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Connecting Continents

The Public Interest Journalism Lab invites journalists from Latin America, Africa, and Asia to introduce Ukraine to their readers.
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Desi Anwar is a well-known host, television journalist, writer, and photographer. She currently hosts the regular one-hour prime-time talk show "Insight with Desi Anwar" on CNN Indonesia, where she interviews national and international newsmakers. Previously, Desi hosted the program "Face 2 Face with Desi Anwar" on Metro TV, where she interviewed prominent personalities from around the world. Her guests included the Dalai Lama, Richard Branson, Richard Gere, George Soros, as well as many heads of state and other influential figures. Desi Anwar also hosted the weekly talk show "Tea Time with Desi Anwar" on Metro TV, featuring well-known personalities from Indonesia. She is the author of books in English and Indonesian, including "Being Indonesian," "Faces and Places," "Offline: Finding Yourself in the Age of Distractions," and more. She has received numerous awards and is an honorary fellow of SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London) for her contribution to media development in Southeast Asia. Desi Anwar was named the number one journalist by the Indonesian Journalists Association in 2010 and is one of the most influential media personalities in the region.

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Hiroyuki Akita  is a commentator for Nikkei, one of Japan's largest media corporations specializing in financial and business news. He is the author of columns and analytical articles on foreign policy and international security. Hiroyuki joined the political news department of Nikkei in 1987 and later became a senior editorial writer. He also worked with the Leader Writing Team at the Financial Times in London and served as a correspondent in Beijing and the head of the bureau in Washington. In Beijing, he covered the transfer of Hong Kong to Chinese jurisdiction during the time of Deng Xiaoping. In Washington, he reported on the activities of the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department during the administration of George H.W. Bush. He graduated from Jiyu Gakuen College in 1987 and Boston University. Hiroyuki was a fellow of the U.S.-Japan Program at Harvard University, researching U.S.-China-Japan relations. In March 2019, he was awarded the Vaughn-Ueda International Journalist Award for outstanding coverage of international relations. He is the author of two books in Japanese: "Anryu (Power Game of the U.S.-China-Japan)" (2008) and "Ranryu (Strategic Competition of the U.S., Japan, and China)" (2016).

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Shinyoung Kim is the editor of Chosunilbo, the oldest and one of the most influential daily newspapers in South Korea. Shinyoung has been working as a reporter since 2002 and was a correspondent for Chosunilbo in New York and Boston, being the first woman to hold this position. She has worked in the departments of science, education, and finance. Currently, Shinyoung Kim is the head of the international news department of the publication. She has conducted interviews with notable figures such as IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi, and financier George Soros. Shinyoung is also a regular columnist for Chosunilbo, contributing articles on various topics, including coverage on Ukraine.

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Sarada Teing is the chief correspondent and host of The Cambodia Daily, based in Washington, USA, and published in Khmer. With over 20 years of experience as a radio and television journalist, as well as a strategic analyst for media outlets such as Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, and Voice of Democracy, Sarada has demonstrated expertise in the field. When the Cambodian government forced the closure of The Cambodia Daily in 2017, Sarada created the first daily online news program, "Idea Talk," broadcast from Washington on THE WORLD channel since 2018. Covering topics such as corruption, illegal logging, money laundering, and judicial dysfunction, Sarada manages a team of ten correspondents who report for The Cambodia Daily's audience on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Spotify, Google Podcast, Apple Podcast, and Telegram. With over 12 million publications per month, the publication's Facebook page has higher traffic than any other Cambodian media outlet worldwide. Sarada has worked in Cambodia as a human rights investigator at the Cambodian Human Rights Center and as an advocacy coordinator at World Vision Cambodia. In Hong Kong, he served as a human rights monitor and coordinator for the Asian Human Rights Commission.

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Anucha Charoenpo  is the news editor at Bangkok Post, an English-language daily and the oldest newspaper in Thailand, celebrating its 77th anniversary this year. Bangkok Post is well-known both regionally and internationally through its website. The daily circulation of Bangkok Post is over 80,000 copies. Over his 30 years at Bangkok Post, Anucha has held positions as a reporter and deputy news editor, covering politics, international relations, ASEAN, border conflicts, education, drug issues, humanitarian and human rights concerns, and justice. He holds a Ph.D. degree and teaches at various universities. Anucha was the vice president of the Thai Journalists Association and is currently a member of the association's international relations subcommittee. His materials, created during a visit to Ukraine, will also be published in the Thai language through the network of the Thai Journalists Association.

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Tsogtbilguundari Khishigbat - is a Mongolian media figure and a leader in public opinion. He is the co-founder, host, and executive director of the explanatory journalism startup, providing easily digestible yet deep content for the young generation of Mongolia on digital platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. In 2017, he launched the podcast "seheeten," which has become a popular platform in Mongolia discussing issues of equality and personal development. Tsogtbilguundari holds a master's degree in development practice from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota (USA), where he studied political science and digital media. He was a producer and head of digital media at TenGerLeague Media Group, Mongolia's first commercial media group.

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Sim Tze Wei is the deputy editor of the news department at Lianhe Zaobao, a Singaporean daily newspaper published in the Chinese language. She has been working in the media industry for over twenty years, serving as both a television and print journalist. In recent years, her primary focus has been on China, and she has worked in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Taipei. Sim Tze Wei has received awards for her reporting and commentary.

Military Vitaliy Kuzmenko, who was a history student 10 years ago and was beaten by Berkut on Maidan, tells journalists from Asia about how Ukrainians have changed Ukraine after the Revolution of Dignity. On the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor, he explains that this tragedy holds significance for every Ukrainian family.

As part of the #ConnectingContinents project, we are hosting journalists from Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Mongolia, Thailand, and Cambodia starting from November 27.

"What were they praying for?" Hiro-san asked Father Andriy from Bucha (instead of the inappropriate "What did they feel?"). "Do you think God will forgive the Russians for what they did in Bucha?"

"If they ask for forgiveness," Father Andriy responded.

Photos by Oleksandr Popenko

We have shown Asian journalists Kyiv, Odesa, Bucha, Irpin, Yahidne, Slavutych, Mykolaiv region, and Kherson region. Organized meetings with the President, the First Lady, the head of the Mykolaiv Regional State Administration Vitaliy Kim, who has Korean origins, volunteers, representatives of Asian communities in Ukraine, agribusiness representatives, human rights activists, and public figures. Also recorded several podcasts.

Photo: Oleksandr Popenko, Serhiy Khandusenko, Georgiy Voronov, Yevhen Zhulai, Volodymyr Shepel.

Latin American journalists


Photo by Oleksandr Popenko

As part of the "Connecting Continents" project, we, the Ukrainian media organization Public Interest Journalism Lab, are organizing three visits for prominent journalists, publishers, and opinion leaders from three continents - Latin America, Africa, and Asia - from May to December 2023. The first visit of renowned and influential journalists and intellectuals from Latin America took place from May 28th to June 3rd. 

During the course of seven days, they held several meetings dedicated to the most important topics that can help the global audience of the Global South better understand the nature of Russian aggression against Ukraine. These included discussions on Russia's responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity in international courts, Ukrainian armed resistance to Russian aggression, the need for sanctions against Russia, how Russia caused a food crisis and its impact on Ukraine, and the anti-colonial nature of Ukrainian resistance. Participants visited cities in the Kyiv region on May 29th and the Kharkiv region on May 31st and June 1st. They witnessed the scale of destruction, spoke with those affected by Russian aggression, including families of those still in captivity, and engaged with military personnel, civilians, farmers, and government officials to gain a deep understanding of the Russian war and the situation in Ukraine. Their goal was to disseminate this knowledge and understanding to their audiences in their respective countries.



Denise Eugenia Dresser Guerra (Mexico) is the most famous Mexican political analyst, commentator, and activist. She collaborates with various Mexican, American, and Spanish publications. The influential Mexican publication Reforma will create a special project about her stay in Ukraine. The popular publication Latinus will cover her visit through social media, where she has 1 million Twitter followers. Dresser is a speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos and serves on numerous councils and committees, including the Human Rights Commission of Mexico. She has 4.6 million Twitter followers.

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Patrícia Campos Mello (Brazil) is a reporter for Brazil's leading newspaper Folha de São Paulo and a commentator on TV Cultura. She has covered international relations and human rights in over 50 countries. She has received awards from the University of Columbia, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) for press freedom, the MKCH Humanitarian Journalism Award, the King of Spain Journalism Award, and twice the main journalist award in Brazil, Petrobras. In recent years, she has reported from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Turkey, Lebanon, and Kenya. Campos Mello is the author of key investigations during the elections of former President Bolsonaro, particularly regarding the use of messaging apps for propaganda and disinformation. She has 262,000 Twitter followers.


Andrea Moletto Rodriguez (Chile) is a well-known journalist with over 25 years of experience. She currently hosts two highly popular current affairs programs on Radio Futuro and a daily talk show on the independent channel Vía X, where she interviews key figures in the country. Andrea collaborates with several media outlets in Chile, including La Segunda, La Tercera, Paula magazine, Televisión Nacional de Chile, Cuatro Cabezas, and was the first female editor of The Clinic magazine. Her visit will be widely covered in Chile.

Joaquín Sánchez Mariño (Аргентина) (Argentina) is a renowned journalist-internationalist specializing in covering conflicts, wars, and human rights issues worldwide. He has had a significant impact in Argentina with his coverage of the Russian war against Ukraine, exposing Russian war crimes, including the bombings of humanitarian corridors in Irpin and Bucha, working in Ukraine from the early days of the major invasion. Currently, Joaquín works for InfoBae, the most widely read Spanish-language news website in the world with over 500 million monthly visits, reaching the entire continent. Notably, InfoBae's reports on Ukraine have been widely read in Latin America, with over 500 articles published on the subject. He has 69,000 followers on Twitter.

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Juanita León García (Colombia) is an outstanding Colombian journalist, writer, and founder of the renowned news website La Silla Vacía. With a law degree and an M.S. in journalism, she has worked for publications such as El Tiempo and Semana magazine. León's contributions and investigative journalism have earned her numerous awards, including the Gabriel García Márquez Journalism Award. She is known for her in-depth coverage of Colombian politics and her commitment to transparency. Through her impressive works and influential platform, León continues to shape discourse and understanding of important issues in Colombia.


Guillermo Draper Vanrell (Uruguay) is the editor of the well-known Uruguayan weekly political newspaper Búsqueda, which is read by approximately 50,000 people weekly, and has over 150,000 Twitter followers. Draper received the National Press Award of Uruguay and an honorary mention at the Ipys Latin American Investigative Journalism Award in 2017 for his political investigation. He is the co-author of the book "Marihuana Oficial. Crónica de un experimento Uruguayo," published in 2017. Draper holds a degree in mass communication from the Catholic University of Uruguay, where he also teaches journalism.


Yader Luna Garcia (Nicaragua) is a journalist for Confidential and Esta Semana, with a YouTube platform reaching 425,000 subscribers and a Facebook media following of 283,000. Luna has worked as an editor for Niú magazine and other leading media outlets in Nicaragua. He is the recipient of the Lorenzo Natali Prize in 2010, awarded by the European Union for his article "Palabra de mujer." Luna's Instagram account has 127,000 followers, and his videos on TikTok have garnered hundreds of thousands of views.

They also met with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi and First Lady Olena Zelenska:

They spoke about their impressions of Ukraine at the press conference:

Photos by Oleksandr Popenko

African journalists

On July 12, as part of the "Connecting Continents" project, journalists from South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, and Uganda arrived in Ukraine. Throughout the week, they will get to know Ukraine better, engage with public figures, scientists, philosophers, military personnel, volunteers, and politicians. They will visit locations of the most horrific Russian crimes in Ukraine, as well as agricultural farms that grow wheat, including for African countries, which were under Russian occupation.



Mondli Makhanya is the editor-in-chief of City Press, a South African newspaper. He previously served as the editor of Mail & Guardian and Sunday Times, as well as the editor-in-chief of Times Media Group. With over 33 years of experience in the media industry, Makhanya is an influential columnist and one of the most respected editors in South Africa. His voice has been instrumental in covering the processes of democratization in South Africa following apartheid. He is a former chairperson of the South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) and his views on political and social events in South Africa carry significant weight. Makhanya is a frequent public speaker and has given interviews to both local and international media outlets, including BBC, Al Jazeera, and CNN. He is also a board member of various charitable and non-governmental organizations, including the World Justice Project based in Washington, D.C., USA.


Simon Allison Simon Allison is an international correspondent and editor from South Africa. He has been recognized with numerous awards for his professional work. Allison is a co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Continent, the most widely read newspaper in Africa with subscribers in 130 countries. He was shortlisted for the "Journalist of the Year One Young World" award in 2022 and was named one of the 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine in 2021. Previously, Allison served as the Africa editor for the Mail & Guardian and was a board member of the Foreign Correspondents' Association of South Africa (FCA) and the Foreign Press Association of Africa (FPAA). He has covered conflicts and humanitarian crises around the world, including in the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Myanmar.


Dapo Olorunyomi is a publisher and co-founder of Premium Times, a leading Nigerian publication. He is also the executive director of the Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism. Prior to this, he held positions as the director of policy and head of the secretariat of Nigeria's leading anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Dapo and his family were persecuted by the government during the military dictatorship in Nigeria and were forced to leave the country. He has received international awards for his work, including the "Editor of the Year" (1995) according to World Press Review. In 2017, the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) honored him with their press freedom award. Currently, he is a board member of AfricaCheck, an African regional fact-checking organization, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the Panos Institute in West Africa (PIWA), and the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).


Zubeidah Kananu - is a reporter and news anchor at KTN News, a major Kenyan broadcaster. She works in the Swahili language. In April 2023, she was elected as the President of the Editors' Guild of Kenya (KEG), becoming the first woman to hold this position. KEG is a professional association of editors in Kenya that brings together senior editors from print, television, and online publications. Kananu's role is to promote media freedom and editorial independence. The guild serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences that shape Kenya's media landscape. Since 2012, Zubeidah has also been the political editor at KTN. In 2022, during the parliamentary elections in Kenya, she moderated debates between the Nairobi governor and the vice president.


Agather Atuhaire -  is an investigative journalist, lawyer, consultant, and activist for social justice in Uganda. For over 10 years, she has covered parliamentary processes, security, and Uganda's external and internal politics. Her journalistic works have been published in the regional weekly magazine Independent, Uganda's leading daily newspaper Daily Monitor, and on Uganda Radio Network. Her work has been recognized with national and international awards, including the European Union's "Human Rights Defender of the Year" award for 2023.


Pierre Akpro - is the head of documentary projects and chief reporter at La Nouvelle Chaîne Ivoirienne (NCI), a popular private television channel in Côte d'Ivoire. His main areas of work include reporting, conducting interviews, and developing audiovisual content for digital media and social networks. He is also a news anchor on the channel. Prior to joining NCI, he worked as a correspondent for France 24 in Côte d'Ivoire.


Rachida Houssou is a journalist and editor-in-chief of Bip radio, the first radio station in Benin that broadcasts programs dedicated to news (political, economic, cultural, and sports). She is a former correspondent for BBC News Africa. In 2022, Rachida was recognized as the best journalist and radio presenter at the first African Media Trophies awards ceremony.

Human rights activist and Nobel laureate Olexandra Matviychuk showed them Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) and shared the key events of the Revolution of Dignity and its causes. They also had conversations with journalist and literary critic Tetiana Oharkova and philosopher and President of the Ukrainian PEN Club Volodymyr Yermolenko.

After the meetings, The Reckoning Project team showed their colleagues a documentary film about the Russian missile attack on a shopping center in Kremenchuk.