Yes or no to peace building in journalism?

Yes or no to peace building in journalism?

09-06-2007 17:49:02 – KarabakhOpen

The Public TV and Radio held another discussion on peace building and
journalism yesterday including the leading journalists of the only
local TV channel and radio, as well as the representatives of Internews
Armenia visiting Armenia in the framework of the Dialogue through Films
project implemented in association with the British Consortium NGO.

Karine Ohanyan, journalist, who organized the discussion, said several
peace-building projects have been implemented in Karabakh over the past
few years. Collaboration between Armenian and Azerbaijan reporters has
been promoted. However, there are questions which worry the journalists
working in the area of the conflict: how the journalists can influence
the settlement f the conflict, where the border between peace building
and professional reporting is, whether they should write about
everything when the foe reads the media. Finally, they worry whether
the journalists of the conflict sides should meet and discuss different
issues at a cup of coffee. The discussion was heated, it lasted for
almost three hours. The manager of the programs of Internews Armenia
Harutiun Mansuryan told about collaboration with Azerbaijanis over the
projects of Intersection, Front Line, Children’s Intersection. He said
the latter is broadcast on the Public Channel of Armenia, and if at
first the Armenian viewers could not bear the Azerbaijani speech, now
the attitude of the society towards Azerbaijani reports has changed, it
has become more tolerant.

But should the Armenian society change its attitude when the
Azerbaijani media are propagating that Armenians are enemies? Why
should we bring up our children this way if the other side is preparing
the generation for war? Will the Armenians be ready in case war
ignites? The TV newsmakers raised these issues, who maintained that
projects involving collaboration between Armenian and Azerbaijani
journalists produce no results because in Azerbaijan, for instance, the
number of people who want war is growing steadily despite these

Narine Ghazaryan, journalist, said there is no peace building
journalism, there is professional journalism.

However, this statement also became a matter of discussion after
watching the two films made by young journalists of Artsakh in the
framework of the project Dialogue through Films, `Hard Nut’ and `Gone
with the Life’. The first is about the wife of a prisoner of war, who
is still waiting for her husband. The second is about the fates and
problems of people living in Kashatagh (Lachin). The discussion that
followed the films involved an important issue ` is it right to reveal
the truth to the conflict side which denigrates us? Why if the other
side does not do the same? Despite the opinion of the organizers of the
discussion that a journalist may report anything that is not a military
secret, most TV reporters think otherwise. Such films must be shown
inside the country, we need them but it is not right to show these
films `there’. Production for internal consumption and for export,
selection of the right people for joint projects, interest and
involvement of third parties and forces in the Karabakh conflict,
national values, globalization and democracy were also discussed.
Considering that the discussion was interesting and touched upon
up-to-date issues, the participants of the discussion said they are not
against contacts with Azerbaijani journalists but there should be a
limit to what to say, where, when and to whom¦

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