Observations of an American journalist in Azerbaijan, Russia and USA.
Mind if I ask about your general work in Azerbaijan? I've been surfing the blogosphere for insights into public opinion in the country and you seem to be pretty immersed in that.
I worked there for a year - teaching journalists. Most of the time - these were comparatively young people. We tried teaching old Soviet-style journalists once- and it was a waste of time for us & them. I don't know about public opinion per se - I mean in any scientific way - but I certainly talked to a lot of people while I was in the country. You're interested in public opinion in the country or public opinion about Azerbaijan?
Both in a way, but especially in the country. I've been following a number of Russian blogs on various political topics, and read a few articles about the expansion of blogging as a forum for political expression. I wondered whether something similar might happen in Azerbaijan, in the absence of funding/opportunities for opposition publications to thrive. Perhaps internet access would need to be more widespread before blogging even picks up steam. But maybe that's not really where your interests lie :). I would imagine teaching older journalists would be a waste-- some habits are just too ingrained to change.
We did quite a bit of training students on blogging & "new media." It was one of the main parts of the program - part of a plan to establish a network of blogs in the country.
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