INMA Elevate Scholar: Olha Konsevych of Der Tagesspiegel

By Paula Felps


Nashville, Tennessee, United States


In December 2023, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded their fourth annual Elevate Scholarship to 50 news media professionals from 31 countries. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.

Olha Konsevych is determined to launch her own media company to fight disinformation and Russian propaganda in Ukraine.
Olha Konsevych is determined to launch her own media company to fight disinformation and Russian propaganda in Ukraine.

Olha Konsevych launched her reporting career in 2012, but it was the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine that began two years later that propelled her into civic journalism.

Working in digital for some of the biggest media outlets in Ukraine, Olha concentrated on digital solutions and fostering audience loyalty, but at the same time worked to build relationships with activists and representatives from NGOs. In 2018, she became editor-in-chief at Television News Channel 24, where she created digital strategies, introduced new formats, and managed the team.

“We achieved significant milestones during this period,” she said, pointing to surpassing 2 million subscribers on Facebook and creating a robust YouTube strategy — something that proved invaluable after the Russian invasion in 2022.

While her work in digital was making headway for the company, her dedication to preserving human rights and fighting disinformation opened doors for her. In 2021, she became the first Ukrainian woman to join the VVEngage, a fellowship of the global NGO Vital Voices that supports outstanding women political leaders making and influencing policy worldwide. She also is involved with the German Marshall Fund through its Transatlantic Inclusion Leaders Network (TILN).

Although she earned her PhD in communication studies and has a recent mini-MBA in sustainability and media management, the outbreak of a full-scale war in Ukraine changed her career plans. She evacuated to Germany and joined Der Tagesspeigel as she adapted to her new normal.

“I was forced to temporarily switch to work as a journalist, but my expertise has led me to contribute significantly beyond the newsroom,” Olha said.

That has included providing consulting services to media outlets in Ukraine and Eastern Partnership countries, where she addresses “critical aspects of the modern media landscape, such as audience engagement, subscription models, and community building.”

She sees the value of building audience trust as the foundation of media companies and believes a transparent, audience-centric approach is the best way to do this.

“This entails cultivating communities willing to support journalism through subscriptions or regular donations, fostering a sense of ownership and engagement among readers,” she explained.

As she continues building her career, Olha dreams of combining her many areas of expertise to create a brighter future for the people of Ukraine: “My ambition is to establish a media outlet in exile in Germany. This [will] counteract Russian propaganda and contribute to maintaining a balanced media landscape in a country where susceptibility to such influences remains a concern.”

About Paula Felps

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