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Manana Aslamazyan, Key Figure in Russian Television, Dies at 70

Aslamazyan was the "godmother of Russian regional television."

Manana Aslamazyan Manana Aslamazyan / facebook

On Aug. 30, Manana Aslamazyan, the former head of the organization Internews in Russia and one of the key figures in the development of television news in Russia and the CIS, died after being struck by a car in Yerevan, Armenia. She was 70 years old.

Aslamazyan came to Internews in 1991 after a career in theater, and thanks to her energy and dedication made the non-governmental organization the premier training ground for television journalists and executives.

Most of the initial work of Internews was with new television stations that had appeared in Russia’s regional cities. Seminars and workshops with specialists from all over the world and Russia worked with budding journalists, editors, camera operators, sound technicians and television station administrators. The stations that worked with Internews were among the best, award-winning television stations in the country.

Aslamazyan and Internews – and its successor Obrazovannye media (Educated Media) — continued to work in the countries of the former Soviet Union until 2007. That year Aslamazyan was detained upon arrival at Sheremetyevo Airport for a minor currency violation. There was a search of Obrazovannye Media, during which all the computers and documents were seized. The organization was later liquidated despite protests by thousands of Russian journalists. 

In Yerevan she was helping organize the Artdocfest run by Vitaly Mansky in Riga, Latvia.

In 2002 she was awarded the prize Mediamanager of Russia “for special services to the development of the media business.” In 2010 she was agiven a special award of the Academy of Russian Television for her personal contribution to the development of Russian television and training of professionals for regional television.

There is almost not a single professional working in Russian television who did not benefit from the help of Aslamazyan and the the organizations she headed. The news of her death was announced on Facebook by journalist Viktor Muchnik, who had arranged to meet her the evening that she died. Social media has been filled with hundreds of tributes and reminiscences.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

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