15 November 2012
AGBU Europe’s fourth seminar of GORIZ program, which aims to identify, train and network the future Armenian leaders in Europe, took place in Yerevan, Armenia, from 18 to 21 October 2012. It focused on communication and the media skills.
Funded with the support of “Youth in Action” program from the European Commission in the framework of a special action with EU Eastern Partnership countries, the seminar assembled 22 participants from 10 countries, including Armenia, Turkey and Ukraine.
Under the title “EU Eastern partnership Youth seminar about communication and the media”, its objective was to reinforce the participants’ communication skills in general, including training them in communicating Armenian issues with the press, taking part in an interview and using social networks.
The participants were coached in best practice in communicating with international media by Armen Georgian and Achren Verdian, both journalists at France 24 International TV.
They developed new means of communication and efficient tools to raise the media awareness on the Armenian cause, became better acquainted with social networks to develop coordinated communication actions at a European level on sensitive issues such as the destruction of “khatchkars” (Armenian cross stones) in 2002 in Azerbaijan or more recently on the Ramil Safarov affair.
Through interview simulations in front of a camera and under the guidance of two journalists, participants learned to prepare the interviews of the future. The visit of Armnews TV Channel completed the whole exercise by giving an inside view of the functioning of a TV Channel.
The project “Media Watch on Hate Speech” ran by the Hrant Dink Foundation was presented by its manager. Since 2009, this project screens the Turkish press and lists those found to contain hate speech. This is a contribution to the fight against racism, discrimination and intolerance in Turkey. The themes of democracy, tolerance and mutual understanding will be further studied in next meetings of the group.
On Friday 19 October, GORIZ participants were invited by Alexis Govciyan, AGBU Europe Chairman and one of GORIZ program founder, to present themselves to AGBU Europe Board members. The next day the group attended AGBU 87th General Assembly chaired by Berge Setrakian, in Etchemiadzine, to learn about AGBU’s recent work and the challenges faced by the organization in relation with the evolutions of the Armenian Diaspora in the world.
This very rich and practical seminar launched a new group dynamic. Participants are now better prepared to lead stronger and more ambitious initiatives on behalf of Armenian communities, in a spirit of citizenship and open to the world, while remaining aware of their identity. The seminar also revealed the remarkable level of its participants, who are increasingly aware of the role they are called upon to play within the GORIZ program and for the destiny of the Armenian communities in Europe.
For more information on AGBU GORIZ, please visit www.agbugoriz.org.