On August 30, 2022, Manana Aslamazyan, former head and founder of the Educated Media Foundation in Russia and former Director of Internews Europe, tragically passed away after being struck by a vehicle in Yerevan, Armenia. As the global Internews community mourns Manana’s passing, our hearts and thoughts go to her family.

Manana pioneered Internews’ work supporting local independent media, starting from Internews’ first in-country program in Russia, launched in 1991. Her fierce commitment to supporting emerging media entrepreneurs resulted in an extraordinary blossoming of talent and innovation across the Eurasia region in the decades that followed. Her deep respect for local talent drove Internews’ organizational strategy of investing in local, independent media, an approach she helped expand to over 100 countries around the world.

Manana is widely recognized as a key figure in the development of Russian local TV and media after the fall of the Soviet Union. She was the laureate of the 2002 Media Manager of Russia Award. In the same year, she became a member of Russia’s National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters. In 2010, she received the Russian Television Academy’s special award for Personal Contribution to the Development of Media.

Over her decades of work with Internews, she was a mentor, advisor and friend to thousands of colleagues and journalists worldwide. She inspired people to see possibilities where others saw none, turning her vision for what media development should be into a reality.

In the accolades flooding social media, she is described as a matriarch of journalism. It is a fitting description.

Plans for honoring Manana’s accomplishments will be announced soon.

Internews is a nonprofit that supports independent media in 100 countries — from radio stations in refugee camps, to hyper-local news outlets, to filmmakers and technologists. Internews trains journalists and digital rights activists, tackles disinformation, and offers business expertise to help media outlets thrive financially. For 40 years, it has helped partners reach millions of people with trustworthy information that saves lives, improves livelihoods, and holds institutions accountable.