Allow me to think out loud again. This time in writing. To share with you what this 24 Dec. – Christmas Eve, means to me, why it’s so special

Two years ago on this day, I was honored to be appointed Chief Editor of Kyiv Post, Ukraine’s legendary English-language news publication.

Thank you, Adnan Kivan, our publisher, and Luc Chenier, our CEO, for your trust and the freehand you gave me to re-create, despite seemingly having the odds stacked against us, Ukraine’s oldest English-language news source – its global voice.

This occurred when, admittedly, I had already reached a ripe old age, having formally retired from my previous duties with the UN, Radio Liberty, Amnesty International, and as journalist in the UK, where I was born and educated.   

But the challenge to take over and revamp and reconfigure Kyiv Post at a time of crisis in its history was just too enticing to turn down.

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I was not a newcomer but a fan of, and contributor, to Kyiv Post. Moreover, I had helped the former Chief Editor, Brian Bonner, as his deputy in the tense weeks before its temporary closure.

I witnessed and tried to avert the events that led the owner of Kyiv Post to close it down temporarily in order to replace the staff who were not willing to accept his vision of expansion and modernization. I experienced the unpleasant realities of what went on in the Newsroom. And sadly, also, the self-serving spin given to them by those eager to find sponsors for a new venture.

That's water under the bridge. Recently, in the approaching Christmas spirit, Brian Bonner and I shook hands.

It’s not for our remaining detractors to judge us, but for our much-expanded readership of the new, improved, Kyiv Post to decide. 

As I've always said, in a democratic society, there should be sufficient space for a pluralism of views and approaches in the crucial, yet delicate, sphere of journalism. But honesty and fair play have to underpin it.

Looking back, who was to know that within two months of my taking over as Chief Editor, Russia would launch its savage war against Ukraine. I was suddenly faced with the daunting tasks not only reviving Kyiv Post with a new staff and feel, adapting it to the challenges of deployment in the social media, but also delivering constant reliable news and analysis during wartime.

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Fortunately, the new crew, journalists, video and digital specialists, admin and tech., rose to the challenge, and with the unflinching strong support of our owner and CEO, Kyiv Post has not only survived and made it, but taken significant strides forward.

This shows in the dramatic growth of our readership, especially in North America, achieving the highest standards of reliability, and mastering outreach through social media and video. Also in adding a Ukrainian and Arabic-language editions.

In November the international recognition of the reincarnated Kyiv Post’s respected standing was highlighted at the prestigious Web Summit in Lisbon at which I was the only journalist from Ukraine invited to address tens of thousands from the main stage.   

Kyiv Post Chief Editor Bohdan Nahaylo interviews Volodymyr Klitshko on 14 Nov. at the 2023 Web Summit in Lisbon.

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And needless to say, the quality and stature of some of our regular external contributors also speaks for itself. 

I am therefore proud to say that the two years I have been at the helm of Kyiv Post have been among the most challenging, exciting and productive of my life. And, with a young, dynamic and committed team alongside me, and such supportive chiefs, the swift passing of time and difficulties created by the war, have been taken in the proper stride.

Finally, on a personal note I want to mention my father Volodymyr Nahaylo. Today would have been his 97th birthday. It was he who encouraged me to become a journalist, to study history, politics and international relations.

Growing up in a provincial industrial English town – Wolverhampton – I doubted I would ever make it to London, let alone the lofty heights of British journalism, becoming a regular contributor to The Spectator, New Statesman, The Times, Wall Street Journal, etc. 

Thanks dad – Tato – for believing in me and helping me realize my own potential. You see, Ukraine is free, though fighting valiantly for its future, it has adapted the "New" Christian Calendar, and your son refuses to get old and carries on the fight you instilled in him.

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Comments (3)

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Cjris
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Keep up the good work.

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Richard Bachynsky Hoover
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Great heart felt story about Bohdan Nahaylos tato instilling his sons path that shaped him as a journalist writing and studies with his talents to be harnessed for Ukraines freedom.

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John
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Thank you Kyivpost for sharing the important news in Ukraine with the English speaking world. I consider this war one of the pivotal moments in protecting what all too many westerners had started to take for granted: democracy and the freedoms it affords.

Living in a democracy has allowed me to move from my impoverished single parent welfare upbringing to a now very comfortable life where I can give back to others. The freedoms and access to credible information afforded in my democracy allowed me to chart my own path. With hard work and thoughtful decisions, I obtained obtain a great education and career and used these to raise a wonderful family who also all contribute back to the betterment of our society. Our society progresses forward by the consensus of its people despite the occasional mis-steps or constant meddling / cybercrime of other nations tyrant leadership. Access to credible information remains key to making good decisions. Thank you KyivPost for the knowledge you share.

Informed as I am, I remain proud to continue my support for your nation at this historic moment.

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