Media landscape of Eastern Partnership countries
The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, first assembled in Brussels in November 2009, did a lot to define the expectations of the Forum participants with regard to the new initiative of the European Union, it helped them to better realize their role in the implementation of the initiative. The recommendations, developed in Brussels and expanded at the second CSF meeting in November 2010 in Berlin, focused on the priorities of all four thematic platforms of the Eastern Partnership. The working groups and subgroups formed seek to accumulate the experience, the knowledge, the advocacy capacities of the civil society organizations of various domains to ensure effective reform process in the partner countries.
Among others, within CSF a sub-working group was created to focus on media issues. It involves Forum participant organizations from all six countries of the Eastern Partnership as well as from the European Union. Within the two years of its existence the CSF subgroup held a number of meetings, discussed the ways to enhance the role of media NGOs, to increase the freedom of expression all over the region of Eastern Partnership.
One of the main initiatives of the SWG members was the joint overview of the media situation in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Presenting the various aspects of this domain in one study report allows disclosing both the common trends, typical for all countries of the region, and specific problems. The representatives of journalistic associations, the media experts who took part in developing this overview, titled it “Media Landscapes of Eastern Partnership Countries”, expecting their comprehensive study to become a useful resource for the development of the reform policy in the information domain of the Eastern Partnership countries.
Unfortunately, the problems of media freedom are not reflected in the current agenda of official Platform 1, and the authors of this publication hope that drawing attention to them will help to define specific objectives for ensuring the independence and professionalism of the press within the Eastern Partnership initiative. Free and quality media can play a crucial role in the whole process of the EaP and the European integration.
In the course of the preparation of “Media Landscapes” unified structure and approaches were adopted for all six countries. Working on the publication, the Yerevan Press Club and its partners, the authors, held regular consultations that enabled them to outline the general picture of the media domain in the region. The study deals with the most diverse issues – ranging from media legislation to journalistic education, from the press market to social networks, etc. The general challenges faced by free media in the countries of the Eastern Partnership – attempts to control the Internet, to use the digitization of broadcasting to further monopolize the TV air, resorting to implicit, sophisticated forms of censorship; as well as the threats to free expression that have “national character” – political repressions against opposition journalists, use of defamation laws to exert economic pressure on critical media are reflected in the overview.
Yerevan Press Club and the members of the Media sub-working group of CSF hope that their study will be of broad professional interest in the countries of Eastern Partnership and EU and express their gratitude to the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) for the assistance in developing, publishing and presenting this book.
“Media Landscapes of the Eastern Partnership Countries” was prepared and published through the efforts of: editor of the study Elina Poghosbekian (Yerevan Press Club, Armenia); Boris Navasardian, Gegham Baghdasarian, Armen Nikoghosyan (Yerevan Press Club, Armenia); Arif Aliyev (“Yeni Nesil” Journalists Union of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan); Zhanna Litvina, Andrei Bastunets, Yuras Karmanau (Belarusian Association of Journalists, Belarus); Manana Jakhua (Association and Radio “Green Wave”, Georgia), Ketevan Mskhiladze (Media Development Fund, Georgia);Nadine Gogu(Independent Journalism Center, Moldova); Oksana Volosheniuk, Valeriy Ivanov (“Academy of Ukrainian Press” International Charitable Foundation), Andriy Kulakov, Volodymyr Yermolenko, Vitaliy Moroz, Iryna Chupryna (Internews Ukraine), Oleg Khomenok, Tetiana Kotyuzhinska (Ukraine); editor-translators Anna Simonian, Irene Aloyan; graphic designer Renata S.
More news: On the eve of the Eastern Partnership Summit the Institute of Public Affairs in cooperation with Friedrich Ebert Foundation has organised round-table on Medial landscape in the Eastern Partnership Countries. During the meeting experts from Eastern Partnership countries has presented main conclusions from their report concerning the level of media freedom in the EaP countries”.
The First Project under Black Sea Basin Joint Operational Programme (JOP) Launched in Armenia
Urban Foundation has won the only grant in Armenia under the Black Sea Basin JOP. In the frame of the project, Urban Foundation will partner with organizations from Romania, Moldova and Georgia. The action will be implemented in an integrated approach in partner countries and by involvement of all partners. The content of the project corresponds to the “Creation of administrative capacity” measure.
The Black Sea Basin JOP is one of the EU operational programmes under the European Neighborhood & Partnership Instrument (ENPI). It is implemented during the programming period 2007 – 2013. There are 8 participating countries in the Black Sea JOP, Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, and Greece. The Black Sea JOP aims at a stronger and more sustainable economic and social development of the Black Sea Basin regions. Through the Black Sea JOP, communities in the areas concerned will be encouraged to further develop their local economy, confront environmental challenges and promote greater interaction among people.