Maria Kaprielian: “A journalist needs to be honest and work with remorse”

The title of the 8th Pan-Armenian Forum of Journalists organized by the RA Ministry of Diaspora ­– “Armenian Statehood: Axis of Unity” – already says a lot about the potential to gather all Armenians around the world, and the conventional and contemporary Diaspora Armenia media outlets and their representatives form a part of that potential. One of those representatives is correspondent for Syria’s Kantsasar Weekly Maria Kaprielian, who gave a short interview to Hayern Aysor.

Karine Avagyan: Maria, you have been working for Kantsasar Weekly for nearly 15 years. This is long period of time for you to observe and form some kind of an opinion of the field of media from the perspective of a journalist. I am referring to the media in Armenia and abroad. What is missing in the field?

Maria Kaprielian: I always follow the field of journalism in Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora, particularly the Armenian newspapers publishing in the countries of the Middle East. Overall, I have a positive position. Irrespective of the problems with the Armenian language and journalistic approaches, I would like to ask all journalists to make references to precise sources when reporting. I would like to recall the news about the assistance that Armenia recently provided to Syria. It was poorly criticized, and it is safe to say that the news turned into gossip. Several media outlets didn’t cite official sources. Even if they address the people and get news from them, they should at least address people who are directly linked to the particular event and have witnessed the efforts that are being made. If you are not from Aleppo and don’t live there, it is wrong to present the people’s views and opinions from another person’s perspective. This is bad for the Armenians of Aleppo and the authorities sending the assistance, and we are truly grateful to them. They work day and night and provide people with assistance…This is not the right attitude.

Karine Avagyan: Dear Maria, who do you think a journalist should be? What volitional features should a journalist have?

M. K.: As you mentioned, a journalist is not just a person who transmits the news. Yes, a journalist plays a bigger role. It might not be an outstanding role in times of peace, but in extraordinary situations and states of emergency, everyone sees how a journalist works, and a journalist plays a very important role. In such situations, a journalist may minimize the panic or cause panic or a storm. Journalism is the fourth power and plays a huge role in society and politics. I teach journalism at an Armenological institution in Aleppo and always tell my students that a journalist can do what neither the authorities, nor the prosecutor’s office nor legal bodies can do. Through research, a journalist can raise major issues and give clarifications. A journalist needs to be honest and work with remorse. I expressed views on this and other issues with representatives of other media outlets during the forum, and the forum will definitely lead to positive and tangible outcomes.

Interview by Karine Avagyan

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