First steps towards constructive journalism in Georgia

Article, 16.04.2018

On 13-14 April, the Embassy of Switzerland in Georgia organized a two-day specially designed training course for Georgian media professionals, specifically TV producers and reporters. A total of twelve participants from all national TV channels partook in the training.

participants pose for a  group photo
Training on Constructive Journalism © Embassy of Switzerland in Georgia

The training pursued an ambitious goal to help journalists craft their journalism skills and values, and find ‘True North’ in their moral and professional compass. The training was conducted by the BBC correspondent Rayhan Demytrie and award-winning journalist and film-maker Robin Forestier-Walker.

“We wanted to introduce Georgian television producers to international news broadcasting standards and to discuss ways to incorporate constructive journalism into their work. Constructive, or solutions journalism, has sometimes been misconstrued as ‘feel good’ journalism but in truth offers a means of reporting critically on salient issues, and has been gaining ground among established Western news organisations. When done well this kind of reporting can also precipitate changes in social attitudes and public policy. The response from the journalists attending was encouraging. Everyone engaged with the issues, and we as instructors learned from a willing and receptive team of participants who work hard to deliver quality journalism with often limited resources,” said Robin Forestier-Walker.

The multimedia course included video tips and clips from our highly experienced professionals in the industry and put engagement and interaction especially discussion and tasks at the heart of the programme.

“Thanks to our highly professional trainers, we had an opportunity to see the best examples of constructive journalism from the world round; that helped us understand why and how we can introduce it in our reporting,” said Tamar Bolkvadze, a training participant from the Georgian Public Broadcaster.