By: ANCA-WR Summer Intern Marissa Bazikian
The Internship Program at the Armenian National Committee of America- Western Region (ANCA-WR) has been one productive day after another since we started last month. However, the most exciting experience for me, thus far, was visiting the Asbarez and Horizon offices on Thursday. As a Journalism major, learning about the inner workings of the 105-year-old publication was something I was eagerly looking forward to. Despite technological advancements and the subsequent decline of newspapers, Asbarez still remains the only bilingual publication of its kind in the Western United States. Their dedication to provide to the community is displayed in their precise and articulate pieces, informing the people on a daily bases.
During my time as an Armenian Youth Federation-Junior (AYF) member, the most important task we as badanees would fulfill was discussing a current issue regarding Armenia, the diaspora, Karabagh, and Javakhk. There were many sources that provided this information, but the most accurate and professional source was, and continues to be, Asbarez. Because of this, I have been familiar with the news source for years and continue to use it for my daily updates regarding Armenian news.
We were fortunate to take a tour of the office and receive a history lesson of the publication from the Editor, Ara Khachatourian. He informed the interns about the importance of having a news source as part of the diaspora; it is a way to stay connected and educated about the issues regarding the Armenian people. For example, Ara explained how the paper served as the sole source for the concerned Armenians to learn about their relatives being affected during the Spitak earthquake and Karabagh war.
We then visited the Horizon studio where the interviews and programs take place every day. It was interesting seeing the set in person instead of through a television screen. The office environment was very welcoming, the staff was nice and willing to answer our questions. Ara also offered us the opportunity to write for Asbarez as a way to express our thoughts and concerns regarding any issue that might interest the community.
I know I will take advantage of that opportunity and look forward to contribute to this historic publication.