Training for Media representatives

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Training for Media representatives

On September 28-29, 2018 with the initiative of the PPAN NGO a targeted exclusive educational module was implemented with the direct beneficiaries of Mass Media sphere and coaching experts from MoH of RA and Media. Participants were recruited taking into account their experience on covering health and exclusively TB topics. Prior to the training the media expert conducted media monitoring and outlined the media that in somehow touched TB issues in Armenia. The monitoring period was chosen from September 2017 to September 2018. During mentioned period of time the TB topics on TV, radio and online media platforms were covered around 50 times, and its subdivision was carried out on March 24, 2018. For the final selection of the media training participants, they were sent an invitation and request to confirm participation and accept the rule that after 2 months following the training they will create new material referring to the topic of TB.

Media Training representatives’ first stop was at NTC. The attendees accompanied by the chief nurse of the center and visited the laboratory and children’s departments. Taking into account the safety functions the attendees entered the laboratory with special clothing. Heads of departments welcomed the attendees and detailed the tour of the patient’s registration, diagnosis and treatment steps. Journalists were also able to ask their questions and got exhaustive answers. In the center the journalists summed up their tour in the conference hall, where they listened a speech from the heads of Center’s Data Management/Continuous Development Department and the Drug Deployment Manager who is also the Psychologist and Tuberculosis Adviser at the Ministry of Health. As a result of an intense dialogue the participants gathered also information which was further discussed with other experts in the field as well. After the tour of the TB Center the attendees left for Aghveran, where the training course was followed. Hasmik Harutyunyan (Head of the Global Fund Program Coordinating Group of Ministry of Health of RA) and Lilit Babakhanyan (Head of public Relations Department of Ministry of Health of RA) had session with reporters about the financial allocations of budget, TB drug procurement, cost of treatment, cooperation between government officials and media, current issues and possible solutions… The speakers’ speech was unequivocal in terms of TB prevention programs, TB combating strategy, difficulties overcoming actions. It was also not clear how it will be possible for the country to continue obtain innovative medicine and cover gaps of treatment services which up to 2021 will be provided by the Global Fund.

Other part of the training media expert Arzuman Harutyunyan continued the work with the participants in a dynamic format and touching upon a number of important issues,

  • Why should we address the problem of TB?
  • What is the journalist’s motivation to voice out the topic of TB?
  • What are the major mistakes that journalists are permitted to publish about the subject of TB?
  • What features does the TB topic have?
  • What difficulties does a journalist face when preparing material about TB?
  • What is the responsibility of the journalist for publishing material about TB?
  • Why should a journalist know about the maintenance of journalistic ethics and criminal liability?

The expert also spoke about the monitoring results, in particular by removing incorrect, inexplicable, frightening terms and abbreviations from the already published publications.

The active and purposeful cooperation of media representatives and media expert got a hope that in future course will help them to write their materials in a proper way while relying on the topic of TB.

For this option PPAN team also conducted activity where journalists before the training course sent list of questions․The questions addressed to Role Player of TB, TB patient and survivors from TB.

All questions were answered by TB specialists from NTC and the once which directly were connected to TB patients were voiced within TB group meeting (conducted on 27 September, 2018). Feedback of the answers were gathered and sent to journalists accordingly․

TB survivor Arman Avchyan, who is an NGO employee as well, spoke with the audience about the difficulties he had during his TB treatment. After presenting Arman’s story reporters asked questions and received clarifications of a huge numbers of questions.

Let’s hope that the exciting and indifferent meeting of journalists and the survivor from TB will move journalists to another point of view while covering TB issued topics.

In our days it is also important to speak about modern technologies and tools that enable the publicizing of publications. In this matter Arusik Mkrtchyan was invited to coach within the training. She is a moderator of targeted healthcare campaigns and within the training advocated the introduction of modern technologies in publications. A. Mkrtchyan in her speech linked some tools for identifying and solving health problems through digital technologies. Here worth to mention that her initiatives brought her new status in advocacy area and she became a UNAID’s Red Ribbon member of Armenia as well.

Anahit Harutyunyan (President of ‘’Positive People Armenian Network’’) summed up Mass Media session, spoke about the done work and further steps. In her speech, he emphasized the importance of working with journalists, the need to identify real problems in the area and the importance of finding solutions together.

At the end of the training media expert shared an idea to promote the materials which will be published since then of the training on web page. This will give journalists to get proper comments from the Expert then disseminate information from other platforms in order of ensuring the TB issue right covering.

Photos of the training >>>

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