Annual Media Award winners
In March, 2014 EPF announced a call for proposals to identify journalists and bloggers writing on religious tolerance to nominate the most objective coverage of the issue for an annual Media award. The contest was organized within the scope of the project “Promoting Religious Tolerance in Armenia” supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The overall objective of the project is to increase public awareness of freedom of conscience and right to religious freedom and to improve the quality and professionalism of media publications on tolerance and diversity.
EPF received seventeen articles and video materials from nine journalists that were subsequently evaluated by an invited professional jury. The jury evaluated the articles based on the importance and the resonance it provoked in the society and the raised the debate for discussing the topic in question more profoundly. During the contest mass media entries published from November, 2013 to December, 2014 were observed. The following three articles were selected for the award; one of the articles written in fiction.
- First prize: Anna Muradyan - Clash between Armenian and Armenian; the real split in the nation is religious discrimination and the scorning of "heretics", Aravot Daily
- Second prize: Vahan Ishkhanyan & Sara Khojoyan - Finally, an alternative! Jehovah’s Witnesses are granted with a conscientious service;kron.armhels.com
- Third prize: Roza Hovhannisyan - The subject “History of Armenian church” should be removed from the school curriculum; meanwhile the priests should be eliminated from the army. The inquisition is being conducted in the army; MediaLab.am
- Symbolic prize: Astghik Sargsyan - The time of believer’s daughter; hraparak.am
In general, the Media Award had an exceptional role for public awareness on the freedom of thought, conscience and religion. The award encouraged journalists to produce more balanced and sensitive reports, as well as reaffirmed the importance of the topic. There is no necessity to approve that media has an educative role and the publications on this sensitive topic raised public awareness and increased the interest of journalists to make researches and write articles on this issues.