CEJ Hosts Professors From WSU
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AUA Center for Excellence in Journalism Hosts Professors From WSU

2 min read

YEREVAN, Armenia — The newly-opened Center for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) organized training courses for professional journalists in Armenia hosted by Washington State University (WSU) Associate Professor Lisa Waananen Jones and WSU Assistant Professor Alison Boggs from March 11-15. 

Professors Jones and Boggs are award-winning former journalists who teach at WSU’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, with a focus on such topics as reporting across platforms, visual media, professional multimedia content creation, narrative storytelling, etc. Moreover, Professor Jones was part of the New York Times team that won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its “prescient and sweeping” coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States.

The events, organized by CEJ in partnership with WSU, included a mixer for AUA students, faculty, and the guest professors; a networking breakfast with the editors of well-established media outlets in Armenia; and three training sessions for working journalists in Yerevan and one in Gyumri.  

The networking event was aimed at facilitating connections and fostering collaboration between the faculty from WSU’s Murrow College and editors of leading Armenian media outlets. During the event, the invited editors discussed the current media landscape in Armenia, exchanged ideas, and discussed possible future collaboration with Professor Jones. 

During the three training sessions conducted at AUA by Professors Jones and Boggs, participants delved into data use and visualization in journalism, multiplatform reporting for the rapid news cycle, and tips on using literary techniques to enhance news writing.

In order to also ensure the participation of regional media organizations in Armenia, Professor Jones led one training session at the Asparez Journalists’ Club in Gyumri, introducing ways to produce data visualizations with free online tools and discussing trends in audience habits across online platforms. Professor Jones presented examples from her data work with the New York Times and other media organizations.

The training sessions and other events organized within CEJ will be ongoing, with the ultimate objectives of improving the media landscape in Armenia, training quality journalists, fostering networking opportunities, increasing knowledge of best practices and technical skills, and enhancing the credibility and reputation of Armenian media. 

The American University of Armenia, in partnership with Washington State University, signed a memorandum of understanding in 2023 to establish a Center for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) and create a new master’s program in journalism education. The $1.3 million, four-year university partnership initiative is funded by the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan to support Armenia’s media sector. CEJ will serve as a hub for journalism education and leadership in research, training, best practices, and collaboration with leading experts and policy makers that advances knowledge of how quality journalism can serve as a bulwark against misinformation and improve networking within Armenia’s journalism ecosystem. The Center will also offer professional development programs serving the wider media community.