To explain and, if possible, simplify the procedure for access to archives.
Despite the fact that this procedure is considered relatively democratic, the experience of the Deconstruction project: The Role of Media in Post-Totalitarian Societies, has demonstrated the problems with the access regime that even trained journalists experience. In this situation the organizers were responsible for issuing access passes (other journalists will have to do it on their own). A clear instruction on access to archives, similar to that in Eduard Andriushchenko's article on The Babel, should be accessible to all interested journalists and distributed among editorial offices.
Considering positive comments of journalists working in foreign archives concerning convenient online catalogues, the SSU Archive should accelerate the creation of a public catalog of archival documents that will simplify the process of obtaining them from the archives of the Soviet special services. To create a contact database of historians who are experts in this sphere.
Project participants point out that the assistance of archivists and historians was extremely important for their work. For a wide range of journalists, it would be useful to create a service like the one the Ukrainian Catholic University has, which is called "Find an expert
". Participation of experts in the database should be voluntary; they can give their direct contacts or comment all requests online. The system of theme tags will help journalists formulate their request narrowly enough to find a historian competent in the topic they need. To expand the audience.
Most Ukrainian participants in the first project were professional journalists (on-staff and freelance) from Kyiv. However, in addition to this, there are at least three potential audiences who will effectively participate in the project:
- journalists and bloggers - people who formally have nothing to do with journalism, but write texts and sometimes have wider audience than traditional media;
- students (historians, political scientists, sociologists, etc.) who are looking for a topic for research or are already studying the Soviet period of Ukrainian history; encouraging future scholars to write popular articles for the media will benefit both the media and science;
- journalists of the regional mass media; they participated in the Deconstruction project: The Role of Media in Post-Totalitarian Societies, but it is possible to organize a special training project for journalists from the regions.
Meanwhile, when working with journalists from regions, more attention should be paid to the training in journalistic techniques, because, in addition to the knowledge and skills they need to work in the archive, they often need to improve their own professional level and get acquainted with new storytelling formats.