EU Neighborhood Info Center Workshop for Georgian Journalists
21 March, 2013
On March 15, at Citadines Apart-Hotel, EU Neighborhood Info Center held a communication workshop for media representatives “Communicating an EU-funded Project”.
The workshop provided guidance on the following topics: Main source of information about the EU; How to use the Journalist Handbook. The event represented a good opportunity for the European Union and Georgian press and media to discuss about communication, and communication tools.
Tamriko Mikadze from the press office of the EU delegation in Georgia said that in Georgia
there is a serious problem that journalists and neither society can avoid political context, when there is a huge amount of attractive human stories related to EU. To this, Myria Antoniadou, former journalist from Cyprus, and one of the workshop trainers, said: “I have been a journalist until I turned to communications. I am from Cyprus. So, our background is political too. When I went to Brussels as a correspondent, I thought I would run away from Cyprus problem which I was tired of only to find it in front of me in Brussels again. I know that it is not a journalist who sets the agenda but it is mainly the media outlet. When I was telling them some human stories, they would tell me: yes, but what’s happening with Turkey? So, it is a challenge. But I can assure you that there are a lot of interesting human stories and our website will help you find some more stories to cover.”
Later on, she gave a few tips to us. “It’s very difficult to cover the EU because there are too many people involved and too many institutions. Even the language they use is very difficult. They use a lot of acronyms. Therefore, we produced a glossary for you, which is also online. One thing that I think might encourage you is that I have got an MA in European journalist studies and I studies the EU. When I arrived in Brussels, I realized that I did not know much because this big institution is dealing with so many issues. In the beginning, I would go to press conferences and briefings and collect papers etc. until one day I realized that I had to know what my sources are. In the EU it’s very organized providing you with news, background information, so there are a lot of sources. But the thing is that you may get lost in this lot of sources. So, we made this for you – a journalist’s handbook to cover relations.”
Elena Prokhorova, another trainer, commented specially for us: “We do rounds for EU-funded projects. The money is being spent and a lot of things are happening in each country. It’s a pity that people in these countries did not even know where the money comes from. So this is to connect what they see in everyday life to what the EU does in terms of efforts particularly towards the neighborhood countries. EU is worried about these countries if reforms are not going well, if the criminality is high etc, because it’s a close neighborhood. Relevant coverage is also important. We organize workshops to help media cover the stories more from the human angle.”