On September 24, in Yerevan, the Media Initiatives Center (formerly, Internews-Armenia) held the presentation of Lratun media museum. The first media museum in Armenia is established by the Media Initiatives Center within the framework of the “Alternative Resources in Media” program, supported by the USAID.
The museum’s multimedia concept presents the history of the coverage of significant events in Armenia over the last 25 years through the use of IT technologies. The idea to found a media museum came from Newseum, an interactive museum of news and journalism in Washington, D.C., which displays how the media describe events of public significance. Lratun’s establishment was initiated by Nouneh Sargsian, Managing Director of the Media Initiatives Center, who told the journalists that such museums are, at first, an opportunity to gather in one place the different types of media connected to important events, and second, this is a form of media literacy for the public at large understands what topics and why the media choose, how they depict them and what they leave to history.
The first exhibit of the newly-created media museum – "An Earthquake that Shook the Media" – displays how the press, television and documentarians of the time covered the 1988 devastating Spitak earthquake. According to Vahram Martirosian, Coordinator of Lratun project, they have chosen the Spitak earthquake as the first theme for two reasons: first, the earthquake opened up the Soviet Union to the world (humanitarian assistance to the victims of the disaster was provided by many countries, Ed. Note) and changed the media sector, the approach to news outlets and to journalism; second, this year is the 25th anniversary of the tragic event.
The travelling exhibition, “An Earthquake that Shook the Media", will display in Gyumri on September 26 till October 2, later it will be in Vanadzor, October 5-15, in Martuni, October 15-19, and in Kapan, October 22-27.
Afterwards, the organizers of the country’s first media museum hope to find a place in Yerevan where it can operate permanently.