Project news & updates

EJC, Local Partners Begin Two-Year Armenian Media Development Programme

30 October 2007 | PRESS RELEASE


The MATRA - Societies in Transition Programme, part of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, awarded a two-year grant to the European Journalism Centre to implement the Journalism Practices Enhancement Project in the Republic of Armenia in cooperation with two local partners: the Media Law Institute and the Freedom of Information Centre. Both are based in Yerevan, the capital. 

This is the second project ever funded by the Matra program in the South Caucasus country. It will formally begin in November 2007. The project will help prepare local journalists to address corruption in government and private business sectors by providing Armenian students with the reporting tools for analytical and thoughtful investigative pieces. It will also provide them with practical legal assistance, by way of fostering relationships between journalists, media lawyers and students. 

The hope is to avoid the legal minefields associated with producing investigative stories in Armenia. “One of the underlying aims is to bring the Dutch experience of a free press to Armenian journalists and media lawyers,” says Josh LaPorte, EJC project executive for the program. “Investigations of these kind can lead to greater transparency and good governance.” 

Specific programme activities include investigative journalism competitions leading to published pieces in the local press and a conference dedicated to updating and modernizing journalism and media law curricula at the university level. The project ends with study visits to media outlets and journalism schools in the Netherlands for the student winners of the competitions. 

By embedding Dutch best practice in journalism and law faculty curricula, the project will maintain sustainability of its ideals well after the implementation period.

Enhancing Journalistic Practices in Armenia
Through this project, the EJC sought to improve the Armenian education framework devoted to law and journalism. Its aim - encourage the development of a training programme that emphasises investigative and ethics-based practices, addressing issues such as freedom of speech and freedom of information.