In the guest blog post below, TechCamp alumna Manon Bokuchava shares her experiences participating in TechCamp Tbilisi.
I have served in my beloved profession – journalism – for more than fifteen years. During this period, I have attended numerous significant trainings and conferences, but I can single out TechCamp among them in terms of its originality, scope, and diverse program.
TechCamp Tbilisi brought together representatives from different countries and gave me the opportunity to find out from them what challenges they face on the subject of disinformation. The communication opportunities I had with my Azeri and Armenian colleagues during TechCamp were especially important for me. I found that there is an incredible amount of similarity between their countries and the main disinformation messages spread in my country, Georgia. TechCamp laid the foundation for our collaboration.
Along with these opportunities for discussion with my TechCamp peers, the friendly attitudes of the people involved in the organization of TechCamp and the support we received from the TechCamp trainers are worth mentioning.
While at TechCamp, the main issues I focused on were: media literacy, social media analysis, and disinformation. Each of these are topics where gaining a deeper knowledge will help us in our daily work. While disinformation takes different forms and uses modern technologies, it is important to know its essence and ways to combat it.
Years ago I had a lecturer who said that “quality education” is a cure for all problems. TechCamp was an opportunity that gave us new knowledge in an informal way. This knowledge combined with us analyzing the challenges existing in different countries in our region, gave us the opportunity to find solutions for some of the most difficult situations we face.
I would like to let future TechCamp participants know that you are in for a friendly and interesting event. You will be able to ask any question freely and listen to different opinions on issues that are important to you. You will also acquire new partners in different countries who might become your best friends in the future.
Manon is the head of the regional media organization “Kvemo Kartli Media – QvemoQartli.ge” that works in an ethnically diverse region of Georgia. Her primary field of interest is human rights. Manon is also a team lead for a TechCamp Tbilisi small grant project called “All about Pinocchios.” The project aims to promote peaceful democratic processes in Georgia by strengthening the civil society sector and provide precise information on legislative incentives presented by the government of Georgia through fact checking.