Cross-border journalism project participant's experience

Perspektivy staff

Maxim Kurnikov and mentor Anatoly Verbin at the first Cross-Border projetc's participants in Moscow


Maxim, Orenburg, Russia: It was my last day before vacation when I saw information about Cross-border journalism on my Facebook timeline. I immediately completed the form and applied. In your application you need to propose cross-border story idea. I picked the one that were playing on my mind for quite a long time - it was border areas of Russia and Kazakhstan.

Frankly speaking, as it was said in programme description, participants could be teamed up. I thought that my idea would not get through discussions and I would join a group of Ukraine journalists to study through partnership some episodes how propaganda from both sides affected relations between our countries.

Nether the less, it happened so that my idea was approved but there was no one from Kazakhstan accepted on the programme and I was granted to develop my project individually

Worth to say that I was slightly jealous for participants who were teamed up, as besides unique experience it's also higher level of involvement and self-motivation of those who work on a story.

In my case I had to hire assistants who was not that passionate about the project. Working with mentors, I studied so many new things! Every time when I asked them a question their answers were so innovative, with new angle and approach. It was in that way: I asked how would be better to make it “square” or “round” but mentors told me – “Make it blue”. It dawned on me, of cause it must be “blue”!

At the beginning I proposed a format that could do best – series of experts interviews, historical analysis, infographics with maps etc. Mentors straight away suggested to make a road-story instead and tell the story not though theoretical discussions but though human stories – real lives, real people telling their stories.

We had skype calls, exchanged e-mails with mentors thought the whole project period. We started from long read with pictures, video and infographics, then were thinking about 30-minutes film, and in the end it 8 series film.

This was very important experience for me. I liked it so much and I‘m thinking of continue making this kind of films and  looking for new topics. I wish I could participate in Cross-border journalism project once again.)

Maxim's projects results:

On web-site of Echo in Moscow radiostation in Orenburg