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Georgia: New Media Forum assessed, bloggers interviewed

fbFollowing the recent New Media Forum, an event staged for media students and professionals in Tbilisi, Georgia, comes coverage in the local press. Although lagging behind its neighbors in the South Caucasus, interest in the online world is increasing and there are signs that the situation will change considerably in 2010, and especially in the area of the media and civil society. Georgia Today reports on the forum.

Radio Free Liberty journalist Niko Nergadze talked about a blog, which he has been running for over a year. After the lecture, he told Georgia Today that the participants were very active at the forum.

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Nergadze added that forums like these are important for Georgia as new media exists, but is limited.

“Still we are very far from claiming that the Internet and new media have a serious influence on events. But we are heading toward something,” he said.

Ruso Panozashvili, a journalist and another forum participant, agrees with Nergadze about the event's importance.

“The importance of new media is high in Georgia where television and so-called traditional media outlets are strongly controlled,” she said. “This is not good for quality. This is why it is important to develop media with alternative tools, which in this case is new media.”

Global Voices Online's Caucasus Editor also made a presentation at the event, and was later interviewed by the same publication.

Last week Georgia Today published a story about Media Forum, an event that took place last week in Mtatsminda Park. This week we offer an interview with Onnik Krikorian, a British-Armenian journalist and photographer based in Armenia, the Caucasus editor for Global Voices Online, and the Armenia editor for Oneworld.net. During the New Media Forum he presented the Global Voices Web site and talked about the importance of new media in the Caucasus.

At the event, Global Voices Online interviewed three local bloggers, Dodka, Dv0rsky and Sweet. A second, longer interview by Polish new media specialist Jakub Górnicki, who was also presenting at the forum, is now available online.

Video discussion with Dodie Kharkheli (aka Dodie Kissie, Dodka), Giga Paitchadze (aka Dv0rsky), Mari Talakhadze (aka Sweet) about their blogs, what pushed them into blogging and how blogosphere developing in Georgia and South Caucasus. Show was broadcasted live on October 15th 2009 from Tbilisi.

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