"Blended Learning" in Georgia: Sustainable media through financial security | Europe/Central Asia | DW | 08.07.2020
  1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages

Europe/Central Asia

"Blended Learning" in Georgia: Sustainable media through financial security

Good journalism must be paid for. In a management course at the Caucasus Media E-School, media professionals can learn to develop sustainable business models and how to think like an entrepreneur.

Working near the border brings with it many challenges – sometimes even fear – especially for journalists. Saba Tsitsikashvili runs Qartli.ge, a web portal covering the Georgian region of Inner Cartlia. The region borders South Ossetia, which used to be part of Georgia but is now independent after decades of often bloody conflicts.

Tsitsikashvili is a quiet man of around 40, the kind of person who prefers to listen rather than make speeches. Whoever burns for journalism like him has a lot to do in Inner Cartlia because good journalism can bring people in a region marked by border conflict back into the resulting dialogue. As the manager of a private web portalTsitsikashvili must master a lot of tasks on top of the practice of journalism

"Without an appropriate strategic plan and strategic distribution of available resources, we would not survive in the long term," said Tsitsikashvili. "Unexpected developments in our country can affect our editorial planning and scheduling." This can endanger well-researched reporting as adequate financial resources are crucial for the survival of local businesses, media outlets included. This is why the Caucasus Media E-School has launched its management training course here.

Personal responsibility and self-confidence 

The four modules of the Media E-School teach strategic thinking, marketing, financial management and digital skills, among other topics. Local trainers also build up the participants' journalistic skills. The need is great because in difficult times, such as a pandemic, people in Georgia still want to understand exactly what is happening on their doorstepThis can be accomplished through reports by independent and competent local journalists. 

"We work side by side with the trainers when it comes to identifying a story and turning it into a great piece," said Tsitsikashvili. He is passionate about this way of learning and often can't wait to share the resulting stories with his readers.

Saba Tsitsikashvili is a passionate journalist and manager of Quartli.ge

Saba Tsitsikashvili is a passionate journalist and manager of Quartli.ge

Strengthening personal responsibility and self-confidence, both journalistically and economicallyare the goals of the Caucasus Media E-School. "Here we learn to use our enthusiasm and love for our profession in such a way that we can generate income," he said. Despite the Corona crisis, Tsitsikashvili remains optimistic about the future. For Qartli.ge, Tsitsikashvili has managed to hire two freelance advertising agents to raise additional funds so he can pay his staff.

"Until now, I have always blindly trusted my accountant. Now I understand the financial overview myself. This enables me to align our journalistic projects much better with our economic potential," said the manager.

Through the crisis with "blended learning" 

The modules of the Media E-School were designed as "blended learning" from the very beginning. Despite stay-at-home orders in Georgia, the complete switch to e-learning at the onset of the Corona pandemic was seamless. The concept also allows for cross-border work as media professionals from other Caucasus countries, such as Armenia and Azerbaijan, could also be able to participate in future. This would strengthen the vision that press freedom and competent journalism could keep national borders from hindering the free exchange of ideas.

DW recommends