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Promoting freedom, professionalism and pluralism of the media in the South Caucasus and Moldova 2011/DGHL/JP/2601
 
Countries   Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova

Funding

European Union – Council of Europe

Implementation  

Council of Europe

Duration  

24 months (January 2011 – December 2012)

Total project funds received
  1 200 000
№ of activities organised   68 activities
Objectives  

The overall objective of the project was to support the development of legal and institutional guarantees for freedom of expression, higher quality journalism and a pluralistic media landscape in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova, in line with Council of Europe standards and as regards both traditional and new media.

Target groups
 

Public officials, media professionals, journalism educators, civil society

Final beneficiaries
 

Media professionals, society at large

Original specific objectives  

- The regulatory framework for freedom of expression and for media is brought closer in line with European standards;

- The implementation of the media-related regulatory framework and self-regulation is improved in line with Council of Europe standards;

- The broadcasting regulatory bodies are better equipped to function in an independent and effective manner; decision-making is more transparent;

- The public service broadcasters gain in professionalism and are better trusted by the political leaders, the civil society, media professionals and the public at large;

- Journalists better understand their rights, respect ethical rules and are trained to exercise their work professionally;

- The quality of journalism education is improved.

Main activities   Conferences, seminars, workshops, training, expert advice, study tours, publications.

 

Results achieved:

The overall objective of the project was to support the development of legal and institutional guarantees for freedom of expression, higher quality journalism and a pluralistic media landscape in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova, in line with Council of Europe standards and as regards both traditional and new media. The project included three components: 1) Armenia and Georgia, 2) Azerbaijan and 3) Moldova.

During the project implementation, 68 activities were organised as follows:

15 in Armenia (initially planned 10)

13 in Azerbaijan (initially planned 10)

13 in Georgia (initially planned 10)

18 in Moldova (initially planned 7)

9 regional activities (initially planned 3)

All activities were organised in close co-operation with the relevant national authorities and national non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The implementation of the project was coordinated with local and international stakeholders.   

The main issues addressed were broadcast regulation (analysis of legislation), media self-regulation including a code of ethics for broadcasters, development of curricula on new on-line and alternative media, web journalism and access to official documents.

Overall the activities had the expected impact, which was confirmed by the positive feedback from the beneficiaries. During the Final conference of the project which was held in Chisinau on 6 December 2012, the results of the two-year project (2011-2012) were presented in detail by the country project officers and by representatives of the beneficiaries – public-service broadcasters, universities, authorities, media self-regulatory bodies and media-related NGOs. All speakers unanimously praised the design of the project, its implementation, its impact and the excellent work of the project team. The beneficiaries were very appreciative of the Council of Europe assistance provided throughout the project and of the results achieved.

In addition to the activities which were aimed at a single country, the participants highly valued the regional cooperation developed under the project, notably in the areas of university journalism education, media self-regulation and the functioning of broadcast regulatory bodies. New university courses - “New and alternative media: ethical and legal problems” and “Social issues journalism” - were developed and relevant experience was shared between the four target countries as well as with Ukraine and other countries. The Regional network of press councils (including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Ukraine) inspired and started with Council of Europe assistance continued its successful functioning, with some activities funded by the project.