Dora Chomiak ’91 has family ties to Ukraine and first traveled to the country in 1989, before her junior year at Princeton, to do research as a politics major. After finishing a senior thesis about local government in Lviv, a city in western Ukraine, she returned to Kiev for three years, working for a center that aimed to incubate independent news organizations following the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Many of Chomiak’s friends in Ukraine continue to work in the news media, including several at Hromadske Radio, a new public-radio network. In the turbulent days that led to the ouster of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, Chomiak, a New York-based marketing professional, and an American colleague joined with Hromadske Radio journalists to generate support for the network’s programming. A three-week crowd-funding campaign raised more than $17,000; Princeton classmates were among the supporters, she said.
The donations will help to fund independent reporting and political news — in Chomiak’s view, a “critical part of a functioning democracy” — and enable Hromadske Radio to build its presence online and over the air. While it’s difficult to make plans, Chomiak said, “What they’re doing each day is putting up the highest quality radio programming they can.”
LISTEN: Hromadske Radio broadcasts primarily in Ukrainian, with occasional reports in English, French, Polish, and Russian. Below, listen to a March 16 report from Donetsk, near the Russian border.