Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Caucasus: Jun/Jul '10

IWPR teaches communities how to improve communications using new media tools.
By IWPR
  • Representatives of national minorities in Armenia get to grips with new media techniques.
    Representatives of national minorities in Armenia get to grips with new media techniques.

A workshop on citizen journalism organised by IWPR’s Armenia branch provided an opportunity for representatives of national minorities to share information about their respective communities with a much wider audience.

The workshop, July 23-25, offered attendees an introduction and practical experience of new media tools as well as some of the principles and ethics that guide journalism.

In the first two days of the three-day workshop, the participants practiced writing and posting their own stories on the internet, set up their own blogs as well as disseminating information through social networks. 

The skills gained during the seminar helped them prepare their own photo and video stories and post them on their own blogs, which turned out to be quite active during the course of the workshop.

“Such workshops are important for national minorities, since they are poorly represented on the internet. This is a good opportunity for them to become better communicators,” said one of the trainers Arthur Papyan, an expert at the Media Diversity Institute.

A collective blog – “Citizen Journalism from Armenia” was set up (http://cjarmenia.blogspot.com/) and will be updated by seminar participants, together with previous and future participants of IWPR events, as well as IWPR Armenia branch staff.

The attendees considered the social networking knowledge they gained during the seminar to be a very effective means of promoting their respective communities/organisations, their problems and news.

“During the workshop, I learnt things about web tools that will help me make important news and stories about our Yezidi community available to almost everybody,” said Khdyr Hajoyan of the Yezidi community.

Anush Safaryan, a representative of the Ukrainian community, said, “ Now I can voice concerns related to issues in our community in the virtual world.”

Arthur Khachatryan, a spokesman for the Greek minority, said, “I learnt that the internet is not only for communicating with friends but is also a good and important means of acquiring and disseminating information.” 

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