Springer says that although these news sources are different, the basics of journalism remain the same.  It all boils down to vetting your material.

“Have you checked it through? Have you seen other videos similar to it? Have you any local context, feet on the ground?  --- enough times so that you know that this person is sending things that are real. Traditional journalists have always been scrutinized that way.”

The old and the new
Adriana Krasniansky spent two weeks in Kiev with a videographer, last month, gathering material for the Euromaidan Journalist Collective.  She says of her favorite interviews linked the old and the new worlds in an emotional way.

“He was an 82-year-old man.  He was standing there and he had a walker and a cane.  And he had a protest sign taped to his cane.”

“I asked him, ‘What are you doing here?’ He stops and looks at me and says, ‘The free food.’ (laughs) ‘Really?’ And he says, ‘No, but I tell all my friends I am.  I tell all the senior citizens that they should come out here, because there is free food.  And then they will come and see the Movement, and once they see what these young people are doing for Ukraine, they will stay and protest.’”

She smiles at the thought, and says she thinks she’s finally found a way to connect the old world Ukraine of her childhood with the possibilities for a new future.

Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Kasich campaign evokes dark images of a Trump presidency

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University