In 2016, Artsakh was faced with unprecedented violence as Azerbaijan launched unprovoked assaults along its eastern border. This escalation, known as the “April War” or “Four-Day War”, revealed a lack of serious coverage of Artsakh’s situation – especially among the US and Western mass media. Since then, the Foundation has sought to facilitate the work of journalists who can offer media reports that are accurate, fair, balanced, and informative.
In May 2016, we collaborated with the “European Friends of Armenia” to send fifteen journalists to Artsakh from different countries including the US, UK, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Moldova, Italy, and Russia.
These journalists stayed in Artsakh for three days. During this time, they visited the eastern front, Stepanakert’s military hospital, Shushi, as well as areas demined by the HALO Trust. They also took part in meetings with NKR officials, including the Prime Minister; the National Assembly Speaker; Foreign Minister, and the Ombudsman/Human Rights Defender.
As a result of the visit, more than 20 articles, analyses, news pieces, photo and video stories have been published in a variety of European news websites and journals. These stories present the situation of Artsakh comprehensively, from multiple angles and perspectives, and offer a much necessary peek into the lives of Artsakh’s people during these difficult times.
Following this trip, in September 2016, a small group of Austrian journalists visited Artsakh. The visit was organized by the “European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy,” with support from the Foundation. These journalists already have published an article in Wiener Zeitung and there is more to come.
Taking into account the importance of objective and balanced information and coverage, we plan to host several more European journalists this fall.