Charles Lonsdale: “The majority of editors are men”

Anna Barseghyan


The third annual Na/Ne media competition organized by the British Council with the support of the British Embassy in Armenia took place. Media.am spoke with British Ambassador to Armenia Charles Lonsdale about the Na/Ne competition.

Mr. Lonsdale, what is significance about the Na/Ne media competition?

The Na/Ne media competition is a part of the project Wo/Men in Politics aimed at broadening public perception about women in politics, encouraging the media so they more widely include gender issues and the women’s issues in their materials. It’s known that the media have an important role in forming opinion, that’s why I hope the opinion formed by the media will get a response from the public in the future. I welcome all those who already have some materials on women’s issues. I hope, the fact that we grant awards will encourage other journalists also to speak on these topics.

It’s already the third year that the Na/Ne media competition is taking place. Compared to previous years, what’s different this year?

Though I haven’t been a member of the jury, I haven’t read and selected the materials, my impression is that the number of applicants increased, as well as the means through which journalists present their materials. At the same time, there’s still much to do. For example, with respect to advertisements, it can be said that there aren’t that many ads that can be considered among those that in some way promote gender equality or signify equality.

Apart from the competition, what other option do you see in promoting coverage of women’s issues?

Probably the last word goes to editors and journalists — of course, also to women. They have to draw attention, demand that their voices be heard. They have the responsibility of creating the preconditions of the changes they want to see. I hope there will be such women who will attract journalists, and they will want to write about these women, and with that, change men’s attitudes. Journalists have a responsibility to take initiative and cover women’s issues.

Particularly when the majority of journalists are women…

Yes, but the majority of editors are men (laughs)…

Photo from youth.am
Interview by Anna Barseghyan  

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