Round Table on Journalism in Post-conflict Countries Held in Russian Federation
Journalists and media experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Poland and the Russian Federation, including the Chechen Republic, Dagestan and North Ossetia, met on 13 and 15 March 2005 in Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation, to discuss the condition of the media in countries in post-conflict situations in the former Soviet Union, in particular the Caucasus region and the Chechen Republic.
The question of how to ensure the respect for basic human rights in the daily work of journalists in post-conflict situations was at the centre of the discussions that also addressed inter-ethnical relations, challenges of independent media development, and the possibilities of building on international experiences to ensure pluralistic and free press in post-conflict countries.
The event that was organized by UNESCO and the Moscow-based "Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations", was followed by a training course for young journalists on legal safety of journalists, essentials of media coverage in the post-conflict reconstruction process, genres of journalism, etc.. The training was provided by a team of trainers from the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations, Internews, the Faculty of Journalism at Moscow State University and the Polish newspaper "Gazeta Wyborzca".
The results of the "Belgrade Conference on Support to Media in Violent Conflict and Countries in Transition" (Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro, 3 May 2004) were presented to the participants of both the round table and the training course, who welcomed the initiatives of the international community to support media development in the post conflict reconstruction process. Contributing a number of suggestions and comments regarding the possibilities of implementing the Belgrade Declaration in the daily media work in post-conflict countriesn, participants stressed that citizens are eager to participate in media development, but that good training programmes for journalists are still lacking.