ARMENIA

Unbiased Media Coverage of Armenia-Azerbaijan Relations Project 2008-2009

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The project goal is to increase the amount of accurate and unbiased reporting of the bilateral relationship between Armenia and Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and to foster a cooperative network of editors, journalists and media NGOs from Armenia and Azerbaijan.

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpg (6)Media is a powerful tool for shaping public opinion. It also has the potential to build confidence across existing fracture lines by covering a wide spectrum of issues, relying on a bigger range of sources for stories, representing the voices of the non-elite as well as the elite, and consciously eliminating bias from coverage. However, without accurate and unbiased information free of negative rhetoric and stereotype, Armenians and Azerbaijanis will continue to see themselves as enemies without any commonalities.

To address these issues, EPF’s Armenia-Azerbaijan Media Bias program combines focus group-based research on public perceptions about media bias with training for 40 television, radio, electronic and newspaper journalists and editors in each country; two separate media monitoring assessments to measure changes in bias and to further document the types of inaccuracies that frequently occur; and an innovation fund to launch small, cross-border pilot projects addressing issues of bias. EPF works closely with the program’s four core partners: Yeni Nesil (Azerbaijan), the Yerevan Press Club (Armenia), Internews-Armenia and Internews-Azaerbaijan.

The program commenced in June 2008 with grant contracts concluded between EPF in Armenia and Azerbaijan on the one hand and the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on the other hand.

Who is paying attention to what?

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpg (7)In summer 2008, CRRC teams in Armenia and Azerbaijan held focus groups in Armenia and Azerbaijan, respectively, and produced a report on public attitudes toward and trust in the media, especially, regarding Armenia-Azerbaijan relations.

 

Please download the report from here: CRRC Report

 

Media Monitoring Assessments

logoAs a part of the project two joint media monitoring on the amount of accuracy and bias in mutual reporting in Azerbaijan and Armenia has been conducted by EPF’s core partners in Armenia (Yerevan Press Club) and Azerbaijan (Yeni Nesil). Four TV channels and four newspapers were monitored in each country. First round of monitoring covered the period of Sept. 15-Nov. 15. Second round has covered period of October 1-31 November 15, 2009.
 YPC logo

Please download the reports in English and Russian languages from here:

 
 

Trainings for Journalists

Participants of Yerevan training
Armenia TurkeyThe first round of iIn-country training in self-monitoring to avoid bias, in accuracy and objectivity, and in international best practices on the role of media in conflict areas for a group of 20 local journalists was conducted in each of Armenia and Azerbaijan in February 2009. Along with other training material, the Armenian- and Azerbaijani-translated versions of the report on public attitude toward and trust in media, as well as the report on the two-month media monitoring in Armenia and Azerbaijan were also used as a reference material during the training. Four Armenian editors and eight Azerbaijani editors joined the last day of the training in Yerevan and Baku respectively.

The three-day regional workshop for the select group of the project beneficiaries held March 27-29, 2009 in Tbilisi, Georgia. 11 journalists (out of the 20 who participated in the in-country trainings in February 2009) from each of Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as four representatives of the EPF’s core partners from each of Armenia and Azerbaijan, and EPF staff from Yerevan and Baku participated in the workshop.

The second round of in-country training was held in early November in Baku for a new group of Azerbaijani journalists, and in early December in Yerevan for a new group of Armenian journalists.

Events and activities

EPF is supporting two small scale Armenian-Azerbaijani joint projects. One of the projects is a documentary telling a story of refugees and ex-combatants from Armenia and Azerbaijan. The other film is focusing on cliché and stereotypes.

Please watch film of Vahagn Antonyan and Asef Guliev Image of Enemy (Не война и не мир) on our Vimeo channel;

Не война и не мир (first part)

Не война и не мир (second part)

Please watch film by Kristina Vardanyan and Farman Nabiev Passenger (Пассажир) on our Vimeo channel here

 

External Evaluation Report

External Evaluation of the project was conducted by the Russian specialist Alexey Kuzmin. The evaluation report could be downloaded from here.