Vahe Sarukhanyan

Fact-checking Instructor

VaheSarukhanyan

Biography

I am a journalist, I graduated from the YSU Faculty of Journalism. In 2006, when I was still a sophomore, I joined Hetq. Before that, in 2005-2006, I was a correspondent for the Hayastany Hanrapetutyun Armenian daily. In 2009-2010, I worked as a journalist for the Martik official newspaper of the Artsakh Defense Army. I still work at Hetq.

Over the years, I have come to prefer topics related to sports, aviation, and officials' property overseas. In general, I like spending time in different foreign registers. I’m experienced in joint investigations of property and companies of Armenian officials together with my foreign partners (Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Ukraine). My investigations have been published not only in Hetq but also in the OCCRP (Organized Crime Corruption Project), of which Hetq is a member.

I’ve participated in various trainings in Yerevan, Tbilisi, and Berlin. I am convinced that in parallel with practical work, the journalist should always strive to gain new knowledge, because especially now the world is developing and changing very fast, and journalists should always keep their finger on the pulse of these developments and changes.

I have taken part in the last three conferences (2015, 2017, 2019) organized by the Global Investigative Reporting Network (GIJN), as well as press conferences in Ukraine and Estonia, where I presented the Armenian experience of investigative journalism. Making new connections with foreign partners is one of the most important tools of an investigative journalist, which, in my case, allows me to track the business activities of officials abroad, using the databases and information flows of a particular country.

Although fact-checking has always been and still is important in investigations, I have delved deeper into that field this year. We plan to set up a fact-checking team at Hetq. In general, teamwork is one of the most effective and popular methods used by Hetq. This year, I participated in the training of fact-checking instructors under the guidance of a well-known Canadian specialist. This area, which has gained great importance in recent years, is not yet widely popular in the Armenian media, but I think that the current developments in fake news will force the local media to change its approach at least partially and take fact-checking much more seriously.

I will be happy to share my experience and knowledge with our students and colleagues.