Media Dialogue Newsletter #27

Media Dialogue Newsletter
Bishkek, 24 December, 2020

Within the framework of the Media Dialogue project, ARTICLE 19 has conducted protection trainings to equip reporters and journalists involved in covering public events, crowds and gatherings with risk assessment skills, as well as trainings on digital security to provide interested journalists with technological and behavioural mitigation tools relevant to trolling attacks.

The Youth Forum, “Don’t Quit, Stay” took place in Bishkek on December 22 and was organized by the civil movement “Bashtan Bashta” jointly with the Media Dialogue project. The forum was attended by civic activists and bloggers, as well as young citizens who have succeeded in their professions. Speakers included Saniya Toktogazieva, Timur Mon, Tilek Mamytov, Ulan Usoiun, Gulnaz Zhusbaeva, Daniyar Amanaliev. Participants discussed the challenges the youth in the country’s regions face and potential avenues to make talented, progressive and creative young people want to create and live in the country rather than leave.

On December 23 the signing of the Agreement on Rights and Freedoms by presidential candidates took place in Bishkek with the Media Dialogue project‘s support. Fourteen candidates for the presidency of the Kyrgyz Republic came to the meeting with a coalition of representatives of the media sector, civil society, and professional communities to discuss the key role that the protection and promotion of civic rights and freedoms, freedom of expression, and pluralism of opinions play for the democratic development of the country. Representatives of the coalition introduced the “Agreements on Rights and Freedoms“, which includes a set of principles for the promotion of civic rights and freedoms they would like to be upheld and promoted by the forthcoming President. Eleven candidates signed the Agreement in the conference hall and took on the obligation to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens in the Kyrgyz Republic. Three more candidates expressed readiness to sign upon return to Bishkek from the regions. Anna Timofeenko, an independent journalist, said: “No matter who becomes a President, he/she must ensure the right of a citizen to freedom of speech and freedom of expression. We must have the opportunity to openly express an alternative point of view because constructive criticism is, first and foremost, an aide to the President. The use of fake information and accounts in social networks, the adoption of laws restricting freedom of speech, harassment, and intimidation of civil society representatives and the media sector should not be acceptable”.

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,  or the Project Manager, Cholpon Nogoibaeva,

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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