Narine Daneghyan is a tech journalist based in Yerevan, Armenia. Currently, she is the chief editor of Itel.am tech news platform, a project of Mediamax Media Company. It’s been already 6 years that Narine covers Armenian and international IT events, conducts interviews with tech experts, startup founders and entrepreneurs. Besides local coverage, she is regularly invited to cover international tech events. Narine holds BA and MA degrees in Journalism from Yerevan State University.
1. Why did you choose to become a science journalist?
I became interested in science journalism and especially tech reporting around 7 years ago. I received humanitarian education at the university with no tech background, that’s why when I entered this sector, it was hard from the beginning, and I had to study and research a lot in order to communicate with people from the field. It coincided with the time when tech and startup ecosystems were growing rapidly in Armenia. I think I was at the right place and at the right time, as it was the ideal moment to start a career as a tech journalist and at the same time an exciting chance to grow with the local tech community, learn from its successes and failures daily.
2. What role do science and science communication play in your country?
Armenia is famous for its huge scientific potential and discoverings. Science is well integrated into all stages of life, starting from school. Currently, there are engineering labs in almost all schools of Armenia, where children can study robotics and engineering for free. Another important initiative to mention is the Tumo center which operates in Yerevan and regions of Armenia. Thousands of kids go to Tumo for free and learn Web and Game Development, Graphic Design, Robotics, Programming, 3D Modeling and many more. I think it is extremely important to engage children in science and technology from the very beginning, as this is a valuable investment for the future of Armenia.
3. What are the main challenges of science journalism in your country?
The main challenge for science journalism in Armenia is that you can’t get that narrow specification while you are studying in the university. There are opportunities to go deeper into politics, sports, environmental journalism, etc, but when it comes to science and tech journalism, you need to learn everything by yourself. Self-learning requires a lot of efforts, including investment of time and energy. This is why only a few graduates are specializing in science and tech journalism in Armenia. I believe that the specialization needs to be more popularized and universities should play a crucial role in it. One of my aims for the future is to design a course where future journalists will have the opportunity to get the basics of science and tech journalism. Another challenge is to convince newsroom managers that they need tech and science journalists because the general approach nowadays is to have a person who covers multiple topics.
4. Where do you see the big societal transformations in the future? What scientific research/discovery will change our world?
I see sustainable development as a key driver of the transformation of societies worldwide. I believe that sustainable cities and communities are the future of the environment-friendly, prosperous and human-centric society. As a tech enthusiast, I believe that the development of Artificial Intelligence, applied to the existing concepts of governance, will simplify the lives of the nations.
5. What book, movie or song has radically changed your perspective? And why?
“Interstellar”, a science fiction film directed by Christopher Nolan, has guided me through the phenomenon of black holes, time travel and unknown dimensions. In the film I was especially impressed by the scenes of space, which are so realistic, gravitating us inside the unknown, as the black holes do.