Opening of the School is a joint initiative of the Defence Ministry of Georgia and the Institute of War and Peace Reporting (IWPR); the course is conducted in the framework of the project financed by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Great Britain – “Building Bridges/Deepening Connections in South Caucasus”. At the opening ceremony of the School were presented representatives of Defence Ministry and IWPR. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Great Britain in Georgia Mr. Denis Keefe attended the ceremony as well. Ambassador Keefe in his statement highlighted importance of professional working of journalists especially in dangerous and crisis situations. As Mr. Keefe noted, for reporters who usually work on conflict coverage, appropriate training is essential.
By the words of Ms. Salome Makharadze, Head of Public Affairs Department of the Defence Ministry of Georgia, School will serve as the cooperating structure between institutions – media and military. “Here we will learn how to help each other. Only professionalism of independent institutions is not sufficient while reporting peace-keeping missions, conflicts or any other extraordinary situations. It is compulsory for journalists and militaries as well to know how to help and not to disturb each other”, stated Ms. Makharadze.
In the Conflict Reporting School attendees will study issues of civil security, first medical aid rules on battle field and other interesting and required subjects. Psychologists will help students in obtaining necessary abilities for working in crisis environment as well. “The idea of creating such school was born after Georgia-Russian war, where unfortunately several journalists died. This initiative is an attempt to avoid victims in media representatives at warfare and conflict situations”, declared Ms. Shorena Ratiani, Regional Director of Institute of War and Peace Reporting Caucasus Branch.