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Coverage of Armenian Migrants Raises Awareness, Wins Awards

Armenia - Armenian seasonal working migrants at the airport, Yerevan,30Apr,2010.

Armenia - Armenian seasonal working migrants at the airport, Yerevan,30Apr,2010.

Three correspondents with RFE/RL’s Armenian language service recently won top awards in “Suitcase 2013,” an annual journalism competition recognizing excellence in reporting on migration issues.

Hasmik Smbatyan, a Yerevan-based reporter with the service, or Radio Azatutyun as it is locally known, won in the category of “Best Multimedia Program” for her documentary, "A Roll Call in Vardenik," about an Armenian village where outmigration has become the number one problem.

Anush Martirosyan and Anush Mkrtchyan took second and third prizes in the category of “Best Radio Program” for reports on unemployment and emigration in Armenia’s southernmost Syunik province.

The journalists were lauded in a ceremony held in Yerevan on December 18, International Migrants Day. In remarks given while presenting the awards Jose-Maria Medina-Navarro, Deputy Head of the Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation to Armenia, spoke in favor of legal migration and the role of the media in increasing public understanding of migration-related issues.

Sarah Carrade, Armenia Country Director for People in Need, a Czech NGO that cosponsored the competition, also spoke at the ceremony, noting “the key role that Armenia’s leading journalists and media actors played in increasing the awareness on migration issues” in 2013.

Winners in each category received certificates and cash awards.

Forty-six Armenian journalists participated in the EU-supported competition.

- Anna Barbara Mazel