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Media Dialogue participates in the Annual Partnership Media Conference devoted to Information and Press Day

On 13 November 2020, the Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic in close collaboration with the Media Dialogue Project will hold the Annual Partnership Media Conference, devoted to the Information and Press Day. The Conference focuses on topics such as Information and digital security under COVID-19 and post-pandemic period, the Concept of the Information Policy of the Kyrgyz Republic till 2025, security of journalists and media outlets, influence of the social networks on the elections, including hate speech.

The Concept of Information Policy till 2025 was elaborated with the support of the Media Dialogue project in  close partnership with representatives of the media sector. The draft of the Concept will be presented at the Media Conference by the Minister of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic Nurzhigit Kadyrbekov.

A member of the Media Dialogue project’s Initiative group Nurdin Duishenbekov will also intervene to present a report on the lessons learned for media sector, where he will focus on physical attacks to journalists and to the bloggers on social networks as well as on violation of the freedom of speech and expression. Moreover, a report on the role of social networks on the elections will be presented, with a focus on instances of hate speech during the electoral campaign for the 2020 parliamentary elections.

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“Media Dialogue” project is funded by the European Union through the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace and runs until late spring 2021. “Media Dialogue”. The project is implemented by a consortium of five organisations: European Partnership for Democracy, European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA Europe), ARTICLE 19, Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the Media Policy Institute. Detailed information about the Project is available here: https://mediadialogue.kg/en/about-the-project/

In order to get additional information about the Project or the current and future opportunities please call Asel Moldokmatova, Program and Logistics Assistance, at +996504222408 or aselmoldokmatova@epd.eu; or with Cholpon Nogoibaeva, Project Manager, at +996504222407 or cholponnogoibaeva@epd.eu

News

Media Dialogue update on activities in response to post-election developments

Since the annulment of the results of the October 4 elections, developments have underlined the importance of adhering to democratic principles, fundamental freedoms and legal certainty in these uncertain times. Adherence is incumbent upon every sector of Kyrgyz society if stable foundations for a constructive and inclusive dialogue are to be laid in preparation for new, free and fair parliamentary and presidential elections in line with international standards.

The Media Dialogue continues to engage democratic actors in a constructive dialogue on the challenges affecting the media sector and to promote quality standards and good practices for media activity and media freedom during the electoral period and beyond.

Amidst recent threats to freedom of speech, Media Dialogue is making steps to boost the safety of independent media outlets and their resilience during continuing instability after the annulled parliamentary election.

Media Dialogue partners keep on protecting journalists’ rights in the courts through legal support. The project will offer safety and risk assessment training to reporters and journalists involved in covering public events involving crowds and gatherings, as well as trainings on digital safety and cyber security, in order to provide interested journalists with technological and behavioural mitigation tools relevant to trolling attacks.

Media Dialogue also continues to strengthen the skills of journalists, editors, and mediators on conflict-sensitive journalism, thereby equipping them with knowledge for conflict analysis and conflict-sensitive approach to journalism and reporting.

Media Dialogue continues to protect health safety of media staff by providing personal protective equipment to limit exposure to COVID-19 infection while conducting their work.

 

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Article 19, “Kyrgyzstan: Attacks on journalists and access to information following disputed election

Media Dialogue, “Statement from representatives of the media sector: freedom of speech is in danger

Media Policy Institute, “Media organizations in Kyrgyzstan are concerned about attacks and threats against journalists and media editors”.

News

Political Parties Have Signed the Freedom of Speech Agreement

On 24 September, representatives of the media sector organized a meeting with the political parties that are running for the election to Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic (the Parliament).

Initiated by the representatives of the media sector, the event presented the Freedom of Speech Agreement, encouraging the political parties to endorse the initiative and the sector’s vision of the reforms in the media sphere.

In his address Bolot Temirov, Editor of “Factcheck.kg” Internet Portal, stressed that he was “Glad to note that the society in general and representatives of the media sector have consolidated to defend the freedom of speech by openly expressing their discontent with the draft laws that infringe the rights of journalists, bloggers and regular users of social networks”.

The participants also shared the problems that are faced by the media sphere and the respective solutions.

The Parliament should adopt such new laws and by-laws that will encourage and promote freedom of speech. Elected figures, state and municipal servants should be exposed to fair criticism for their actions or inactions”, said Semetei Amanbekov, Editor of “Elgezit.kg” Online Newspaper, in his presentation.

Anna Timofeenko, an independent journalist, made the following suggestion: “It is important to ensure legal protection of mass media, state agencies and citizens, so as to defend them from cyber-attacks and cyber- threats. It is equally important to introduce norms that stipulate the shortest possible time span for state agencies, local self-government and other organizations to which the Government is a party to review media’s requests for access to information”.

Invitations to participate in the meeting were sent to all 16 political parties that are participating in the parliamentary elections. 15 parties have joined the Agreement, including “BIRIMDIK (UNITY) Democratic Party”, “Mekenchil”, “YIMAN NURY Political Party of Justice and Development”, “Mekenim Kyrgyzstan”, “Reforma”, “Ata Meken”, “Zamandash”, “Butun Kyrgyzstan”, “Social Democrats of Kyrgyzstan”, “Meken Yntymagy”, Political Party of Afgan War Veterans and Participants of Other Localized Armed Conflicts, “Ordo”, “Bir Bol”, “Respublica” and “Chon Kazat”. Thereby, the future parliament members have demonstrated their commitment to the ideas, as specified in the Freedom of Speech Agreement. Representatives of the media sector decided to monitor the political parties that will be elected to Jogorku Kenesh (7th Convocation), and to implement norms that promote freedom of speech.

News

Kyrgyz Media Community Encourages the Parties to Endorse the Freedom of Speech Agreement

On 24 September, representatives of the media sector will have a meeting with the political parties running for the election to Jogorku Kenesh (the Parliament). The meeting will discuss the freedom of speech in Kyrgyzstan. The initiators of the event will present the Freedom of Speech Agreement to share with the future Parliament members their perception of the reforms and laws that regulate media sphere, democracy and human rights.

The idea to put together the Agreement was first proposed at the workshop on “Development of Kyrgyz Media Sector through Dialog” that was organized by the European Partnership for Democracy under the scope of “Media Dialog” project. The workshop was attended by journalists, media experts, representatives of state
bodies and media organizations. The participants established an Initiative Group that drafted the Freedom of Speech Agreement.

“Media Dialog” project facilitates the work of the Initiative Group and is helping to organize the upcoming meeting, because it strongly believes in the importance of the dialog between the media sector and future Parliament members. 16 political parties that are running for the election to the Parliament have received invitations to participate. By accepting the invitation, the parties will demonstrate their commitment to the notions specified in the Freedom of Speech Agreement. The meeting will enable the parties to start a dialog regarding the priorities and suggestions that are brought forwards by the media sector.

The leading media outlets, journalists, nongovernment organizations, bloggers, opinion-makers, and experts have already endorsed the Agreement. To demonstrate their support, they publish posts in social networks with the following hashtags – #ДоговорСвободыСлова #СөзЭркиндик

“24kg” Information Agency, “AKIpress” Information Agency, “Azattyk” Radio, “Vechernii Bishkek” Information Agency, “Novye Litsa” Newspaper, “Factcheck.kg” Internet Portal “PolitClinika” Online Newspaper, “Internews” Media Organization and “Journalists” Publish Association have already published the Agreement and the respective news on their platforms.

News

The Media Dialogue project has announced the winners of grant competitions for editorial productions and social media monitoring initiatives to report on the upcoming parliamentary elections

Media Dialogue has announced the winners of the last two rounds of its grants programme. The overall objective of the Media Dialogue grant programme is to support media organizations and CSOs advocating freedom of speech in performing the role of watchdog, offering an open forum for debate and being a public educator, thereby contributing to ensuring a democratic electoral process. Following the successful launch of our first call for proposal, in which 4 media organizations were selected to work of projects focusing on advocacy campaigns promoting access to information, freedom of expression and informational transparency of government agencies, we launched a second and third call for proposals.

The second call for proposals was launched in July and focused on social media monitoring initiatives, with a particular focus on projects that monitor hate speech and the use of inflammatory narratives by key electoral actors.

The third call for proposals was launched in August to encourage some established media actors to produce editorial productions covering the upcoming parliamentary elections, but also to broadcast debates between candidates and document issues discussed during the campaigns.

Following these two calls for proposals, 2 media organizations based in Kyrgyzstan have been selected to be awarded grants of the maximum value of €30 000 to conduct social media monitoring initiatives, while other 9 media organizations will receive individual grants between €5 000 and €10 000 for a range of editorial production projects that will last between 2 and 6 months. The grants program is being managed by ALDA – the European Association for Local Democracy.

The results were announced on the 9th of September, in a meeting attended by representatives of the project consortium. This first online meeting with the finalists of the competition included a presentation on project cycle management, project implementation processes and reporting requirements.

Notes:

  1. About us: The Media Dialogue project is funded by the European Union and runs until late spring 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 organizations 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.
  2. For more information about the Project or current and forthcoming opportunities, please get in touch with our Communications Officer, Gulaiym Shigaibaeva at +996552201234 or gulaiymshigaibaeva@epd.eu, or the Project Manager, Cholpon Nogoibaeva, at +996504222407 or cholponnogoibaeva@epd.eu.
News

Political parties in Kyrgyzstan commit to combatting Hate Speech during upcoming election campaign

On September 4 2020, representatives of 13 political parties in Kyrgyzstan signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which was elaborated with the support of Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) in Kyrgyzstan.

The memorandum is similar to a code of conduct, and outlines principles guiding the parties’ behaviour during the campaign ahead of the 4 October parliamentary elections. It was developed with support of the WFD in Kyrgyzstan in co-operation with the Central Electoral Commission and PF “Civic Platform”, a civil society organisation that supports the electoral process in Kyrgyzstan.

WFD, the Central Election Commission and Civic Platform worked together in developing the memorandum and held consultations with political parties on the text. A key element of the Memorandum is a commitment to avoid Hate Speech, especially via the internet, social media and other channels. The signing of this Memorandum helps to guarantee a transparent election process, based on democratic principles.

WFD’s support for the memorandum was carried under our Media Dialogue project, which is implemented by a consortium of five organizations lead by European Partnership for Democracy. The consortium includes the Media Policy Institute, ARTICLE 19, ALDA – European Association for Local Democracy, and Westminster Foundation for Democracy. The project aims to improve the quality and responsibility of the media as a driving force of democracy and a stabilizing factor in its coverage of the election cycle and other socially significant events.

The official signing ceremony of Memorandum was attended by leaders of thirteen political parties, representatives of election commissions, civic and international organizations, media and civic activists.

During the event, Head of Central Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan, Nurzhan Shaildabekova Karmabekovna, delivered a welcoming speech. She said:

“Honesty and transparency of the electoral process will be a distinctive of these elections. And by signing the memorandum, political parties agree to multiply efforts to make elections fair and transparent. They also agreed not to use social media to denigrate opponents, and not to use Hate Speech”.

Aigul Baiburaeva, country representative of Westminster Foundation for Democracy in Kyrgyzstan, said:

“The Memorandum is an agreement, participants of which undertake to act exclusively within the framework of the law, not to use Hate Speech, not to distribute materials containing threats of violence, hostility and libel and other sets of rules. The signing of the memorandum will help to ensure that elections are fair and based on democratic principles”

News

Media Dialogue has provided media organizations in Kyrgyzstan with protective equipment

The Media Dialogue project has supplied protective equipment to twelve media organisations based in Bishkek after a series of focus group meetings with editors who complained that their staff was exposed to COVID-19 infection while conducting their work. The European Partnership for Democracy, which is the lead partner in the consortium implementing the Media Dialogue project has provided 500 respiratory masks, 2,000 pairs of gloves and 150 protective suits as well as 100 full-face shields and sanitizers which were distributed for the use by journalists and reporters in the capital.

The editor of Elgezit, one of the benefitting media organisations, Semetei Amanbekov, thanked the Project via social media also saying that their journalists could now go with more confidence to the frontline reporting the pandemic and called on the Government to dedicate all resources to protecting medical staff.

“Journalists can’t afford to stop going to work, but now our check-list of stuff we take into the field to report news includes masks, gloves and sanitizers to keep our staff safe. We have received priceless support from the Media Dialogue project partners” Kaktus Media editor, Natalia Timirbaeva, wrote on social media.

The protective equipment branded with the European Union and the project logos was provided to both private and state media. The journalists of all media organisations face the risk of getting infected by Covid-19 while doing their everyday job. Bishkek is an infection hot-spot in Kyrgyzstan at the moment and there have already been 3 deaths among journalists and editors in the capital in the last few weeks.

 

The Media Dialogue project is funded by the European Union and runs until late spring 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 Officer, Gulaiym Shigaibaeva at +996552201234 or gulaiymshigaibaeva@epd.eu, or the Project Manager, Cholpon Nogoibaeva, at +996504222407 or cholponnogoibaeva@epd.eu.

Grants outcomes, News

Media Dialogue has announced the winners of its first round of grant competitions aimed at supporting media reform in Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek, July 03, 2020

The Media Dialogue project has awarded grants ranging from up to 30,000 euro to four organisations in Kyrgyzstan to conduct advocacy campaigns promoting access to information, freedom of expression and informational transparency of government agencies. The projects will last 6 months and are part of the overall objective of the present and forthcoming competitions to strengthen the media environment in Kyrgyzstan, to support the provision of high-quality journalism and to promote media policy reform.

The first round of competitions was heavily contested with almost thirty entries – may of which were both innovative and highly professional. Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to apply in forthcoming calls related to media monitoring and production of informative TV, radio or web-based programmes related to the elections, which will be announced shortly. The four winners have impressed the panel of judges with their applications for their quality and well targeted action.

Kaktus Media will conduct campaigns aiming at raising awareness how government institutions should work to provide citizens with the right, timely and accurate information, while 24.kg will concentrate their action on access to information and freedom of expression. The idea of creating an informational dialogue platform between the media and government agencies in the Batken region presented by Salam Media has won them a grant for their project, while TV1KG has developed a concept of extending the informational offer to the Kyrgyz language audiences dedicated to their needs.

The Media Dialogue project is funded by the European Union and runs until late spring 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 Officer, Gulaiym Shigaibaeva at +996552201234 or gulaiymshigaibaeva@epd.eu, or the Project Manager, Cholpon Nogoibaeva, at +996504222407 or 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.

News

Information session on grants programme

If you’re interested in grants programme to support media in Kyrgyzstan kindly join us on information session with grants coordinators from @ALDAeurope and @media_dialogue project via Zoom bit.ly/2KMABb3 or facebook.com/mediadialoguek on May 7, 2020.

All the information related to this grant competition should be sent in written to cholponbolotbekova@epd.eu with the subject „Questions on grant competition” before May 6th, 2020.

#media4all

News

“Media Dialogue” project to support media sector reforms launched in Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek, March 12, 2020

The public launch of the Media Dialogue project, funded by the European Union to the Kyrgyz Republic, was held in Bishkek. The project aims to strengthen the capacity and responsibility of media actors in Kyrgyzstan to operate as drivers of democracy and act as a stabilizing factor in covering the election cycle and other important public occasions.

The Media Dialogue project aims to strengthen the national media environment and engage media representatives alongside public decision-makers and members of the civil society in a dialogue about the challenges affecting the media sector. The project also aims to facilitate a joint agenda for reforming the existing media policy and legal framework.

The project is being implemented by a consortium of five organisations: The European Partnership for Democracy (project lead), ARTICLE 19, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Media Policy Institute and the ALDA – European Association for Local Democracy.

The beneficiaries of the project are the state media regulatory bodies, the Jogorku Kenesh, the Central Election Commission and its territorial bodies, political parties, state and private media, their associations, journalists and editors, media training institutions, civil society organizations, activists and the population of the Kyrgyz Republic.

His Excellency Ambassador Eduard Auer, Head of EU Delegation to the Kyrgyz Republic, gave a welcome address at the beginning of the launch event. Information on project goals, objectives, activities and the organizations implementing the project were presented too.

Representatives from the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, Ministries and agencies, the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic, Embassies, media and civil society organizations were also present at the launch of the project.

For more information, contact Gulaiym Shigaibaeva, Communications Coordinator at gulaiymshigaibaeva@epd.eu  or +996552201234.

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Our mission is to provide legal assistance to the media, conduct research and develop policies in the information field.

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