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Armenia, Azerbaijan Journalists Agree They Cease Being Journalists When Talk of Karabakh: Opinion

Regular training sessions for journalists from Armenia, Azerbaijan and the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh have lost a significant portion of their meaning when from the very beginning, participants agree not to report the event in the press and not to publish joint photos.

During the seminars, as was to be expected, journalistic discussions from time to time ceased to be journalistic as such, and the journalists from Yerevan, Baku and Stepanakert began to speak through the mouth of the presidents and foreign ministers of their respective countries. That’s because even on the backdrop of the capital of Western Europe, the risk of, upon returning to the homeland, being accused of not ripping off the enemy’s mask, not showing him and his kind their place and not expressing the aspirations of his own people was not eliminated.

Near the end of the training, journalists generally agreed that they cease to be journalists when they begin to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and thus far, the most weighty and professional work on this topic belonged to foreign analysts and journalists.

One of the training facilitators suggested we write a list of those “Azerbaijani” topics that cannot be covered in Armenian media, and vice-versa. Then he himself refused the idea, citing the excessive emotions of those present in compiling such a list.

Nevertheless, the “media-enemies” took it upon themselves to do the activity and shared topics that cannot be professionally covered by the other side. We did this in a few minutes.

They about us:

Khojaly tragedy
Azeris in Armenia
Karabakh Azeris
Withdrawal of Azerbaijanis from Kapan
The culture of Azerbaijan
War crimes on the Armenian side
Participation of Russian troops in the Karabakh war
Armenian nationalism
Myths in Armenian history
Azerbaijani heritage in Armenia
The elimination of the Azerbaijani factor in Armenia and Karabakh

We about them:

The pogroms in Sumgait, Baku and Kirovabad
Operation “Ring”
Armenians of Azerbaijan
Armenian Genocide during the Ottoman Empire
The history of Nakhchivan
The scale of corruption in Azerbaijan
The real state of the Azerbaijani army
The destruction of khachkars (cross-stones) in Julfa (Jugha)
The destruction of Armenian cemeteries in Azerbaijan
Maraga tragedy
Participation of Russian troops on Azerbaijan’s side in the Karabakh war
Armenian cultural heritage in Azerbaijan

After reviewing the list, my colleague came to the conclusion that for me the main dilemma is choice — to be a journalist or a patriot? To tell the truth or serve your country?

“To start, let’s try to use at least two sources of information, to rely on facts and recheck the information,” intervened some bright student.

Originally published in Russian on the Epress.am blog by Yuri M. here.