Building Bridges/Building Capacity in the South Caucasus
Tel/Fax: +995 32 298 9970
20 Taras Shevchenko Street
2nd floor, office 4
The Caucasus programme aims to improve reporting of social, political and conflict issues by Caucasian journalists, and support development of their professional skill and independence. It operates mainly in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, with additional reporting from North Caucasus, also from three unrecognised republics in the South Caucasus: Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorny Karabakh. The regional programme is managed by Beka Bajelidze in Tbilisi.
IWPR has been working continuously and extensively in the Caucasus region since 1999.
The programme's ultimate purpose is to improve understanding of the ongoing processes of conflict resolution and democratisation in the Caucasus region, as well as to support integration of ethnic and religious minorities and refugees. This is achieved through journalistic training, publishing of conflict and democratisation-related articles, journalistic missions and regular round-table discussions of important social, political and conflict issues between representatives of local stakeholder groups, as well as through studying the information needs of ethnic minorities and refugees.
IWPR's local staff provide practical skills' training to journalists to produce objective and reliable real-time reporting for the local print and electronic media. Also, hands-on training workshops are conducted that are adjusted to the needs of each particular region. The main themes of IWPR’s training are:
- Practical training in international standards of reporting
- Reporting on social and economic issues
- Coverage of conflict and war
- Reporting on problems of ethnic and religious minorities
- Photo journalism techniques
- Design techniques
- Media management and marketing
Journalistic missions/exchange visits
These aim to improve the flows of information, within and between Caucasus countries, about various social, economic and political issues; give participating journalists an insight into the life of ethnic and religious minorities; and help them overcome whatever misconceptions they have about neighbouring countries.
To achieve this, during the 3-4-day missions, the journalists do the following:
Undergo training in journalistic techniques, as well as human rights issues and issues relevant to the country or region they are visiting; meet local officials and civil society activists; interviewing people relevant to local important news stories; prepare collaborative articles on issues arising from the trip.
The Caucasus Reporting Service
Locally written articles are published weekly on the IWPR site and disseminated via e-mail in English and Russian. Many are joint articles – written by journalists representing opposing sides in ethnic conflicts – giving an objective picture of developments in the Caucasus.
Radio projects and broadcasts
The aim of our work with radio stations and broadcast journalists is to make them more independent and efficient; support unbiased coverage of issues that are of particular importance to the region; and improve the local population’s knowledge about ethnic and religious minorities and refugees.
The eventual aim of these efforts is to create and develop Cross-Caucasus Internet radio output.
IWPR's work in the Caucasus began at the beginning 1999, initially funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Current funders are the FCO, the US Department of State and the European Union.
For more details please see full list of IWPR supporters.