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IDPs about IDP Stories

20.04.2012

Tamar Paradashvili, media.ge

What are the conditions of IDPs; what is the situation with privatization of their accommodation spaces; have they received compensation; have they adapted to new places of settlement; how they tackle unemployment; do they receive social assistance – series of programs – IDP Stories release information about these topics.

IDP activists prepare radio stories about refugees from Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti and Shida Kartli regions.  Total ten reports are aired by five regional radio stations – Hereti, Atinati, Harmonia, Dzveli Kalaki and Trialeti once a month.  The same content is available via podcast at - Geo.regionalreporters.net

IDP Stories is a project of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting launched in 2010.

IWPR Project Coordinator Shorena Latatia clarifies that an informational vacuum has been created on the condition of IDPs since August 2008 war.  Goal of the Project was covering the problems of internally displaced persons, which were not properly highlighted by local media. Thus, they have decided to select IDPs to tell the stories of other IDPs.  The IDPs were trained in principles and methods of journalistic covering. 

“Thanks to the Project I have opportunity to help IDPs even just by publicizing their problems,” Natia Kherkenashvili, 28, says.  She has been internally displaced from Liakhvi Valley in 2008 and currently lives in Karaleti IDP settlement, which allows her to cover IDP stories “from inside.” Natia said her IDP status does not prevent with her from covering problems impartially, because she follows journalistic principles in her reporting and all the parties are represented in them.

“In the past it was a problem to communicate with local authorities. They claimed the central government had prohibited them to speak with journalists. Having got convinced in our unbiased reporting, they started communicating with us,” Kherkenashvili says.

IDP Stories does not tell stories only from the aforementioned two regions. They also tell about people, who got internally displaced before 2008, as well as about the events which occur in the conflict zones; for example, presidential elections in South Ossetia. 

“We try to provide corresponding institutions with the information about IDP problems,” Latatia says.

“As a direct result of the program - IDP Stories – firewood was disseminated in the compact settlements because its necessity was highlighted in IDP stories,” Giorgi Kupatadze IWPR Editor said.

Videos about IDP problems, as well as about urgent problems of Georgia – AID problem, construction of Mosque in Adjara – are uploaded on the Geo.regionalreporters.net. Journalists of local media outlets work prepare video stories which are aired twice a month.  Videos are uploaded with English subtitles and are uploaded at the IWPR website, which is viewed by over ten thousand people from abroad. 

Geo.regionalreporters.net is similar to the network of regional media operating in 2007-2009 with financial support of the US Department of State.  Giorgi Kupatadze clarifies that tens of regional journalists were involved in the Project and covered community related topics which were not reported by central media.  Content prepared by them was aired by regional radio stations and printed media and was later uploaded on the website of the Regional Media Network.

“This project has completed so we decided to use the given basis for the new project.  We do not hope we will be able to build a centralized system of broadcasting, but we try to provide the large society with the information by sharing them in social networks,” Kupatadze said.


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