What will AIN look like in 2024? Editor-in-Chief and Publisher’s column

In the year’s summary column, the new Editor-in-Chief of AIN.UA, a parent media of AIN.Capital, Oleksandr Strelnykov and the publisher Artem Starosiek talk about the transformation of the publication and their plans for 2024.

Oleksandr Strelnykov

Hello! First of all, I thank every reader for their love and trust in the publication, as well as criticism and feedback. Every day, my team and I think of you: when we draw up a content plan, brainstorm topics for materials, ask questions during interviews, develop a strategy for the next year, respond to reader inquiries by mail. Thank you for your interest in our work, which allows us to develop.

I’ll start with the results. From October, together with the new management, we are preparing a major transformation of AIN.UA (more on that later). Because people and processes are at the heart of everything, we started with just that: an audit of the current situation in the publication and the mood in the team. Unfortunately, several powerful editors who have been building this project for many years have left, and I want to sincerely admit that this was a blow to me and the whole team.

At the same time, new people joined the publication: Mariia Molodkovets, who became the editor-in-chief of the news section, journalists Anastasia Opryshchenko and Sofia Yelagina, news editor Vira Oliynyk. Right now, we are also looking for specialists to strengthen AIN.Business and AIN.Capital. Another important piece of news for the project: a professional and energetic editor Rostyslav Sobachynskyi is heading the English-language editorial office of AIN.Capital. There will be many more new hires in 2024, so keep an eye out for our vacancies.

In addition, the editorial policy and the document with the ownership structure are already ready, which we will present after the restart of the project. It’s about transparent rules and earning your trust.

A powerful step of our commercial department was the complete refusal to advertise HR-brands of gambling and betting services. And we completely abolished the content translation into Russian. Not only we stopped updating the feed, but also started translating archival materials into Ukrainian.

Also, we moved to a new office, reviewed salaries, set up work tools and are ready to spread our wings — so let’s move on to our plans.

Our main goal for 2024 is to provide regular institutional assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This is our duty as a responsible media business. As soon as in January, we will launch a fundraising for FPV drones for the 92nd Assault Brigade squadron “Achilles”, which will help them destroy our enemy. And much more to come: funds, money for the Armed Forces, equipment, and pain for the Russian occupiers.

At the end of the first — the beginning of the second quarter of 2024, we plan to launch a new website for the publication with an updated identity and new sections — this is part of the transformation I mentioned earlier.

Why do we need a new website? My personal desire as Editor-in-Chief is to develop the brand AIN as a “desktop media” of progressive and educated people who make important decisions for the country and business every day, launch their own startups, invest in promising projects, work in creative industries, and the technological sphere. Such media, which will cover all your informational needs on a daily basis. In order to do this, we will expand the topics focus: more about real economy, explainers for the investment and development of startups, analytics, military-tech, scientific articles, urban planning, reports from productions, devices reviews, cars and software products, and much more.

This requires new technical capabilities from the website: better performance, more flexible setting of the appearance of the main page, built-in interactive dashboards, tests, tools for live text broadcasts, etc.

We will also present the updated identity and design of the website. We will make it more “spacious” and more modern, with a greater emphasis on visual elements. In this, we are inspired by the progressiveness of Western technological media and the image quality of the world’s most authoritative printed publications.

On the website, you will also find in-depth investigations, detailed analytics on the state of the technology market, and an updated “Jobs” section, which we will make as convenient and practical as possible for candidates and recruiters.

Another direction of work is the development of our YouTube channel with exclusive interviews, explainers, reports, so that you can receive information from us in video format, clear and honest.

The last of the big plans I want to talk about is that we will be launching a Community section. This is a reader’s forum where you can discuss professional and everyday topics, read columns from leaders of public opinion, businessmen and investors, as well as chat with our editors.

I pass the next lines of this column to Artem. And I wish everyone victory in the new year.

Artem Starosiek

Hello! It was the most difficult and interesting three months of my life. I want to start by thanking the Editor-in-Chief Oleksandr Strelnykov, the Editor-in-Chief of AIN.Capital Rostyslav Sobachynskyi, the Editor-in-Chief of AIN.Business Tania Hrytsyk, the publishing editor Olia Zakrevska, CBDO Yana Protsenko, and COO AIN.UA Daria Verbytska, who liked the new strategy and who believed in change. Judging by the increase in traffic and the number of advertisements, advertisers and readers also believed in these changes — thank you! Special thanks to the competitors on the market who helped and kept me in good shape 🙂

I will reveal in more depth several key changes that you were able to see on AIN.UA recently.

The team transformation

Many colleagues from the media sphere and advertisers were interested in the changes in the team. In my opinion, personnel changes under the new management, without changes in the editorial policy, is normal.

There are several reasons:

  1. Growth requires sustainable processes: legal, financial, digital, and HR. This has been my main focus for the past three months.
  2. We build media with approaches typical of IT companies: evaluation of achievements, not regalia, an extended social package, constant reviews of income, a nice office.
  3. Everyone does their part, instead of being a superhero who works for three.
  4. Values are sometimes more important than hard skills.
  5. A business should be a sports team, not a family. This is the only way from to build a startup into a systemic business.
  6. “Fresh blood” helps with solving problems for which there seemed to be no solutions.

Refusal to advertise gambling

AIN.UA previously advertised HR-brands of gambling and betting companies, these were the only advertising manifestations related to such businesses. In November, we stopped this process. In addition to the ethical component, there is another reason — the negative impact of gambling on the military. This is unacceptable for us. We will always choose the reputation and trust of the reader. This step is only a continuation of the strategy, because AIN.UA has used Know Your Customer procedures for years and checked who the media advertises. Our advertising blacklist includes “air traders”, alcohol and tobacco brands, politicians, and Russian companies.

As a result, there is a stream of advertisers who appreciate our choice. If you add to this the team under the leadership of Yana Protsenko, which makes the most successful sales on the Ukrainian market, it is quite possible to break even and be profitable.

If for our colleagues in the market gambling and betting is a matter of survival, then for AIN.UA it is a valuable choice that will not significantly affect revenues from advertising, because previously such clients made up less than 5% of the revenue structure. Win-win.

Instead of conclusions

In December, I sat in a dark hall at the graduation party of the Ukrainian School of Political Studies. The second year of the war was coming to an end. On the stage is Oleksandr Yabchanka, senior lieutenant of the “Honor” squadron of the “Wolves Da Vinci” battalion named after Dmytro Kotsiubailo, and a 2018 graduate of the Ukrainian Military Academy. He had an unusual dialogue with himself, only from 12 years ago, when Oleksandr was a pediatrician, an assistant at the Department of Pediatrics. Oleksandr the Pediatrician wore rose-colored glasses and asked questions like “When will the war end?”, “Will everyone be mobilized?”, “We have already endured in March 2022, so can we now relax?”. Oleksandr with the call sign “Yabchanka” took off these glasses, painted a picture close to the inevitable end and called for the general mobilization of society and systematic support of units. At the end of the dialogue, Oleksandr the doctor decided to join the ranks of the Armed Forces.

I have similar thoughts: in addition to donations, which are already a norm of public morality in our country, and not an excuse for PR, every business must become a business of war. A bakery — to bake pastries for the frontline, an IT business — to develop software for artillery and military control systems, media and bloggers — to enlighten society, provide analytics to counter the PSYOPS and fakes, and fight the occupiers with words.

That is why in 2024 you will see even more analytics, investigations, progressive and socially responsible businesses that professionally help the Armed Forces of Ukraine on AIN.UA, as well as AIN.Business and AIN.Capital.