On Thursday 15th September, the Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) hosted an information afternoon for visiting journalists from the South Caucasus region. The journalists are participating in a project financed by COBERM – Confidence Building and Early Response Mechanism, entitled “Media cooperation and peace journalism in the South Caucasus”.
The relevance of the meeting was heightened due to the fact that the project shares similar aims and objectives to the Collaborative Media Initiative (CMI), implemented under the auspices of CCMC, as both projects aim to contribute towards an environment of cooperation between media representatives through activities including networking and information exchange.
The meeting began with a briefing by Roland Gomez, Spokesperson for the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), who outlined the history and mandate of UNFICYP, as well as the current state of negotiations aimed at resolving the Cyprus Problem. This was followed by a presentation by CMI Project Coordinator Michalis Simopoulos, who highlighted the most important features of the media landscape island-wide, and highlighted some of the major activities of the CMI.
The meeting was also attended by members of the CMI Working Group (WG), a team of media professionals who provide strategic advice and support for the implementation of the project. The Q&A session that followed enabled the visiting journalists to discuss with the CMI WG the issues of language and communication across conflict zones, as well as the importance of safeguarding freedom of expression as a necessary component for an environment of meaningful collaboration. The discussion also highlighted the importance of the internet, particularly as the access to new media offers previously unaccounted for opportunities in bridging the information and communication gap.