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The Media Dialogue Project, in collaboration with a UK university, will support reform of journalism education

Press Release
The Media Dialogue Project, in collaboration with a UK university, will support reform of journalism education

Bishkek, 3rd September, 2021

A team of British academics from the University of Salford (Manchester) will arrive in Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek on 6th September to deliver a series of educational events in collaboration with the country’s journalism faculties. The week-long visit will support further modernization of curricula, an effort that has been initiated
following the findings of a journalism education needs assessment, commissioned by the Media
Dialogue Project. On Monday, 6th September, the academics will conduct a seminar for journalism faculties staff with remote live contributions from other colleagues in Britain on ways of integrating media industry practice in academic teaching. The seminar will be followed by a series of demonstration masterclasses and workshops with local students observed by lecturers as well an intensive training course in teaching techniques used for delivering practical components in journalism. The visit will conclude with a focus group where participants will share their insights on introducing practice-oriented learning components into the educational and media context of Kyrgyzstan.

The University of Salford runs one of the largest journalism undergraduate courses in Britain and several post-graduate courses accredited by media industry bodies in broadcast, news and international journalism. It has been attracting more than 150 students every year with an offer of practice-oriented teaching, newsroom simulation techniques and work placements in mainstream media outlets such as the BBC or industry media divisions of big businesses including Manchester United Football Club. The visiting academics will share their experience and examples of best practice with their Kyrgyz colleagues during the week of 6-10 September with the view to continuing cooperation in the future.

Their visit follows extensive research commissioned by the Media Dialogue project earlier this year which established most effective and promising ways of addressing problems and deficits in the existing journalism curricula articulated by deans and lecturers at participating universities. The findings of the wide-ranging report can be found on the Media School website of the Cabar.asia information agency.

For the programme, participation or further access by qualifying parties, please, contact Project Specialist Cholpon Bolotbekova (cholponbolotbekova@epd.eu , +996504 222 401).

News

Campaign to challenge hate speech kicks off in Kyrgyzstan

Press Release
Campaign to challenge hate speech kicks off in Kyrgyzstan

Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) and the Institute of Civic Development are launching a campaign to challenge hate speech in Kyrgyzstan in the run up to the country’s Parliamentary elections. The campaign, which aims at raising awareness amongst political parties, youth, and civic activists of what hate speech is and how to combat it, is conducted within the framework of the Media Dialogue project funded by the European Union.

Election campaigns provide particularly fertile ground for hate speech and incitement to hatred. Political parties, candidates, opinion makers, and members of civil society are among influential spreaders of hate speech. Hate speech is amplified by the media, in particular social media. Hate speech can range from ignorant discriminatory comments and offensive jokes to explicit calls for discrimination or violence against a group or individual people. Educating people on the dangerous and divisive nature of hate speech is therefore important to increase society’s resilience to this phenomenon.

The campaign will focus on seven regions, where representatives of political parties will take part in a number of exercises exploring how to identify and combat hate speech in election campaigns.  The voice of young people will also be presented to political parties to outline the ethical behavioral expectation of youth from political parties during and after the election campaigns. Young people will develop an open statement during a series of discussions with youth and civic activists exploring measures to promote positive speech both on and offline.

At the same time, an online platform called education.kg will provide young people with information about electoral process, election campaigns and measures to recognize and challenge hate speech. This platform will serve as one of the mechanisms for increasing the motivation of young people to challenge hate speech and actively express their voice through voting.

The campaign will launch on 6 September 2021 and will run until 20 October 2021

News

Development of national policy strategies through the INSPIRED approach

In June 2021, the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) held, within the scope of the Media Dialogue Project, a two-day workshop “Development of national policy strategies through the INSPIRED approach”. The workshop, attended by Kyrgyzstani government officials, introduced EPD’s INSPIRED method of building inclusive and participatory policy dialogue. This method was used to structure the collaboration among government agencies, civil society organizations and media sector in formulating the Information Policy Concept of the Kyrgyz Republic. Workshop participants acquired practical skills of developing policy documents using the INSPIRED method, which involves participation of all key stakeholders. Workshop participants and the organizers tell more about their experience in this video.

News

What kind of journalism education is demanded by today’s media in Kyrgyzstan?

A curriculum analysis and needs assessment of journalism education in Kyrgyzstan was conducted by the European Partnership for Democracy in the framework of the Media Dialogue project funded by the European Union.

Earlier, in the spring of 2021, international journalism education experts explored the best options for introducing changes to existing university curricula as the first steps towards more comprehensive reforms in the future. Together with a Kyrgyz colleague, experts from Ukraine and the United Kingdom held a series of meetings and consultations with higher education institutions providing journalism education and analysed the challenges and potential opportunities for change in most journalism departments in the country. Based on the findings, concreate and achievable steps that faculties can take in the short term to initiate a modernization process have been proposed, without waiting for a “convenient moment” for a more systematic transformation of journalism education.

An overview of the results of the needs assessment and recommendations from the experts can be found at this link.

 

Illustration Media School CABAR.asia

News

Intensive course Blogging for Beginners: Secrets of Success From Professionals

The European Partnership for Democracy (EPD), within the scope of Media Dialogue project financed by the European Union is looking for interested applicants to attend an intensive course Blogging for Beginners: Secrets of Success From Professionals.

A team of experienced trainers will share theoretical and practical knowledge.

Who is this course for?

  • This intensive course on social media is intended for anyone who wants to develop in social networks and master new knowledge and apply it in practice.

What are the prerequisites for participants?

  • Have basic understanding of social networks;
  • Have own channel/page on any social network;
  • Submit an application in video or audio format with a short business introduction about yourself and description of the purpose of your participation in the course;
  • Be willing and able to attend all lectures of the course;
  • Have internet connectivity;
  • Have a desktop, tablet, phone, laptop to participate in seminars and homework assignments;
  • Be 18 years or older.

What will you learn?

  • Understand the algorithms of social networks;
  • Use the tools and features of different social networks;
  • Work with advertising settings;
  • Create content in different formats;
  • Learn about ways to monetize and promote content.

Language of instruction:

Russian.

How do I apply? 

  1. Complete the application at this link https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfPDRPvj_hsF6gzGuC9N6FjwLATDE2oNyGvZr022Vwwzmaljw/viewform
  2. Upload your video or audio to Google Drive at this link https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1vT1-t08De6bSTgnRotGUBV0v-k7KAJBS?usp=sharing.

How much does it cost? 

The course is entirely free.

What will I get upon completion of the course?

  • Course certificate;
  • Best students will be offered further apprenticeships with the course trainers.

The deadline for applications is August 5, 2021.

*There are no restrictions by field of study or occupation. 

Participants are selected on a competitive basis. We will send all candidates who have passed the competitive selection process an email with confirmation and a detailed course programme.

News

The Media Hackathon (video)

On May 2021 within the framework of the Media Dialogue project funded by the European Union, the Media Hackathon “Project Lab” event was held. Ten media organizations developed and presented their own media projects, the main criteria of the projects in the future should consist of the perspectivity, sustainability and its entry to the income market. Each team presented their own projects in front of their co-workers and panel of judges, which involves media managers, IT-company representatives, and donor agencies. More detailed the participants and organizers opinion will be shown in the next video.

News

The Media Dialogue Project Lab (video)

The Media Dialogue Project Lab took place in May 2021 in the framework of the Media Dialogue project. This was one of the first comprehensive trainings that focuses on developing capacity and sustainability of media organizations. More than 30 journalists, producers, bloggers and managers, who work for Kyrgyz media, charities and civil society organizations, participated in the event. The trainers were international level experts from Ukraine and the UK with experience of holding educational events for media organisations from all over Eastern Europe and the CIS countries.

News

Media Dialogue has announced the winners of its fourth round of grant competitions aimed at supporting media entrepreneurship initiatives in Kyrgyzstan

Media Dialogue has announced the winners of its fourth round of grant competitions aimed at supporting media entrepreneurship initiatives in Kyrgyzstan

 

The Media Dialogue project has awarded grants ranging from up to 22.000 euro to four organisations in Kyrgyzstan to pilot initiatives that test and demonstrate alternative business development strategies in the media sector. The projects will last 4 months and are part of the overall objective of the Media Dialogue grant programme to build up and amplify the impact of media projects in Kyrgyzstan, and specifically their impact on democratic and social development, by providing support to new generation projects.

The fourth round of competitions was heavily contested with almost twenty entries – many of which participated into the Project Lab organized in May 2021 by the Media Dialogue project in cooperation with Jnomics. The four winners have impressed the panel of judges with their applications for the quality and scope of their projects, all of which have an innovative business model and monetization strategy.

Tentek LLC and the Public Foundation “New Media” will exploit new technologies and harness the power of online distribution platforms to increase their proactivity to democratic challenges in Kyrgyzstan. Moreover, the creation of a mobile digital platform for offsite press conferences accessible to citizens and organizations will increase Television Academy’s sustainability. In a similar vein, “Debate Hub” by Next TV will provide an innovative creative space for content producers while increasing the channel’s economic independence.

Since April 2020, 15 grants have been provided to media organizations operating in Kyrgyzstan in the framework of the Media Dialogue project. Awarded projects have led advocacy campaigns promoting access to information, freedom of expression and informational transparency of government agencies, piloted social media monitoring of instances of hate speech and published editorial productions related to elections.

News, Trainings and Seminars

“Challenge Hate” Conference Kicks off Exploration of Positive Measures to Challenge Hate Speech in Kyrgyzstan

“Challenge Hate” Conference Kicks off Exploration of Positive Measures to Challenge Hate Speech in Kyrgyzstan

 

Media Dialogue’s Challenge Hate conference will take place on 28-30 June, focusing on how to identify and challenge ‘hate speech’ online through a series of panel discussions and workshops for representatives of the government, media sector, civil society and young people. The conference is organized by ARTICLE 19 within the framework of the Media Dialogue project, funded by European Union.

The Challenge Hate conference will explore international standards on hate speech, regulation of hate speech by both states and social media platforms, and include panel discussions on monitoring, self-regulation and engaging young activists. The first day will begin with a workshop on ARTICLE 19’s Hate Speech Toolkit followed by an exploration of attempts by social media platforms, state and regional bodies to moderate and regulate ‘hate speech’ online. Days two and three will continue this discussion through panel sessions on monitoring online ‘hate speech’, engaging young people in activism to address ‘hate speech’ online and self-regulation mechanisms to address online ‘hate speech’ during election periods. Speakers include representatives of Media Dialogue’s implementing partners: ARTICLE 19, the European Partnership for Democracy, Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the Media Policy Institute.

To participate in the Challenge Hate conference and to see a detailed programme and information about speakers, please follow this link: https://challengehate.tilda.ws/

Illustration @Alina Pechenkina

News, Trainings and Seminars

Panel Discussion: International Perspectives on Information Policy and Media Development in the Digital Age (Video)

International perspectives on information policy and media development in the digital age:

Recommendations for the inclusive development of the Information Policy Concept of the Kyrgyz Republic

As Kyrgyzstan is in the process of developing its Information Policy Concept, Club de Madrid, the European Partnership for Democracy and ARTICLE 19 held an online panel discussion to reflect on international practices in the field of information policy, and how it can create favourable conditions for the media sector to develop and operate in line with international freedom of expression standards. This panel discussion was organized in the framework of the Media Dialogue project, funded by the European Union.

Representatives of the media sector, civil society, universities, government, and international organizations attended the meeting. The discussion was held interactively and with the high engagement of participants from Kyrgyzstan, who noted that they learned a lot about important trends in the field of information policy and its impact on media development.

The main speakers were:

Boris Tadic, President of Serbia (2004-2012), Member of Club de Madrid

Jeanne Cavelier, Head of Eastern Europe & Central Asia at Reporters without Borders

Tarik Kafala, News Controller with the BBC World Service Group Languages

The discussion was moderated by Antonina Cherevko, Legal Officer at ARTICLE 19.

 

Digital transformations are putting the foundations of democracy to the test on a global scale. Regulators face the challenge of striking a balance between policy-making and freedom of expression when trying to address disinformation, fake news, hate speech and polarization. At the same time, the shift towards an increasingly digital media environment for news consumption has profoundly changed the dynamics of news production and the media sector. In this context, it is fundamental to consider how information policies are formulated and what impact they have on public access to information, the role of information professionals, and the development of the media sector.

 

 

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