It is over! The final conference of the last stage of the project Change of Perspectives in Media Education and Political Dialogue took place on December 8th in Yerevan. After Odesa and Kyiv this was the last stage of the project. The conference took place in the conference room Hotel Metropol.
At the beginning Mkrtich Tonoyan and Hrant Melik Shahnazaryan welcomed the participants and the media representatives. Tonoyan and Shahnazaryan organized the project‘s stage in Yerevan – and they are representatives of Armenian Center of Social Studies and Hrant Melik Shahnazaryan, th the NGO Center for Strategical Research. Tonoyan introduced the conference not only as the conference of the third stage of the project but also as the final conference where the results of all three stages can be summed. They said that it is necessary to have media as helpers of peacemaking. They underlined that with the actual situation in Caucasus.
Also Wolfgang Ressmann, chairman of the Association of Citizen Media of Germany , welcomed the audience and introduced into the topic of the project. His main idea was that media‘s role in conflicts is to deescalate. He thanked all of the participants for their interest and their hard work.
Then Sofia Samoylova showed a making of movie about the project. She filmed it in all of the three stages. As she said, she did not want to show how the project was made but why. For that she interviewed the organizers of the project, filmed the working groups and followed the project‘s events.
After the making of video the delegations from Ukraine and Georgia talked about the relevance of the project‘s topics for their countries and their experiences and what they have learned during the three stages. Yurij Bondar, profesor at the Institute of Journalism at Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv, talked about what role should journalism play in Ukraine with its conflicts – according to the results of the project. He also said that he appreciates the new professional contacts and wants the cooperation to continue. The Georgian representatives mentioned that the media situation in their country is similar for example concerning influenced media.
In the break participants, visitors and media representatives had the chance to talk about the project and to exchange their thoughts about the projects.
After the break the results of the third stage were presented. At first Minoas Andriotis, the trainer of the documentation group, introduced the audience to his group‘s blog. There the group documented the work of the different groups, the meeting and the events. But they also explained the background of the project and presented the cities and countries where the projects took place. Together with the blog they also presented the videos from the previous stages of the products.
Then the audiovisual group talked about their work in Yerevan. They interviewed several Armenian journalists about the media situation in Armenia. They wanted to learn especially about the freedom of media and media objectives. The interview partners had very different opinions on these topics: some of them said that media was much more influenced before the Velvet Revolution of 2018 and others said that nothing changed. But the video group also wanted to get an idea of the people thoughts on the topic. So they went on the street to make a survey about the topic.
At the end Mkrtich Tonoyan and Hrant Melik Shahnazaryan summed up the results of the third stage and of the whole project. They thanked the participants for their work and said that they are looking forward to know project of this kind with the old cooperation partners and the new ones that they got to know in this project.
Wolfgang Resssman and Hrant Melik Shahnazaryan gave the participants their certificates and everyone ate together. Then the participants had two hours of free time and went to the city center. In the evening the project‘s participants went to Megerian Carpet Factory, where they had a guided tour through the factory and a traditional Armenian dinner.
Until the next time!