Newsletter

Media Dialogue Newsletter #24

Media Dialogue Newsletter
Bishkek, 3 December, 2020

The Media Dialogue project jointly with the Coalition of the media sector, civil society organizations, professional communities, bloggers / digital activists is supporting the facilitation of series of roundtable discussions in the regions of Kyrgyzstan gathering representatives of local municipalities, public organizations, civil activists, professional communities, and media sector. The discussions focus on the current status and challenges to freedom of speech, the legitimacy of the constitutional reform, and constitutional deliberation. On 28 November 2 such roundtable took place in Bishkek for the participants from Chuy region and  on 2 December in Balykchy for participants of the Naryn and Issyk-Kul regions. The next roundtables will be held for participants from Jalal-Abad, Batken and Osh regions.

On December 1, with the Media Dialogue project‘s support, the Lawyers’ Community conducted a round table “Risks and challenges of the new draft Constitution of Kyrgyz Republic.” More than 30 participants, including lawyers, representatives of the media sector, and civil society activists, most of which are members of the Coalition, took part in the round table. The event’s primary purpose was to discuss the legal analysis “Risks in the Draft of the new Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic: 61 Amendments“, which was presented to the attention of the general public the day before. Doctor of Law Saniya Toktogazieva noted that “The current Constitution contains a fundamental principle, which states that citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic have adherence to the goal to build free, independent, and democratic state. This norm has disappeared [in the new draft]. Secondly, the current Constitution says that we also strive to establish the rule of law. This norm has also disappeared. Instead, the new preamble of the new draft of the Constitution introduces such concepts as adherence to universal human moral principles, aspiration to establish the supremacy of moral values ​​, and social justice. It is very dangerous, because the objective legal norms are being replaced by the subjective norms of morality and ethics,” said Sania Toktogazieva.

From November 30 to December 4, the Media Dialogue project, together with the National Mediation Center, is conducting training on conflict-sensitive journalism and the legal aspects of the activities of journalists during the election period for 30 journalists, including representatives of the community media of Osh, Jalal-Adad and Batken regions. The training takes place online and covers such topics as causes of conflicts, conflict analysis tools, conflict-sensitive approach to journalism, hate speech in the media, fake news, and the importance of conflict analysis for journalists. Particular attention is paid to the session on information support for elections, since the risks of conflicts increase during this period. The leading trainer of the event, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Republican Community of Mediators of the Kyrgyz Republic, Gulsina Kozhoyarova, noted that the participants show particular interest in sessions on the rights and obligations of the media, especially during the election period, voter information and election campaigning.

 

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, at +996504222407, 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.

Newsletter #24

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