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IDEA hosts workshop in Armenia
Submitted by IDEA London Staff on 24 January 2012
On 26 January, in the Aghveran resort in the countryside surrounding Yerevan, IDEA will be launching the next workshop in its Youth in the 21st Century program. Following on from highly successful programmes in Kyrgyzstan and Chiang Mai in 2011, Youth in the 21st Century Armenia will bring together aspiring journalists, youth activists and bloggers, for two weeks of instruction on film making, reporting and public speaking.
Over the last two years radical and far reaching political changes have occurred in the Middle East, in Burma, in Thailand, the United States and Russia. News of these events crossed the world faster than ever before, carried through the internet, through social networks, on radio waves, in memory cards and in mobile phones. As we watched members of the Occupy movement bring their cameras face-to-face with riot police, as we watched Tunisia and Egypt drive their liberation movements forward through blog posts and social networks, it became clear that the production and publication of media was now as democratised as the consumption of media.
The young, so often the first to explore the true potential of new technologies, led the way in using services such as Facebook and twitter to share news and opinions with the wider world. Tools that activists could only dream of twenty years ago are now commonplace and becoming increasingly important to those building inclusive and open systems of government in emerging democracies. But making the news, rather than watching it, brings its own obstacles and dangers.
Factual inaccuracies can undermine the legitimacy of important stories; inexperienced reporters can place themselves and the communities they work with in danger; open and inclusive movements can be attacked and subverted with minimal technical know-how. The accessibility of new media, and the dizzying array of voices and stories emerging from new democracies, can make blogs and social networks less accessible than traditional news sources.
The Youth in the 21st Century programme aims to equip young people in developing democracies around the world with the skills to meet these challenges head-on. While a team of reporters, photographers and camera operators teach programme participants how to use the devices and software that are redefining the media landscape, three IDEA debate coaches will introduce participants to the basics of debate and public speaking.
Through a combination of coaching and speaking exercises, traditional debate training and a series of mini debate competitions, some of Armenia’s brightest youth activists will learn how to work both behind and in front of the camera. IDEA’s hopes are high that the Youth in the 21st Century programme will help the next generation of Armenia’s leaders, writers and thinkers to continue to promote peace, democracy and an open, just society.
Alongside Russia’s Sergei Naumoff and Anna Merkurieva, and Armenian locals Anahit Galikyan and Lusine Arakelyan, IDEA UK’s Alexander Cavell will be joining the team providing debate training in Armenia. Mite Kuzevski and Goran Igikj will be conducting media training, with Vanitha Nadaraj, Suren Deheryan and Artur Papyan sharing their expertise as journalists.
Look out for Alexander Cavell's report on the programme in mid-February, on idebate.org.
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