Radio and TV initiatives in support of Ukraine

03/11/2022

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Background information

In this week’s egtabite we share initiatives carried out by media companies in reaction to the Russian invasion and the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine. We hope that this can be a source of inspiration for you on the type of actions you could implement in your market. Below you will find a snapshot of how radio and TV sprang into action and used the power of our media for good during these dreadful events.

If your company has launched any special projects for Ukraine, please share them with us. We will continue to gather information about new initiatives not only to inspire others, but also to share them with our Ukrainian colleagues as a way to boost morale and show our support.

Fundraisers

Ten public and private radio stations in the Netherlands came together on 7th March to simultaneously broadcast as one radio station, Radio 555, with a joint network programme. The station takes its name from the bank account number of the united help organisations, including Unicef and the Red Cross. Listeners could request a song by making a donation to giro555.nlAdvertisers could also participate by buying a package and getting an audio shout-out. The campaign also included a television special that ran on public and private TV channels and saw celebrities man the phone lines to take donations from the public. Provisional figures suggest that Giro555’s day of action raised over 106 million euros.

Similar fundraising activities were launched in other countries with fundraising concerts, special episodes of regular programmes, donations via SMS etc.

Picture of the hosts of a popular show

Special spots

In Finland, radios are airing a special spot in the beginning and/or end of each ad break encouraging listeners to donate to reputable organisations. This type of spot is very easy and quick to produce with a voice over from the station or radio host. Similarly, all Austrian private radio stations are broadcasting a spot encouraging listeners to donate to Unicef. Mediaset launched “Mediaset for Ukraine” through their TV networks, news programmes, radio programmes, websites and social media.

In Belgium, all sales houses came together to support the fundraising campaign of Consortium 12-12 and developed a 30-second spot that all television and radio stations will broadcast encouraging viewers and listeners to donate.

In the UK, the commercial radio industry has worked quickly to donate airtime to support the Disasters Emergency Committee, with national and local stations broadcasting over 11,000 spots that have been heard more than 89.4 million times. The radio campaign, voiced and distributed for free by Doctor Who star, David Tennant, and Audiotrack marks the biggest response and the fastest turnaround of a two-week campaign that the UK industry has ever seen.

Broadcast in Ukrainian

RMF in Poland has launched Radio RMF Ukraine with information and advice for refugees waiting to enter Poland. The programme is broadcast in Ukrainian and contains important information and advice on procedures for entry into Poland and the possibility of obtaining assistance from charitable organisations operating in Poland. RMF Ukraine began broadcasting on FM just 30 hours after the idea was introduced.

Public service broadcaster Polskie Radio is also working to reach displaced Ukrainians on both sides of the border. The broadcaster’s international service has long produced Ukrainian-language programming, which is distributed online and via longwave. They have also added real-time transmissions from UA, Ukrainian Radio’s first channel to its DAB multiplexes across the country, and has also made the first Ukrainian public television programme, UA1, available on its channels.

The Czech public radio station is also rebroadcasting Ukrainian public station, UA:PBC, on its website and app. On top of that, they launched a podcast in Ukrainian providing essential information to refugees. Similarly Czech private radio stations are preparing online radio in Ukrainian.

In Poland, the media is providing kids with entertainment in Ukrainian. TVP ABC2 has Ukrainian programming slots and many Ukrainian films are free of charge on VOD platforms. Similarly Czech broadcaster Nova is rebroadcasting children’s content from Ukrainian 1+1 Media Group on their website.

Some radio stations, such as Star FM in Latvia, started playing Ukrainian music as a sign of support.

News channel with English translation

The pan-Baltic TV3 Group has begun the rebroadcast of news channel Ukraina on all its platforms in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. TV3 Group is also providing an English translation of the channel that is being jointly run by Ukraine’s largest media groups. TV3 Group invites all media companies to join this initiative by adding this channel to their cable and satellite platforms.

Special programming

Give Peace a Chance – On 4th March at 08:45 hundreds of radio stations came together to simultaneously broadcast the song “Give Peace a Chance” to protest the war in Ukraine. The idea originated in Germany and quickly spread globally with the help of egta and the EBU sharing the initiative among their members. Classical radio stations were  invited to join Radio Romania to air Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in solidarity with Ukraine on 10th March with many gladly taking part.

Several podcasts have been launched to inform listeners – for example NPR in the US has launched a daily podcast State of Ukraine, ARD in Germany started a podcast Alles ist anders – Krieg in Europa (Everything is different – War in Europe) and Radio France introduced Guerre en Ukraine.

Job offers

Some media companies are opening jobs for Ukrainian media professionals fleeing their country. If you are offering opportunities fit for any type of media professionals, you can post them directly on a new dedicated portal adaid.eu/en/. You can also let egta know and we can relay the information to Ukrainian members.

Companies like NENT are inviting Ukrainians to share their CVs for a fast-tracked application process.

Other initiatives

  • LNK in Lithuania donated TV equipment to its colleagues in Ukraine, which they hand delivered to the border.
  • Companies are offering pro-bono advertising spots for non-profit organisations.
  • Some broadcasters ensured the exclusion of brands with Russian ties from their campaigns.

For additional initiatives by the ad, marketing and media industries see the special news board gathering industry-related news and reactions from brands, agencies and media.