On July 27-29 in Stepanakert a meeting of journalists from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Mountainous Karabagh was held. This is the second meeting of this kind (the first one took place in late March – early April in Yerevan, see YPC Weekly Newsletter, March 31 – April 6, 2001) under the project “Karabagh Conflict in the Mirror of Media and Public Opinion in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Mountainous Karabagh”.
As it has already been reported, this project, launched in February 2001, is implemented by Yerevan, Baku and Stepanakert Press Clubs with the support of the Open Society Institute Network Media Program. The program is scheduled for a year’s duration and is aimed at discovering and comparing the attitudes of media, opinions of the public and decision makers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Mountainous Karabagh on the resolution of Karabagh conflict (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, February 3-9, 2001).
Similar to the meeting in Yerevan, that in Stepanakert represented a working session. The purpose of the meeting was the presentation and discussion of the monitoring results for a number of leading print and electronic media of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Karabagh for the four months (March-June, out of the scheduled six months), as well as the preliminary data gathered by polling the public and decision makers in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Mountainous Karabagh.
While it is too early to speak of the final results, at this stage of monitoring several commonalties were revealed in the way the Armenian, Azerbaijan and Karabagh media cover the problem of conflict resolution. In particular, the number of articles on Karabagh issue increased as the negotiation process on Mountainous Karabagh got more active in the first half of 2001. The Armenian, Azerbaijan and Karabagh media mostly published their own information on the problem.
The comprehensive results of media monitoring and the surveys of the public and decision makers in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Mountainous Karabagh (the surveys are currently being processed) will be publicized at the third and final meeting that is to take place at the end of October in Baku. Here the comparative analysis of the results in all the directions above will also be introduced.
The participants of Stepanakert meeting were received by the Minster of Foreign Affairs of the Mountainous Karabagh Naira Melkumian. The Armenian and Azerbaijan journalists also visited the city of Shushi.