Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change
IWPR and Media Groups Foster Peace Dialogue
(L to R) John Durnin, EUMM Spokesperson, Chief of Press and Press Information Unit, Natia Kuprashvili, Natalia Dzvelishvili, Maia Mamulashvili and Beka Bajelidze. (Photo: IWPR)
IWPR has signed a series of partnership agreements with media bodies in Georgia that will help encourage impartial, quality reporting.
On July 25, IWPR agreed partnerships with the Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics (GCHJE), the Georgian Association of Regional Broadcasters (GARB) and the Georgian Regional Media Association (GRMA).
GCHJE is the only organisation in Georgia that monitors the media’s journalism standards, while GRMA and GARB are key regional information providers across both print and broadcast media.
Such partnerships help organisations cooperate in their efforts to encourage best practice, promote conflict sensitive reporting and encourage peace journalism.
According to research, traditional media like television, online and print publications remain the most popular information sources in Georgia, making such efforts particularly important.
“We live in the era of asymmetric conflicts and crises, where peace journalism carries out a special mission, and therefore the ethical coverage of such complex developments is vital,” said GARB executive director Natia Kuprashvili
She noted that the Special Prize for Peace Journalism, established jointly by the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) and IWPR in 2013 had already had an impact.
The prize aims to support and encourage bias-free reporting that brings conflict-affected parties together and thus contributes to confidence-building, peace and dialogue through media.
“We can see that the volume of conflict-related reporting has increased and the quality has also improved,” Kuprashvili said, adding, “It should be also noted that regional broadcasters are trying to build cooperation with the colleagues on the other side of the conflict divide and we evaluate this recently emerged trend in media as an impact of a Peace Prize.”
“Supporting the professional development of local journalists working in villages and towns adjacent to conflict zones is essential,” said Maia Mamulashvili, executive director of the GRMA, praising the incentive the Peace Prize provided.
“We are happy that in cooperation with IWPR and other partners, we can encourage journalists from our member organisations to actively participate in the project.”
“We hope our cooperation will be fruitful…and that more and more journalists will show interest in peace journalism prize; the competition will increase and consequently the quality of materials as well,” added Natial Dzvelishvili, executive director of GCHJE.
The Special Prize for Peace Journalism is part of the European Union Prize for Journalism. In 2016 the prize will be awarded in seven categories for works published or aired between November 1, 2015-2016.
The winner will receive a 5,000 euro voucher for a one-month fellowship at the London office of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting. This fellowship comes under IWPR’s programme Strengthening Capacities, Bridging Divides — Reducing Tensions Across the South Caucasus, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The EUMM Special Prize for Peace Journalism is funded by the European Union.