Voice of America journalist to moderate election debates in Ukraine

BBG Watch Commentary

Not everything at the Voice of America (VOA) is doom and gloom despite serious management problems at the U.S. taxpayer-funded media organization serving overseas audiences. While VOA English Newsroom and VOA English news website are in a crisis, some VOA foreign language services and many individual VOA journalists are doing their job extremely well under very difficult conditions.

Understaffed and without sufficient resources in an organization with enormous and constantly growing central bureaucracy overseeing shrinking programs, VOA Ukrainian Service is still one of the best of VOA’s foreign language multimedia programming units with a significant audience impact in Ukraine. Its journalist and broadcaster Myroslava Gongadze has just been selected to co-host a series of parliamentary election debates on Ukraine’s First National TV.

Miroslava Gongadze’s private Facebook posts on events in Ukraine often get more Facebook “Likes” from Ukraine than VOA English news posts get worldwide. She has been the long-time host of VOA’s Ukrainian television program Chas Time which was launched in 2004 during the Orange Revolution by one of the previous VOA management teams.

Before joining VOA, Myroslava Gongadze had worked for Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). She had worked also as a journalist in Ukraine, where her husband, Georgiy Gongadze, was kidnapped and murdered in 2000 because of his investigative reporting exposing official corruption. Myroslava Gongadze and their two young children received political asylum in the United States in 2001.

VOA journalist Myroslava Gongadze

VOA journalist Myroslava Gongadze

Voice of America Media Relations / Press Releases

VOA Journalist Will Be Front and Center at Ukraine’s Election Debates

October 10, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.—VOA journalist and broadcaster Myroslava Gongadze has been selected to co-host a series of parliamentary election debates on one of Ukraine’s major networks, First National TV.

Ukraine held early presidential elections in May, in the aftermath of the massive Euromaidan protests, and will hold early parliamentary elections on Sunday, October 26. Zurab Alasania, the director of First National and co-moderator of the debates, invited Gongadze to Kyiv to help lead the debates, saying that her participation “will have a great impact” on making the broadcasts a success.

As the long-time host of VOA’s Ukrainian television program Chas Time, Gongadze keeps audiences informed about the latest developments in Ukraine, as well as other top news stories from around the world. Chas Time airs nationally on Channel 5 in evening prime time and has an audience of five million people. In addition to Chas Time, the Ukrainian Service provides special reports to several television stations in Ukraine, including ICTV, First National TV, 1+1 TV.

Speaking about the invitation to co-host the debates, Gongadze said she viewed it “as a recognition of the significance of VOA in Ukraine. This opportunity gives me the chance to serve my native country and build on the already sizeable influence of VOA’s team.”

The first in the series of debates will take place Monday, October 13, and the last will be on October 23, three days before parliamentary elections. All will be broadcast at 9:15 pm local time on First National TV.

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Voice of America Public Relations

Meet Our Broadcasters: Myroslava Gongadze

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