Day Two - Prix Jeunesse youth jury in Armenia
Day Two of the Armenian Prix Jeunesse youth jury: It is no surprise that all 15 participants arrive on time in the Manana Youth Center to continue their "work" as jury members on this sunny Tuesday afternoon.
The day kicks off with "Loveagents", a funny 25-minute programme from Sweden. The programme is entertaining and the jury enjoys the dynamic set-up and the refreshing opinion polls the young presenters from Sweden feature in their show. After this, a documentary about a gay teenager from the Netherlands raises eyebrows. The topic is not very often talked about in Armenia, but is nevertheless sparks a lively discussion. Films from Canada, Chile, Colombia and Germany follow, interrupted only by discussions about the programmes.
Then two visitors arrive at the Manana Youth Center. Liana and Sarkis work for Kids Crossroads, a unique TV project in which teenagers from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia produce a joint programme broadcast in all three countries. Produced by Internews Network, the show gives young people a chance to voice their opinions and feature their stories regardless of borders and nationalities. Liana is 15 and is still in high school. She has always wanted to become a journalist, but since she joined Kids Crossroads a year ago, she is now absolutely certain. "I used to like journalism, but now I love it. I enjoy talking to people, asking their opinions. TV is great, but I could also imagine working for a radio station, a newspaper or an online publication."
Kids Crossroads is broadcast every week on Friday afternoon in Armenia. Liana knows that many young people watch it and enjoy it: "We get lots of emails from teenagers where they say they like the programme and how we could make it even better. We show everything that interests young people in the three countries. The only thing we don't get into is politics." Asked whether Kids Crossroads has a positive effect on the relationship between the different nationalities in the Caucasus, Liana replies: "Well, we don't make changes on the global level, but we are doing it step by step. We write each other emails, we have had group meetings with kids from Azerbaijan and Georgia and we get along just great. It really doesn't make a difference to us where the other one comes from."
Liana and her cameraman Sarkis will produce a 2-3 minute story about the Armenian Prix Jeunesse youth jury for the next Kids Crossroads programme. But they will not be allowed to give away the final result. This was reached after watching the last few finalists from Canada and Finland. The voting system is quite complex and all programmes get ratings from 1 to 10 based on idea, realisation, story-line and identification factor. Then the numbers add up and a Top 5 list is created. At the end of the day, the youth jury prepares a short video for the Prix Jeunesse Awards Ceremony. But sorry, this - of course - is also top secret...
April 8, 2008 - Yerevan - Chris Schuepp