Training for the young women of Gegharkunik region: SKILLS FOR WRITING ARTICLES IN OP-ED FORMAT

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November 5-7, 2021, city of Vayk

At the invitation of “Sose” Women’s Issues NGO, Hovsep Khurshudyan, “Free Citizen” CISC NGO Chairman, conducted a training in the hall of Vayk Hotel. Below is information about the event.

 

SKILLS FOR WRITING ARTICLES IN OP-ED FORMAT

The Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s qualified trainer Hovsep Khurshudyan

The training is based on the “HOW TO WRITE OP-Ed OR COLUMN” Communication Program at Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Management

 

November 5:

The training started with the introduction of the participants. An hour was then devoted to revealing the participants’ knowledge, presenting their needs and expectations.

The first part of the training presented what Op-Ed is. “Opposite the Editorial Page” or “Opinions and Editorials Page”. Who writes articles in the media? Where and when did the idea and practice of Op-Ed come from? What is the purpose of Op-Ed and how does it differ from a column or a letter to the editor? Op-Ed structure, internal logic, public influence.

In the section “Op-Eds in the leading foreign media, electronic and video-Op-Eds: analysis of the best examples և discussion” the trainees were given samples of New York Times, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Washington Post, The Times, Kyiv Post, Georgia Today, as well as Russian-language Vedomosti, Izvestia, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Kommersant, Nezavisimaya Gazeta. On example of this newspapers the location, structure, and examples of Op-Eds was presented. Then some of the best Op-Eds in the electronic version of the Washington Post were shown on screen. The participants were then given a translated and printed version of the Op-Ed (“What my family learned after a year of social distancing”, authored by Daniel Sallick, on March 24, 2020). Op-Ed was about the problems that COVID-19 brought to the one concrete family and the will to overcome them. Based on the knowledge gained in the previous section, the participants, together with the trainer, analyzed this Op-Ed, its structure, internal logic, public impact. In addition, the increasingly popular version of Op-Ed in video format was discussed, as well as Op-Ed’s audio/podcast format for radio.

Trainer shared his experience of publishing Op-Ed in reputable foreign media.

In the next section, the options for writing and submitting Op-Ed in the Armenian media were presented.

In the last part of the first day, the trainer presented the contemporary risks of using the Op-Ed format. The problem of conflict of interest in the Op-Eds, and the ways to overcome it: trainer presented campaign for Op-Ed transparency and conflict of Interest in the American media.

At all stages of the training, participants had the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers.

 

November 6:

Repetition and strengthening of the previous day. Practical training. Individual task with Op-Ed writing  on the any topic.

Participants were given 40 minutes to write a short Op-Ed. 11 participants presented individual work. Op-Ed analysis and flaws assessment was performed after each presentation with involvement of trainees.

Below is the short presentation of the seven Op-Eds, which trainees sent to organizers in electronic format. After doing some additional work with the journalist of “Hetq” newspaper, some of them will be published in that media outlet.

 

Results of practical training. Op-Eds of the participants: first attempt

In her Op-Ed, Ani Israelyan discussed the issues of increasing the accessibility and efficiency of education, seeing the solution in the introduction of new teaching methods.

Malena Kocharyan written Op-Ed about a girl who wants to choose the profession of an actor, but was constrained by public opinion. The author reminds that each person lives her/his own life, not the other’s, and urges to respect one’s own person and choice.

Elen Badoyan also wrote about the not always correct perceptions and reactions of the public during the choice of profession, especially when one decided to specialize in the field of art and spread the culture in the rural communities of Gegharkunik, where its lack and need is huge.

Monica Yengoyan has written two Op-Eds, one of which deals with environmental issues, linking the inner spiritual purity of man with the need to keep the environment clean. The other was about the development of culture in Armenia, trying to harmonize progressive and conservative in Armenian culture.

Suzanna Simonyan spoke about the problem of the friendship, its potential and importance for a person. Meanwhile the public opinion and gossip full of stereotypes that often hinder and challenging the friendship.

Mary Khachatryan referred to sex-selective abortions, which is a serious problem in Armenia and especially in Gegharkunik region. Mary sees the solution of the problem in increasing the role of women in society and instilling a sense of their importance.