On 19-23 February 2020, a Media Winter School was organized for the representatives of the regional media outlets from Kvemo Kartli, Samtskhe-Javakheti and Pankisi regions. The main media outlets were selected from each region and their representatives were trained on the issues considered especially important in the context of Georgia’s EU integration.
As it was originally planned, ethnic minorities attended the winter school; for them it was an additional opportunity to share their formal practices on how to bring EU-related information to their language-speaking audience and what kind of challenges they face. During these five days, participants discussed various issues. In addition to the training course, they were given specific assignments, which were successfully completed with all of them. Idea behind the assignments was for them to practically understand what they might encounter in their daily activities after returning to work, in addition to giving them relevant theoretical knowledge.
To summarize the session, the winter school participants noted that not only formal, but also informal environment was rather interesting and informative for them, as beyond the project, they communicated with the invited speakers during the training sessions, as well as in an informal setting.
A five-day Media Winter School was organized on February 19-23, 2020 at Hotel Bakuriani Resorts and covered the following topics:
- Specifics of Eastern Partnership (EaP) and the EU-Georgia Association Agreement (focusing on human rights and democracy development).
- Strategies of media to provide accurate information and counter anti-EU propaganda: Role of government and media in shaping citizens’ foreign policy preferences; media as an agent of informal education about the EU-related topics; the impact of fake news on the rise of anti-EU attitudes among the population and the media strategies to resist it.
- Media Democracy: Media as a watchdog of the government; media as a mediator between the government and citizens; ensuring independence, impartiality, trustfulness and accountability of media in the developing democracies.
- Role of media in promoting multiculturalism and tolerance: Diversity and equality (ethnic, religious, gender) in the context of EU integration; the role of media in overcoming stereotypes (ethnic, religious, gender) and promoting inclusion.
- Role of local media in the country’s EU integration: Enhancing knowledge and promoting discussions among Armenian, Azerbaijani and Kist ethnic minorities considering the needs of particular target groups.