For Immediate Release
Twenty six journalists from Baku and the regions participated in two workshops on “Data Mapping and Online Journalism”, organized in early April. The training was conducted by the Azerbaijan New Media Project (ANMP) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX). The 5-day training workshops led by an international consultant, Dan Mason, trained journalists and media persons, and built their skills and confidence in using latest online tools to access news and information.
Online journalism has developed substantially in the last five years. Professional and citizen journalists in Azerbaijan are looking for new ways to gather quality information and access resources. Following his participation in the training, Farman Nabiyev – Editor-in-Chief of a regional newspaper observed that “Training was very helpful. I have been searching for ideas and tools to get information and create my own online database.” Added another participant and blogger Alma Jafarova, “The workshops were a lot of fun; all participants enjoyed the learning process.”
In a training exercise, the journalists were called upon to “interview” someone famous in the last 100 years. The idea was to “spin” the chat. Javid Savash, a journalist from the online TV - Channel 13, proposed an intriguing question to the Cuban strongman Fidel Castro, by saying “My first question would be – ‘Why a cigar?’ ”
The aim of the two workshops was to help journalists to learn to use the tools of 21st century. They learned how to use WordPress, Google, Audacity, Picasa and other tools. In addition, skills enhancing training included; how to write for their on-line audience; how to set up a blog; how to post and organize photographs; how to stay up-to-date on the latest media innovations, online resources, training opportunities and expert advice.
Sabina Khanmirzoyeva, who works in media at IRFS commented on the knowledge she gained. “I am responsible for the news updates on our website, which is built on a WordPress platform, but I did not really know how the platform worked or what was possible until this workshop.”
At the end of the training, the participating journalists created blogs and posted their imaginary interviews with famous people. The participants hope to post online interesting and dynamic stories of their own. Some participants said that the stories will likely range from inspiring to heartbreaking, but all will tell a more compelling story, using the newly learned skills.
The Azerbaijan New Media Project is a three-year (2010-2013), USAID-supported project that works with professional and citizen journalists to improve multimedia reporting skills and build cooperation between media, civil society, and citizens.
Last updated: December 10, 2013