Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change
IWPR technician Mirian Koridze editing a video report. (Photo: IWPR)
The IWPR team in the Caucasus is helping journalists and civil society activists to report and campaign more effectively by developing their multimedia reporting skills.
IWPR has begun a training programme which enables participants from across the region to get to grips with the production of web-based video reports, seen as increasingly important as a supplement to mainstream print and broadcast reporting.
“As newspapers have a limited circulation, radio a narrow geographical coverage and TV broadcasting virtually monopolised by a small number of oligarchs, many have felt the solution is shifting production to web-based content – but the skills to generate this content are scarce,” said Beka Bajelidze, IWPR’s regional director in the Caucasus.
“More and more non-governmental organisations as well as media outlets in the south Caucasus region recognise the power of using visual images - particularly video - online. Along with other traditional means of reporting, video can help our partners acquire global audiences.”
Journalists and civil society activists taking part in the training programme are being taught how to produce high-quality video features on subjects that are overlooked by mainstream media or reported in a one-sided way.
Nino Gvedashvili, coordinator for Human Rights House-Tbilisi, says IWPR’s new initiative will enhance the production of video reports which are a powerful advocacy tool.
“Internet media is growing daily in Georgia and video materials have a significant evidential role, helping to tackle alarming issues like human rights violations for example, “ she said.
“It is important to say that IWPR is a defender and provider of best journalistic practices and I am sure its video reporting trainees will follow these standards. IWPR video reports that I have seen are well balanced and all sides are fairly represented. This element is often lacked in local media. I liked IWPR’s video report Women for Peace which precisely shows the concern over how women’s opinions are ignored in peace processes.”
Currently, IWPR offices in Azerbaijan and Armenia are working on new video reports related to issues of concern for these countries.
“There are no successful media outlets today that do not have multi-media content support. Journalists from print or radio media all need to possess skills to produce video reports that are trustworthy and reliable,” said Goga Aptsiauri, a journalist from Gori, Georgia.
“IWPR’s video reporting project is very much needed. This is a new direction and efforts to develop it are pertinent and timely. Journalists must follow the pace of media development and this project has great potential to equip and help the local media to allow it to play its vital societal role.”
One training participant, Bacho Gurabanidze, a journalist from Batumi, Ajara, has already put the finishing touches to a video report on unpublicised negotiations between Turkey and Georgia on restoring Georgian religious monuments on Turkish territory and vice-versa – a subject that has provoked some controversy in Georgia.
“It was a very informative report even for me. This subject is very important for the residents of Batumi. When reporting such a sensitive issue as religion, the journalist cannot afford to make an error,” Gurabanidze said.
“I myself learned a lot while working on the report. I think video report is a very useful media product.”
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