In the past week, I spent some time with a group of Dutch journalism students who are spending a little over a week in Armenia on a field trip. They are all in their third year in which they have to organize a media trip to a country in Europe in order to write articles or make radio reports (depending on which type of media they are specializing in). By selling their articles and reports to magazines, newspapers or broadcast organizations they have to earn the money back that they spent on the trip. I think this is a nice way of giving students practical experience and experience in freelancing.
These six students chose Armenia because it is a country that is fairly unknown in Holland, you don’t hear much about it (well, apart from during the Dutch parliamentary elections a couple of months ago). The magazines and newspapers these students are writing for are a fairly eclectic group: a monthly on mountains and mountain-hiking, a regional daily newspaper, a monthly on international cooperation / development aid and one of the largest women’s magazines in Holland. To name just a few. So if any of the Dutch readers of this blog will come across any articles on Armenia in the Dutch media in the next months, chances are that the author is one of these students.
Last week I spent two days in Spitak with two of the group. I showed them around and translated for them. As a side note: later I realized that I had done almost all my translating from Armenian into Dutch and vice versa and that I hadn’t used Russian. That made me proud of myself! The only exception being the interview and conversations with a family doctor in Spitak because that got a bit too technical for me. Anyway, I think the three of us had a good and interesting time in Spitak and the two students got some good material for their articles. Two days ago, I had dinner with them and they told me about some of their activities. They spent a few days in Lachin and Kharabagh, which they found very impressive, and some of them made some trips outside of Yerevan as well, and spent time in Yerevan. They will leave tomorrow morning, I think.