Stories On Changes And New Journalistic Approaches: “DigiStories 2018”

Gayane Asryan


A few journalists’ stories stood out in the results of DigiStory 2018 Competition, which caused a public outcry and force you to think and take action.

“I wanted to cross the street, I was on the phone, and I began to wait for the sound of the light, and at that moment I realized that many people needed the sound of the light to cross the road, but these conveniences exist in only a few streets in the city center. The idea made me find Stipan and walk with hi in the city and listen to Yerevan,” said journalist Aren Melikyan, who is the author of the winning EVNreport project called “Listen to Yerevan.”

The main subject of the story, Sipan Asatryan, who has problems with his visions, was also awarded with the title Homo Agendi.

“Our society doesn’t know that a disability isn’t suffering, and it makes me happy to be able to talk to random people and explain that to them,” opens up Sipan Asatyan, a member of the Yerevan City Council,  who in the September 23 election was very encouraged by the format of cooperation proposed by Aren.

The topics covered in the competition were social, accountable and transparent governance, community enlargement and human rights.

While studying the journalistic stories, the DigiStory jury placed importance on the quality of work, relevance to the competition topics, and creative and innovative approaches. The winners were awarded with cash prizes and symbolic DigiStory statuettes.

“Fairly high quality materials were presented, the choice was difficult. In just the last few years, there are a number of prevailing themes, such as disability, which is natural, given the competition requirement and accessibility of covering the topic,” says jury member and media expert Mesrop Harutyunyan.

Public Television’s journalist Susan Badalyan won in the category of social status on human rights for a video with the subject “people with mental health problems are not protected.”

“The problems in my story are not easy to solve. They are problems that have accumulated over decades. Not just an issue regarding sewage, but a matter of attitude towards a person with a mental disorder. Frankly speaking, while preparing the video and now, I do not expect rapid changes,” says Susan Badalyan, who brought the problem to public discussion.

She emphasizes the timing of the film, especially when a revolution took place in the country and the opportunity to enter the Nubarashen National Center for Health Care was created.

Media 3.0, the winner of the best use of technology category is Hetq.am’s story “Utility Payments: How Are They Warming in Yerevan.”

Consideration: Grisha Balasanyan, a journalist for Hetq.am, has been awarded a Investigative Journalism DigiStory price, for his project “Non-Purified Water, Unsuccessful Water Supply System: Drinking Water Status In 10 Provinces.”

Reformation, Best Coverage of Reforms award was given to Ampop.am Editor in Chief, Suren Deheryan for his piece “Funded Pensions: Ensuring Their Own Old Age,” and Hasmik Danielyan and Anahit Minasyan, co-authors of the “Missing Citizens in the Open Sessions of the City Council,” on the website Urbanista.

In addition to the main nominations, honorable mention prizes were awarded to stories, emphasizing high quality journalistic materials and according to the importance of the topic.

4Plus photographer Nazik Armenakyan’s “Life Up To and After” photo-story was awarded the International Committee of the Red Cross special prize.

Mediamax.am’s “Republic” project was awarded for the best usage of new tools when covering old subjects.

DigiStory’s annual competition is organized by the Media Initiatives Center, funded by the US Agency for International Development. This year, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Ucom have supported the contest.  

Gayane Asryan
Photographer, Gagik Aghbalyan

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