Articles produced by OC Media will now be appearing in four languages after partnerships were agreed upon with five local media outlets.
The agreement includes Mikroskop Media in Azerbaijan, CivilNet in Armenia, On.ge in Georgia, and Radio Marneuli and JNews in the southern Georgian regions of Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe–Javakheti.
Content will be translated into Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, and Russian.
‘This partnership will be mutually beneficial for all of the partners’, said Mariam Nikuradze, one of the cofounders and executive director of OC Media.
‘It will help us increase the impact of our journalism, especially among local audiences, while our partners will gain access to content they might otherwise not have the resources to cover, especially from the areas of the Caucasus where they are not based.’
Nikuradze also said she hoped the partnerships could form the building blocks of a ‘hub’ of quality media outlets in the Caucasus, presenting unique opportunities for cross-border cooperation.
Karen Harutyunyan, the editor-in-chief of CivilNet, said the partnership would be important for their site to gain more content from Armenia’s neighbours.
‘Unfortunately, the Caucasian countries and peoples, especially the new generations, don’t know much about each other’, he said. ‘Once a single region now has diverging cultures and geopolitics.’
Harutyunyan said that CivilNet was already producing weekly video wrap-ups of news from Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia for some time. ‘Our cooperation with OC Media will help us post news from these countries and other regions on daily basis’, he said.
He added said that there was a demand for content about domestic life and politics in Azerbaijan, despite the conflict divide.
‘Armenians and Azerbaijanis see each other through the prism of conflict, and conflict-related stories prevail. More content about other topics would be useful too’, he said.
Fatime Kerimova, the editor-in-chief of Mikroskop, agreed on the need for news from across the divide.
‘Due to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, both societies follow news and stories from each country, and unfortunately, sometimes both countries’ media outlets prefer to share fake news and biased stories’, Kerimova said.
‘OC Media will allow us to provide professional journalistic materials not only from Armenia but from the entire Caucasus.’
‘I want to mention that we are happy to start our partnership with OC Media, and I wish good luck to all media that include this partnership’, she said.
Rima Garibyan, the director of the Samtskhe–Javakheti based JNews, also hailed the initiative.
‘I think that today, in the era of online journalism, cooperation among media outlets who have respect for the content they publish and for their readers, is seriously is very important’, Garibyan said.
‘Secondly, in an era of endless possibilities, we, the media, have very limited resources to take advantage of broad opportunities, and such cooperation [gives us an opportunity] to expand our resources.’