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Pushing Back: Next Generation of Journalists in Eastern Europe and Eurasia

Pushing Back: Next Generation of Journalists in Eastern Europe and Eurasia

A Conversation with the 2015-2016 Vaclav Havel Fellows

When: Thursday, April 21, 2016 from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

Where: National Endowment for Democracy

1025 F Street Northwest #800, Washington, DC 20004

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In a media environment characterized by rapid changes in technology, a collapse of the business model for independent media, and growing censorship from authoritarian governments, young journalists face seemingly overwhelming challenges. Yet, a steady group of brave and innovative champions continues to be drawn to the profession, driven by the same pursuit of truth, transparency, human rights, and the sense of adventure that has motivated generations of journalists before them.

Join us for a conversation with some of the leading young journalists of Eastern Europe and Eurasia about their experiences, their perspectives on the role of journalism in their home countries, and what they see in the future of their profession. What motivates them to continue in this increasingly difficult profession? How do they confront the growing threats meted out by hostile governments? How do they deal with the risk and financial uncertainty that goes with being a journalist today?

The Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellowship is an initiative of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and is generously supported by the Dagmar and Vaclav Havel Foundation VIZE97. Inspired by the late Czech leader’s belief in the transformational power of free speech and building on RFE/RL’s legacy of promoting more open societies through journalism, the Fellowship is targeted at young journalists from countries within RFE/RL’s broadcast region.

Featuring:

Moderator: Josh Machleder, USAID

Vaclav Havel Fellows:

Safie Ablyaeva, Ukraine
Knar Khudoyan, Armenia
Ihar Losik, Belarus
Diana Munasipova, Russia

Opening remarks:

Czech Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Jaroslav Zajicek

RFE/RL representative

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Fellows Bios:

Safie Ablyaeva, Ukraine

Safie Ablyaeva is a journalist from Crimea with four years of experience working for the ATR TV Channel as a reporter, editor, and news presenter. Ms. Ablyaeva reported actively for Ukrainian and foreign networks on events related to Russia’s annexation of the peninsula in the spring of 2014. She has also helped produce feature films about the deportations of Crimean Tatars under Stalin, and their return to their homeland. She is a graduate of the Crimean Engineering and Pedagogical University. She speaks Ukrainian, Russian, Crimean Tatar, and English.

Knar Khudoyan, Armenia

Knar Khudoyan, a member of the award-winning and critically acclaimed independent journalists’ network epress.am, reports about human rights issues and local politics in Armenia. Ms. Khudoyan recently authored a series of articles on centennial commemorations marking the Armenian genocide, and the Armenian community in Istanbul, Turkey.  In 2012, she published an investigation called “The Concept of Traitor in Armenia and Azerbaijan” as a part of “Journalists and Peacemaking” project. She has also been involved in several artistic collaborations, including “Broadcasting Eriwan”, a multi-media performance produced in Bremen, Germany, dealing with the phenomena of cultural memory and historiography. Ms. Khudoyan holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Communication from Yerevan State Linguistic University. She speaks Armenian, Russian, English, French, and German.

Ihar Losik, Belarus

Ihar Losik is one of the most popular bloggers in Belarus whose recent work focuses on Russian propaganda and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.  Mr. Losik is also a social media innovator, having engineered campaigns to make the Twitter hashtags #russiainvadedukraine and #russiaviolatedceasefire trend worldwide, attracting the attention of Western media to the situation in Ukraine.  Three of his articles documenting falsehoods in Russian media were republished by Belarusian and international media and collected several million views. Mr. Losik is finishing his studies at the Baranovichi State University, Faculty of Slavic and Germanic languages. He speaks Belarusian, English, and Russian.

Diana Munasipova, Russia

Diana Munasipova has reported for several high-profile Russian newspapers, including Kommersant Daily and Novaya Gazeta, covering domestic politics, social issues, and human rights in Russia.  Among her top stories were the Pussy Riot arrests and opposition protests in 2012. Ms. Munasipova has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Lomonosov Moscow State University. She speaks Russian, English, and Spanish.