Media Innovation Camp Inspires Georgian Students to be Journalists
Mariam Jachvadze, a student at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs’ Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management, said that IREX’s recent Media Innovation Camp in Georgia helped her appreciate how rewarding journalism can be: “These two days were so close to reality – to work under pressure, try to meet a deadline, keep in mind journalistic standards, compete with others, endure critics -- that afterwards we asked ourselves: Do we really want to become journalists? Our answer is: Yes, we do!”
Jachvadze and her fellow GIPA students, who won the top prize for the most innovative story presentation at the camp, said they also learned that journalistic storytelling follows no set format. “This will be the most remarkable day in my life not only because we won the contest, but for the practical experience and the helpful, fair and supportive criticism,” Sopho Mgaloblishvili, another GIPA team member, said after the award ceremony. Jachvadze and Mgaloblishvili were among the five members of the winning team.
IREX’s G-MEDIA program hosted this pilot Media Innovation Camp to develop innovative approaches to information gathering and sharing among Georgia’s next generation of journalists and citizen journalists. Contest organizers randomly selected reporting topics for each of the five-member teams, who were then asked to make a multimedia story applying their creativity and journalistic skills to the task.
The GIPA team decided to be more creative and shoot the presentation via mobile phone. “We…decided to overcome the other teams with our creativity,” Mgaloblishvili said, adding, “another reason for shooting by mobile phone was that respondents felt freer to answer questions.” The concept of the media innovation camp aims precisely at this dynamic – encouraging journalist to make creative decisions and employ new technologies to improve the ability of journalist to report and share the story.