Internews Celebrates 20 Years of Supporting Independent Media in Armenia

Two girls sit at a table writing in notebooks
Students participate in media literacy training at a school in Goris, Armenia. (credit: Internews)

The Media Initiatives Center (MIC, formerly Internews Armenia) celebrated their 20th anniversary as an independent organization with a beautiful and very well-attended party in Yerevan on February 19.

With over 30 people on staff, MIC has positioned itself as a leader not only within Armenia but throughout the Europe and Eurasia region, particularly through their pioneering work on media literacy education. Within the past five years, they have developed a comprehensive media literacy curriculum that was approved for use in schools by the country’s Ministry of Education, and included a digital game that allows players to put themselves in the shoes of journalists.

MIC also designed and rolled out a traveling museum chronicling the history of media in independent Armenia and how journalists covered critical points in the country’s development over the past 25 years, including the devastating 1988 Spitak earthquake.

Most recently, MIC has begun to train journalists in data journalism skills opening up the potential to work on cross-border projects and international global issues involving data and elevating the quality of the country’s investigative reporting.

Nouneh Sarkissian, managing director, says the secret of MIC’s success is the people she works with. “You need to have people around you who trust the idea, who believe in the idea, who trust you, who trust each other, and who also love each other, this is also very important.”

She adds, “Try to encourage your team to be always creative and find really new possibilities for new projects, new ideas, be always modern, try to be one step ahead of your society.”

Internews Armenia was rebranded as the Media Initiatives Center in 2013, emphasizing their success as an independent local organization, as they launch the next stage of their development.

“During the past 20 years, MIC has left an indelible mark on Armenia’s media sector and has been a key partner to Internews’ success working in that country,” said Josh Machleder, Internews Vice President for Europe, Eurasia, and Asia Programs. “We wish the organization and its staff good luck as it continues to grow and innovate.” 

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