On October 29 – November 1 the third and final meeting of journalists from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Mountainous Karabagh took place at "Gandglik" International Tourist Centre near Baku. The meeting was organized in the frames of “Karabagh Conflict in the Mirror of Media and Public Opinion in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Mountainous Karabagh” project.
As it has already been reported, one-year project is carried out since February 2001 by Yerevan and Baku Press Clubs with the participation of Stepanakert Press Club. The project is supported by Open Society Institute Network Media Program.
The research implemented within the project focused on public opinion polls, surveys among decision makers and monitoring of leading media in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Mountainous Karabagh with the aim of exposing and comparing attitudes of the broad public, experts and media concerning Karabagh conflict resolution.
Participants of the project presented at the Baku meeting their reports containing finalized data based on surveys results, media monitoring and their comparative analysis. The research materials are supposed to be published as a brochure in English and Russian. Some of the most interesting facts will be included in the next issue of YPC Weekly Newsletter.
While the working part of the meeting in Baku passed successfully, the atmosphere around it created by a number of Azerbaijani media proved to be ultimately unhealthy. Unfortunately, visit of Armenian and Mountainous Karabagh journalists which pursued merely business objectives was politicized and used for escalation of antiarmenian hysteria and various provocations.
In connection with one of the articles in Baku “Zerkalo” daily (November 2, 2001) Yerevan Press Club has released a statement (see Special Issue of the YPC Weekly Newsletter, November 7, 2001). Boris Navasardian, YPC President, said at a meeting with journalists in Yerevan on November 13 that the possibilities of people diplomacy have been exhausted in the given situation, and the peacemaking visit exchanges solely increase the tension instead of easing it. At the same time journalists’ working trips and information exchange in various forms are still actual and important, and YPC will continue to support them.