With the project “Conflict Aware Journalism in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict” implemented in 2013-2014, the Imagine Center established a professional network of Azerbaijani and Armenian journalists and editors and started engagement with the area of media and journalism. The aim of the project was to positively transform young and experienced Azerbaijani and Armenian journalists’ perception of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict empowering them to act as role models and advocates of impartial reporting of conflict-related issues.
In November 2013, local workshops on the topic of conflict sensitive journalism were conducted in Baku and in Yerevan. Next, the Dialogue program took place in Bakuriani, Georgia on January 10-17, 2014. The Dialogue focused on analytical problem-solving, with journalists openly and constructively discussing the conflict, its history and present-day context. In parallel with the Dialogue, the program hosted a much-needed skill-building component that the participating journalists welcomed with much enthusiasm and interest. The Dialogue ended with a list of project suggestions as well as a very specific envisioned direction of work – a joint code of ethics to be used as a blueprint in their professional work and to be distributed among colleagues in both countries.
Following the Dialogue, in May 2014, alumni of the Dialogue came together for a follow-up meeting and advanced skill-building training in Tbilisi. In September 2014, the alumni of the Dialogue organized new trainings for a group of journalists, editors, and citizen journalists in Baku and Yerevan. Going through joint skill building and dialogue, this network of professionals has since been working on advancing dialogue and professional development focused on conflict sensitive journalism for a larger group of colleagues in the whole region of the South Caucasus and Turkey.