For Immediate Release
Nine professional journalists and university lecturers from Azerbaijan participated in a study tour in the United States of America from January 26 to February 3. The study group members were individually selected and awarded media fellowships by IREX as part of the Cooperative Agreement funded by USAID under the Azerbaijan New Media Project (ANMP).
The group visited The Shelby Star and Greenville News newspapers, both notably successful for transferring from print media to online platforms, making good use of social media, and working closely with citizen journalists. The media fellows group also met with staff at The Charlotte Observer, one of the first online newspapers in the USA. One of the highlights of the tour was a visit to the CNN Press Center in Atlanta, Georgia, where the Azerbaijan group had an opportunity to chat and learn with staff of the world famous news network.
Newsplex at University of South Carolina hosted the group for two days and offered workshops on social media, marketing through social media, visual communication, as well as teaching journalism techniques.
Gunel Bilalova from Western University in Baku, one of the selected participants, commented on how the trip broadened her professional knowledge and vision through exposure to U.S. media outlets. “During the tour I had a chance to become familiar with a U.S. journalism school at University of South Carolina and meet professors of this school. That was a unique experience for me as I had never been on any other study tours before. I believe I will effectively use all I had learned during the tour in my future career.”
Upon returning to Azerbaijan, the journalists and lecturers will use knowledge gained as they teach new media courses at eight universities using more than 100 media learning modules posted on an open-source online portal: www.az.irexlearning.org. The resources (also available in English) promote high professional standards among faculty, students and journalists in Azerbaijan by providing new innovative tools and training. By introducing the courses using the online Moodle learning management system -- increasingly popular among educators around the world as a tool for creating online dynamic web sites for their students – IREX will also promote the concept of continuous and long distance learning among professional journalists.
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: January 28, 2015