Promoting communication across the borders

Communication between journalists across the borders will get a boost during the coming two years. The recently started Barents Mediasphere project focuses on deepening cross-border relations in media and information flow in the region.

Without cross-border information the region will stay as a collection of separate realities and identities. It is always good to know how your neighbors are doing and what they are talking about. People-to-people cooperation can easily stay as empty words if there is no information to support it”, notes manager of the project Markku Heikkilä who is head of science communications in the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland.

Barents Mediasphere project is funded by the EU through Kolarctic ENPI CBC, which is a cross-border cooperation programme between the North Calotte and Northwest Russia. The project is implemented by the Arctic Centre in partnership with the State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company TV Murman and the Norwegian internet news service BarentsObserver.

Heikkilä says the project can build on already existing, concrete activities such as the Barents journalist network and Barents information portals.

What we can do is that we can make added value and create lasting impact by simply getting media people together – journalists and editors - and by making Barents information better available. I strongly believe that these impacts do not end with the project.”

Among other things the project arranges courses for journalists in Russia, Norway and Finland. During fall 2013 the project will organize the first editors-in-chief forum in the Barents region in Kirkenes. The two year project also promotes accessibility to Barents information, for example by publishing an electronic guidebook for European media.

Barents Mediasphere contributes also to International Association of journalists Barents Press’ work and training courses will be arranged linked to Barents Press annual seminars. The chair of Barents Press International Morten Ruud is happy about the project because until now the co-operation between journalists has been done only on a voluntary basis.

There is a lack of interest when you compare this time to the 90s when there was the euphoria of open borders. It’s important to renew the interest and the knowledge about the region among journalists”, says Ruud.

Welcome to promote Barents information and to follow Barents Mediasphere's activities!

More information:
Virpi Komulainen
Project Coordinator
University of Lapland, Arctic Centre
tel. +358 (0)40 4844 154

Photo by Arto Vitikka

Barents Mediasphere got underway in its kick-off meeting in Saariselkä 16.-17. November.

Photo by Arto Vitikka

The chair of the Barents Press International Morten Ruud is glad about the cross border media project which can support the already existing journalists’ networks and the information flow in the Barents Region.


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