Projects / Caucasus Media Project


Caucasus Media Support Project (CMSP)
1997 - 2000

Rationale
The various conflicts in the South Caucasus (Armeno-Azeri, Abkhaz-Georgian, Georgian-Osset) caused disruption of communication and exchange and the spread of derogatory stereotypes between the neighbours. Media often played a negative role during the conflicts. Media outlets were either dominated by ruling groups or nationalist opposition and were characterised by a pro-war propaganda, repeating these stereotypes without being able to offer an objective analysis of events and a balanced reporting of facts.


Objectives

Facilitate travels to the other side of the conflict for journalists, taking into consideration the echo this could have throughout the region - through printed and electronic media;

Provide media with a positive role, proving that exchange, contacts and dialogue were not only possible, but also a way by which to deal with different problems.



Results

For the first time since the conflict:
A group of Azerbaijani journalists visited Armenia (1997);
A group of Azerbaijani journalists visited Nagorno Karabakh (1998);
A group of Armenian journalists visited Azerbaijan (1999);

High level meetings, including press conferences given by the three presidents: Heydar Aliev (Azerbaijan), Eduard Shevardnadze (Georgia), and Robert Kocharyan (Armenia);

Ten conferences in the South Caucasus where journalists from Abkhazia, Ajaria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and South Ossetia met and exchanged experiences with their colleagues;
Two training programmes, in Geneva and in Moscow. In Geneva, participants were introduced to the Swiss political system. In Moscow, participants had the opportunity to work for one month with Nezavisimaya Gazeta;
Publication of the Caucasus Media Bulletin;
Opening the possibility of travel to epicentres of conflicts, not only for journalists but also for scholars and NGO’s.
Contact
Vicken.Cheterian@cimera.org

Funding
Swiss Foreign Ministry, Political division III (Peace promotion)
Municipality of Lausanne
Canton of Geneva


© Cimera 2001