The media groups had already had the experience of working together, organizing the Unity Day marathon on February 16 - the first date officially reported by U.S. intelligence as the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. For all those 8 years, Ukraine had been under a constant threat of a full-scale invasion, but in February the situation escalated to a whole new level with numerous statements by Western leaders, Russian authorities and media reports, which were constantly intimidating people making them panic. Thus, President Volodymyr Zelensky pronounced a Unity Day on February 16 with the goal to unite the whole country and show that Ukraine is not intimidated by the Russian soldiers located near its borders. The leading media in the country also united their efforts for a joint nationwide event which allowed to speak to people in a more qualitative and focused manner than ever and show Ukraine’s unity and solidarity. Of course, at that time, no one knew that in about a week Russia will start its “military operation” as the Kremlin calls the war in Ukraine.
On the early morning of February 24, the hosts of 1+1, Yehor Hordeev and Marichka Padalko were the first to announce on the air of Breakfast with 1+1 that the war had begun. This happened around 6.00 along with the first explosions in Kyiv.
After that, there were several days of continuous broadcasting, non-stop working, so that viewers would receive the most important news on time and be able to trust the information. 1+1 media completely transformed its activity making information broadcasting their priority.
All news are produced independently, in what 1+1 call “a perfect form of liberal democracy”: no leader and six editorial offices united by a single mission – the victory of Ukraine. A constant exchange of data, materials and journalists is taking place every day.
The schedule is set up for 4-5 days ahead making a relay race. 1+1 and RADA provide an alternate 24/7 reservation of the signal allowing broadcasts to continue even in conditions of air alarms.
The whole news team of 1+1 is working on the 5-hour block of the group. During air alarms, the journalists move the backup studio in the shelters. there are now two of them hosting on 1+1.
The team consists of specialists of various programs – not only TSN (the news), but also Breakfast with 1+1, Your Day, JEDAI, X-Files, Special Correspondent, Money, etc. A large number of journalists are capable of covering the military actions. Some of them have been covering the events on the Donbas front for the past eight years. They go to various hotspots to make reports and live feeds.
At the same time, 1+1’s staff are involved in tasks related to the information resistance to enemy fakes and propaganda, dissemination of urgent news among international viewers, etc.
The broadcasts are also a type of an active dialogue, aiming to keep in touch with people and explain what is happening. All those who are responsible for security and protection of the country as well as opinion leaders and stars are continuously in touch explaining to people what is happening.
Additionally, 1+1’s flexible and dynamic team quickly adapted to the war and during this period the broadcaster opened two new studios and two new offices. Some people have been transferred to new locations with relevant equipment, accommodation and working conditions. 1+1’s team is actually one of the few continuing its work in Kyiv like the President and the government. According to 1+1 media, this contributes to the strength and confidence of Ukrainians.
With the common goal to win and do the best to achieve this, the staff have been taken over by an indomitable team spirit, with people sacrifice everything for the common cause – their sleep hours, better conditions and safety. This also includes all those who had not been involved in news creation before the war started, as they are quickly retrained and help their colleagues, making 1+1 stronger and united like never before.
The employees’ safety is a priority for 1+1. Most of them moved to the western regions of Ukraine or abroad and perform their duties remotely. The company is now arranging to transport some essential teams to a safer place with constant Internet access and necessary equipment to ensure uninterrupted broadcasting. As for the reporters working on the field, all of them are provided with extra protection (helmets, armored vests, vehicles, etc.).
1+1 is also very active on the international information front by implementing a number of projects and initiatives.
During the first days of the war, the company asked international television providers to stop broadcasting Russian news channels on European satellites, cable networks, OTT platforms and other resources. More than 40 local operators from different countries almost immediately supported that initiative. 1+1 and other Ukrainian and international media recently sent an open letter to the European Commission with a request to impose sanctions on all Russian TV channels broadcasting on the territory of Europe, now we are expecting a positive response.
The amount of news produced by 1+1 media’s news resources (TSN.ua., UNIAN and Glavred) has grown tremendously. The key newsbreaks are being translated into various languages so that viewers and readers from around the world have access to reliable information. The photobank of UNIAN – the largest news agency in the country – has made all photos related to the war free to download. In parallel, 1+1 are recording and collecting all the war crimes committed on the territory of Ukraine by the Russian army. These materials will be presented to the court in the Hague.
Also, there is an active struggle in the digital space. 1+1 have launched the English- and Russian-speaking Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, a number of flash mobs and initiatives. 1+1 has joined various volunteer movements and produces educational cartoons about the situation in the country. 1+1 also organized an “information army” attracting stars and influencers.
Besides providing news, 1+1 media also tries to help people to fight stress. The PLUSPLUS TV channel, the most popular children’s channel in the country, uninterruptedly broadcasts cartoons so that the youngest Ukrainians have access to their favorite cartoons. On March 14, PLUSPLUS became one of the initiators of the educational project Learning Without Limits within which school children watch video lessons on national TV channels and platforms during the week. PLUSPLUS also creates a series of thematic cartoons titled Good Always Wins in which children are told what is happening to Ukraine at the moment.
On the TET TV channel, 1+1 recently resumed one of the favorite shows of Ukrainians – Breakfast, within which the hosts communicate with various experts, doctors, celebrities, politicians, and others.