News

Media Dialogue Newsletter #1

Bishkek, June 24, 2020

 Media Dialogue partners have selected four organizations to benefit from the project’s grants programme aimed at improving the media environment in Kyrgyzstan ahead of parliamentary elections. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Bishkek next week. The grants amount for each winner is up to 30 000 EUR over the period of six months and will support the beneficiaries’ advocacy campaigns to promote strong media and election laws.

The Media Dialogue project has worked with International Alert to create a pool of local trainers who will help Kyrgyzstani media outlets cover elections in a professional and engaging way shunning conflict and hate speech. So far, international experts have conducted 8 online training sessions for journalists and mediators covering all regions of the country.

At the same time, the Project has been conducting meetings with senior representatives of the Ministry of Culture to discuss the Government’s latest legislative initiatives. Our experts have conveyed concerns of the NGO and media community over some of the proposed changes. The draft laws on information manipulation and on the funding of NGOs have attracted a scrutiny among experts.

Also, this week we are conducting focus groups with journalists, editors and bloggers to discuss the future of the media and the opportunities presented by digital technologies. The issue of media independence and economic sustainability are top of the agenda. The findings will be used to design and deliver bespoke activities to boost high quality content producers in Kyrgyzstan.

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.

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