ON BUILDING CAPACITIES OF MEDIA PROFESSIONALS ON INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM TO COVER HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES IN CLOSED INSTITUTIONS IN ARMENIA

 

1.Background

In December 2017, “Public Journalism Club” (PJC) NGO in consortium with the “For Equal Rights” NGO (FER) launched “A Public Glimpse into a Closed World: Enhancing Public Information on and Awareness on Human Rights Situation in Penitentiaries and Psychiatric Residential Institutions in Armenia” two-year project financed by the European Union (EU) and co-funded by Open Society Foundations (OSF) – Armenia.

The overall objective of the project is to improve human rights situation at closed institutions through increasing public awareness and public debate to identify and publicly discuss relevant issues and possible solutions.

The specific objectives of the project are:

  • Enhance media professionals’ awareness of and ability to cover issues related to human rights situations at closed institutions;
  • Increase coverage and quality of reports on the human rights situation in closed institutions.

As a part of the project PJC is initiating a training course for representatives of Mass Media on investigative journalism in closed institutions, as well as in special schools and special care institutions in Armenia.

2.Objectives and Results

The main objectives of the training are:

  • To learn main concept and techniques of investigative journalism in the context of closed institutions, as well as in special schools and special care institutions, coverage,
  • To learn the current situation of human right in closed institutions in Armenia,
  • Generate investigative journalism story ideas (considering also gender aspects of investigative reporting).

3.Key learning questions

In regard to investigative journalism:

  • What are the added value and advantages of investigative journalism? What are the main tools and techniques of investigative journalism? How to plan an investigation? How to find and deal with sources? What interviewing skills are needed? What are the basic research tools? How to tell the story? What are the ethics of investigative journalism? What are the best international practices in investigative journalism covering human rights issues in detention facilities, correction centers/prisons and psychiatric residential facilities?

In regard to the state of human rights in closed institutions in Armenia

  • What is the current state of human rights in closed institutions? How does the system of closed institution function and how is it coordinated/supervised? What are the main challenges and opportunities for human rights in closed institutions? Who are the main stakeholders/actors involved in monitoring and protection of human rights in closed in institutions? How could journalists support improvement of the state of human rights in closed institutions? What could be main entry points/topics for journalists?

The training courses will be followed by an exchange of practices and ideas for journalistic/investigative reporting on covering human rights issues in closed institutions, as well as further steps. 

The training will be conducted by:

Sanita Jemberga, Director of "Re: Baltica: The Baltic for Investigative Journalism",
Edik Baghdasaryan, Editor-in-chief, "Hetq" On-line Newspaper,
Zaruhi Mejlumyan, journalist at hetq.am, President, “Armenian Innocence Project” NGO,
Artur Sakunts, Helsiniki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor Office,
Avetik Ishkhanyan, Chairman, Helsinki Committee of Armenia,
Sopio Tabaghua, Coordinator of The Georgian Centre for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (GCRT), Board member of Human Rights House Tbilisi-HRHT, Psychiatrist, PhD student,
Maia Tsiramua, psychologist, The Georgian Centre for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (GCRT).

4.Timeline

The training will be held from 31 May-3 June 2018 in Tsakhkadzor (Russia Hotel).

An information session will take place on April 3 2018 at 18:00 at Public Journalism Club (address: 12 Saryan street, 3rd floor) to present in details the training agenda and objectives.

5.Qualifications and experience required

Selection of media professionals will be done based on following requirements:

  • At least 1 year of experience in journalistic work, previous experience in investigative journalism would be an advantage,
  • Commitment to produce investigative media reports on the training topic,
  • Previous experience in covering human rights issues; covering issues in closed institutions would be considered as an asset

Additionally applicants will be asked to provide a written sample/ previous article covering issues related to human rights.

6.Required documentation and application procedures

Interested journalists must submit their applications online by April 13, 2018 which should include[1] also:

  • CV of applicant,
  • A written sample / previous article on human rights including the source/link and the date of publication.

If you have any questions on preparation of the Proposal please contact: Alexey Petrosyan, Senior Project Manager at Public Journalism Club (PJC) at alikpetrosyan@pjc.am.

 

[1] All required documents should be uploaded to Google Drive and relevant links (URL) be mentioned in the registration.

 

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