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AFP special envoys tell the human story of the Nagorno-Karabakh war
When heavy fighting pitted Azerbaijani soldiers against Armenian-backed separatists from Nagorno-Karabakh on September 27, AFP was the only agency to send multimedia teams of special envoys – photographers, videojournalists and text reporters – from Moscow, Paris, Istanbul and Beirut to both sides of the front line. They reported from the cellars of the Karabakh capital Stepanakert, the ruined streets of Azerbaijan’s second city Gandja, and from the roads where civilians were fleeing the bombardments.
A testament to the quality of the coverage, the Agency’s production, especially in video and photo, has been used by our media clients at unprecedented levels for this usually underreported conflict that has smouldered in the Caucasus since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The coverage demonstrated the uniqueness of AFP: telling the story of the war on a human level, showing daily life under the bombardments, offering exclusive angles such as life in the cellars and basements of Stepanakert, how local people do their shopping in deserted stores and leave their money on the counter, and the bombing – twice – of the city’s cathedral, a symbol of hatred between the two sides.
Beyond the necessary analysis pieces, beyond institutional coverage of the propaganda war waged from the two capitals, we give a voice to the inhabitants, to the fighters from both sides, to provide a balanced, vivid coverage that relies on the Agency’s journalists in the field using their own sources.