Today is the first birthday of The Odessa Journal. On the 2nd of April 2020, we launched our website in English to promote Odessa’s image in the world.
The initial idea of the project was very simple: how to fill the gap of news in English on Odessa for the international community and how to reconstruct its negative image abroad: a city of criminality, widespread corruption, arms trafficking, political murder (2nd of May 2014), sexual entertainment and (fake) wedding agencies. Those negative topics were prevailing on the web, notwithstanding the huge (unknown) amount of positive topics about the city.
Our team worked with enthusiasm during the year of international lockdown, publishing regularly news about Odessa’s culture, history and business life. For us it was like opening each day a marvellous book of tales and writing about the interesting activities of many talented Odessites.
After one year, these are our achievements further to a year of activity:
- During 12 months, we published over 900 articles. Our staff worked 7 days/week.
- Our regular readers are 70% outside Ukraine, based in over 90 countries. One third of the audience is represented by USA and Canada, another third by European countries.
- We created a group of external Odessa lover columnists (Alex Stemp, Alyona Sinenko, Amber Johansen, Helen Labartkava, Janna Kiseleva and Oleg Favelyukis, Olga Grynko and Ekaterina Bezpalova, Maino Design, Maria Kalenska, Neil Nolen). They are soul mates of The Odessa Journal and we thank all of them for their charming pieces.
- Some local companies of Odessa invested in our Journal for the promotion of their brands and services. Due to our business contacts (foreign chambers of commerce in Kyiv, international investors and businessmen, Odessites in the World Club, Ukrainian diaspora groups) we help them to increase their business abroad. We thanks them for believing in our work.
- We established a cooperation with other online newspapers to share articles: Budapest Times, Dumskaya.net, East Journal, The Baltic Times, Odessa Business News, Porto Franco Gazette, UkraineNu.Dk, Warsaw Business Journal.
- Thanks to the cooperation received by their municipalities, we promoted the following Odessa Sister and Project cities: Genova, Haifa, Klaipeda, Lodz, Nicosia, Oulu, Piraeus, Regensburg, Singapore, Szeged, Tallinn, Tbilisi, Yerevan, Yokohama and Vancouver.
- Our network of historians, artists, volunteers of Archodessa and Rotary Club Odessa International made us create sponsor contracts to support art restoration or charity initiatives.
- Next plans for the upcoming year is the creation of a city events calendar and a recommended souvenirs list for foreign travellers. We are preparing these tools for the moment when tourist routes will be opened again, with the purpose to promote cultural and business tourism.
Odessa is an appealing topic for the world, because it is still a mysterious city, not well known but with important historical achievements in several fields: cinema, literature, medicine, science, music and art. Many important personalities born in Odessa contributed significantly to the world progress. The city has kept a unique charm and is an ideal setting for shootings and books.
The word Odessa is an international brand, utilised in corporate marketing, literature, cinema and music. In the USA 13 geographical locations are named after Odessa. Probably, it is the most used Ukraine’s brand in the world.
The appreciation of the international DNA of Odessa is the editorial line of The Odessa Journal. The exposure to foreign cultures has always been the style of the city and it is its most promising future.
Happy birthday to our beloved newspaper!
Written by the Editor-in-Chief of The Odessa Journal