It’s an exciting week for us here at Eyewitness News as we’ve teamed up with some television journalists and professionals from Ukraine for an exchange program. They are here this week following us around and learning how a commercial broadcast station in the United States operates.

Here’s a transcription of the interview:

SK: It’s an exciting week for us here at Eyewitness News. We’ve teamed up with some television journalists from Ukraine for an exchange program.They’re here all this week following us around, learning about a commercial broadcast  station in the United States — how we operate. Joining me are two of our visitors — Anna Krypnyk and Svitlana Zhologaylo. I hope I got that right. I’ve been practicing that so hopefully we have that correct. Tell us about where you are from in the Ukraine. Is it the eastern part of the country?And just tell us about where you’re from and the TV station there.

SZ: Our TV station is called Sigma. We are from a town called Lozova in Kharkiv region. It’s in northeast Ukraine and we cover 1/3 of the Kharkiv region.And I’m from Kiev, Ukraine. I work for an international NGO called IMREX from the office in Kiev. 

SK: How did this visit come about? Where they came here to learn about television broadcast?

SZ:IMREX runs grant programs and supports independent media in Ukraine. That’s how we brought Ukrainian journalists and American journalists together for a year-long partnership to share ideas, share experiences, and learn from each other. And this week, I brought TV Sigma media representatives to your channel to work together with you.

SK: Is that a challenge to have independent TV stations and news in Ukraine? We take it for granted here.

(speaking foreign language)

AS: (translation) To be independent media in Ukraine, you should be financially independent and since financial independence is dependent upon the sales market, which is not as good as here — so it’s quite a challenge.

SK: Tell us about the area. I know that you’re in eastern Ukraine. Where you live is not far from the border where some fighting is going on between Ukraine and Russian separatists. Does that dominate your life? Do you report it daily? How does that affect you?

(speaking foreign language)

AS: (translation) We report quite often on what is happening in the eastern part of Ukraine because 500 men from our region are in the warzone, where the active conflict is happening. And unfortunately, we lost 13 of them.

SK:  Oh my goodness! That’s something that probably you can lead with it everyday I assume.

AS: Yeah.

SK: Here in the US, we have been focused quite a bit on Vladimir Putin. And because, just where you are, so close to Russia, you may have a different perspective on him — of course here we hear of him meddling in the US elections — I wonder what your perspective is of Vladimir Putin.

AS: (translation) So it’s difficult for me to say my perspective on what’s happening in the United States but what political experts say in Ukraine that we had influence on Ukrainian elections from Vladimir Putin.

SK: Do you follow US politics?

AS: Yes, we do.

SK: What do you think?

AS: Umm, (translation) So I’m probably not as deeply involved in monitoring what is happening in the United States so I might be wrong in saying any opinion.

SK: Spoken like a true journalist. It’s not me. It’s what I cover. Well, real quickly, we’re running out of time, but what have you been impressed with here in our area? Our neck of the woods?

AS: (translation)So we have visited the city council and some other places. And we saw that a lot is done for disabled people for accessing public places. And that’s very impressive.

SK: Well, that’s wonderful that you noticed that. Well, thank you. We are out of time. We could talk to you forever. Thank you so much Anna and Svitlana. We look forward to having you all for the rest of the week.

SZ: Thank you very much for having us.

For the latest breaking news and stories from across the Tri-State, follow Eyewitness News on Facebook and Twitter.

(This story was originally published on March 21, 2018)