Aliq Media tackles COVID-19 with the help of its readers

Aliq Media is an online news outlet based in Tbilisi which mainly publishes news in Armenian. From March to May 2021, as part of the COVID-19 program funded by the European Union to help Georgian media to cope with COVID-19 effects, Aliq media launched a blog competition that allowed its readers to share personal stories about life during the pandemic. Aliq Media’s Facebook page gained over 1 million interactions on Facebook following the contest. 

Aliq media is becoming more popular among the Armenian community living in Georgia by giving its readers the chance to share their own stories. The media gained over one million interactions on Facebook after running a blog-competition online that allowed participants, 26 people from different regions of Georgia between 14 and 36 years old, to publish COVID-19 personal stories on Facebook. The online contest took place from the end of March to May 15, 2021. The winners were chosen according to the amount of likes and comments gained.

My blog pictured how life does look like before and after the virus. I have to thank my friends and my parents for having shared my blog so many times”, said Tatev Khotsanyan, a 17-year-old from Samtskhe-Javakheti region and one of the winners of the competition.

Aliq Media works to serve the Armenian community living mostly in Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti regions, in the south of Georgia and among the areas with the lowest percentage of vaccinated people. The language barrier and a lack of access to official information provided mostly in Georgian, has always been a big issue for Armenians living in these areas.

COVID-19 has been a big challenge for Aliq Media, as it has for other independent media in Georgia. There was a lot of misinformation as well as conspiracy theories about COVID-19.  The public was often confused, not knowing what to believe or which information source to turn to. To help cope with this challenge Aliq Media applied for financial support from COVID 19: Civil Society Resilience and Sustainability” – a project funded by the European Union to foster the resilience and sustainability of civil society and independent media in Eastern Partnership countries enabling them to mitigate the immediate and longer-term impact of COVID-19. Since the end of 2020, the grant has helped Aliq Media reach a wider audience: publishing more than 1600 articles and 135 videos, including reports and vox pops on their online platform.

The “COVID 19: Civil Society Resilience and Sustainability,” is a regional project funded by the European Union, led by ERIM (formerly IREX Europe) and implemented by Human Rights House Tbilisi in Georgia. The project seeks to foster the resilience and sustainability of civil society in Eastern Partnership countries enabling them to mitigate the impact of COVID 19. We will be sharing success stories regularly to showcase the impact of the project and the COVID 19 Solidarity support from the European Union.

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