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Media Dialogue Newsletter

Media Dialogue Newsletter
Bishkek, 11 March, 2021

The European Partnership for Democracy has been supporting the elaboration of the Information Policy Concept of the Kyrgyz Republic in the framework of the Media Dialogue project.  On March 4, a workshop was held to define the key problems and challenges affecting priority areas that will be addressed by the Concept, such as the legal framework of information policy, digital sovereignty and development of national content, development of the media sector, and professionalization of media community. The process of developing and drafting of the Information Policy Concept is based on principles of inclusivity and participation. Therefore, a similar workshop is taking place in Osh, Jalal-Abad and Batken regions on March 11-12, with the aim of further developing and discussing the challenges identified also with media representatives from the southern regions.

On March 10, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy held in the framework of the Media Dialogue project an online discussion on checks and balances in presidential systems. The event featured international experts Dr. John K. Johnson, Governance Consultant and Trainer, and Dr. Ketut Putera Erawan, Executive Director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy (IPD). Experts talked about the US and Indonesian models, followed by a Q&A session. While presenting the history of the formation of checks and balances in the US, Dr. John K. Johnson emphasized that the government structure must furnish the proper checks and balances between the different departments. He cited the  Federalist Paper: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government  to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

On March 17, the Media Dialogue project will hold its second public Media Dialogue Talk, devoted to the topic of “Investigative Journalism – How to Create High-Quality Material.”  Roman Dobrokhotov, the founder and Editor-In-Chief of the Moscow-based independent online newspaper The Insider will present the tools at the disposal of investigative journalism, and share insights into his most famous investigations, on what difficulties investigative journalists face in the modern world and why the future of professional journalism lies precisely with investigation and fact-checking. In addition, Roman Dobrokhotov will touch upon issues of journalists safety, media independence and models for media monetization. Investigative journalists from Kyrgyzstan Bolot Temirov and Ali Toktakunov will also intervene and share their experience and vision of the development of investigative journalism. Media Dialogue Talks are monthly seminars to facilitate exchange of experiences and the creation of collaborative links amongst the community of media, civil society and civic and digital activists of Kyrgyzstan.

The Media Dialogue project is funded by the European Union and runs until end of 2021. Its objective is to harness the power of the media in safeguarding conflict-free elections. We have been delivering training and capacity-building activities to help media actors supply accurate and trustworthy election-related content to the citizens of Kyrgyzstan so that they can make informed choices.

We work with print, online and broadcast media outlets as well as production houses, individual journalists, online activists and influencers. Our events serve to improve their editorial standards, upgrade their digital skills, and inject an innovative spirit into the content they produce. The project is engaging government officials, parliamentary deputies, non-governmental and civil society organisations as well as members of the Central Electoral Commission and its territorial branches in an effort to create a more conducive election environment. We collaborate with the media and civil society communities to enhance self-regulation in the media sector and make it more robust and resilient to political manipulation or restrictive measures.

Our programme includes activities to increase the economic independence of the media by providing monetisation workshops, innovative digital content generation events and innovative media start-ups initiatives. We also cooperate with Kyrgyz universities and institutions providing journalism education to boost their curricula and link them up with European counterparts through exchange programmes. All our activities are delivered by a mix of international and local trainers and consultants exploiting areas of expertise offered by each of the Consortium Partners.

For more information about the Project or current and forthcoming opportunities, please get in touch with our Communications Specialist Asylgul Akimjanova at +996504222405, asylgulakimjanova@epd.eu  or the Project Manager, Cholpon Nogoibaeva, cholponnogoibaeva@epd.eu.

In response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, Media Dialogue has been adjusting its activities in line with WHO recommendations and national regulations of the countries involved in the project. Our priority is not to expose any beneficiaries, experts or staff to risks associated with the virus but at the same time to continue delivering the planned Action with every effort made to meet its objectives and maintain its effectiveness in the limiting and challenging circumstances.

 

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