Editor’s note: The Fix, together with the coalition of partners around Europe, is launching a chatbot and a hotline for journalists and media organizations. We are publishing a joint press release of the initiative. For any questions regarding the chatbot, please reach out to Julia Salizhenko at hello@uamedia.support

UA Media Support Center, a chatbot and a hotline for journalists and media organizations, has started operating in Ukraine and abroad. The chatbot provides reliable information for Ukrainian and foreign journalists covering the Russian invasion.

This project was initiated by a coalition of organizations including The Fix, the Ukrainian NGO Media Development Foundation, media outlet The Kyiv Independent, media consultancy Jnomics and international organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Other media organizations are welcome to cooperate and help improve the chatbot.

The chatbot has been delivered with support from Twilio.org, the social impact arm of Twilio, the customer engagement platform. Together with their partners, Kaptea, they were able to launch a chatbot and hotline infrastructure from scratch in very short terms.

Middleware company assisted in launching the solution on the most popular chat platforms in Ukraine. Middleware provided its Corezoid technology, which is used for similar solutions by the Ministry of Digital Transformation and many other government agencies.

“Journalists play an extremely important role in the resistance to Russian aggression. Ukrainian and foreign journalists cover current events in Ukraine full-time 24/7. They often work in extremely difficult conditions. Some of them evacuated and now are working away from home, some risk their lives, working in the hotspots.

That’s why they especially need support with housing and transport, preparation for work in hotspots, finding money for their media, getting protective equipment, etc. This chatbot was created to help journalists manage these challenges,” says Julia Salizhenko, the coordinator of the project.

The chatbot operates on the three most popular messengers: Telegram, Viber, and Facebook Messenger.  It is available in both Ukrainian and English. Besides useful links and valuable information to help journalists, there is also the opportunity to contact the call-center operator personally. The chatbot will be available round-the-clock, and the hotline with the operator will work daily from 09:00 am to 9:00 pm.

There you can find such information as:

  • a checklist for journalists covering the war;
  • resources for finding accommodation and transport in Ukraine and abroad;
  • the guide for emergencies;
  • the most important sources of information;
  • funding and job opportunities for journalists;

Journalists could also request the chat operator for the necessary equipment (helmets, bulletproof vests, medical supplies, etc.), as well as other help.

The chatbot is currently available in the beta version. The organizations are working on updating with new useful sources and valuable information. Join the UA Media Support Center Facebook page to follow the news.

Additional information on project partners:

The Fix is a London-based media about media that cracks the media management puzzle through insights, solutions and data. Temporarily converted into a support hub for Ukrainian media.

Media Development Foundation is a Kyiv-based Center of Excellence and a Media Expertise hub focused on empowering journalists and media organizations.

Reporters Without Borders is an international non-profit and non-governmental organization with the stated aim of safeguarding the right to freedom of information.

Jnomics Media is an international media consulting company, based in London and Kyiv, that works with publishers, development organizations and solutions providers on helping media become self-sustainable  

The Kyiv Independent is an English-language Ukrainian media outlet founded in 2021 by former staff of the Kyiv Post and of media consultancy Jnomics Media.