YPC Weekly Newsletter

2004


INTERETHNIC TANGLE IN THE MEDIA MIRROR

On April 16-18 in Tsaghkadzor a seminar “Ethics of the Interethnic Coverage" was held. The event was organized by Yerevan Press Club and Friedrich Ebert Foundation and brought together representatives of media, non-governmental (including journalistic) organizations, state structures of Armenia.

The urgent issues in the very complicated relations within the region were viewed primarily in the context of their media coverage. The newest history of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, plentiful in interethnic conflicts and tense inner political situations, makes the protection of the journalists, working in the “hot spots”, even more important. It is the discussion of what are the legal guarantees of this protection in the documents of the Council of Europe, where the states of the South Caucasus are members, that the seminar opened with. The tasks of the press at this stage of the regional and international relations, the need to preserve the “make no harm” principle when covering the interethnic issues, how Armenian, Georgian and Azerbaijani media follow the norms of professional ethics and what stereotypes they use when speaking about interethnic problems – all these subjects caused the heated debate among the meeting participants. At the seminar the results of the media monitoring studies on the coverage of the Karabagh problem and interrelations Armenia-Azerbaijan-Turkey, administered by Yerevan Press Club jointly with the partners from other countries of the region since 2001, were presented. The different attitudes expressed at the event and the vivid emotional background came to reconfirm how complicated the interethnic South Caucasus tangle is and the significant responsibility to be shouldered by the “fourth estate” in untying it.