Media Dialogue Newsletter #35

Media Dialogue Newsletter
Bishkek, 18 February, 2021

The Media Dialogue project is launching its Media Dialogue Talks, a series of monthly seminars to facilitate exchange of experiences and the creation of collaborative links amongst the community of media, civil society and civic and digital activists of Kyrgyzstan. The first Talk took place on February 16 in Bishkek with Jan Verbitsky, a representative of the Belarussian new media NEXTA, as guest speaker. Jan shared with the media community of Kyrgyzstan how their Telegram channel managed to become one of the main mouthpieces of democratic changes in their country, how they maintain impartiality, what can be done to become a full-fledged ally of civil society. Jan also explained how NEXTA has also managed to ensure the cybersecurity of civil society activists who constantly share photo, video and informational content with the resource, and how to monetize the new media.

On 17 and 18 February, the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) is conducting a workshop in the framework of the Media Dialogue project to support the collective planning of the participatory dialogue process on information policy in the Kyrgyz Republic. The Director of the Information and Mass Communications Department of the Ministry of Culture, Information, Sports and Youth Policy Salkyn Sarnogoeva noted that the development of the Information Policy Concept is in the agenda of the Ministry for this year and that the international experience and knowledge will be useful in this regard. Read more on the workshop here.

Representative of the European Association for Local Democracy Alexandru Coica is holding monitoring meetings with 15 media organizations of Kyrgyzstan – grantees of the Media Dialogue project. Since last September, our grantees have produced over 350 editorials related to the 2020 parliamentary elections and the post-election situation. These materials helped to foster a level playing field for political debate and upheld freedom of speech. See the interview of Alexandru Coica about the grant program to Novye Litsa.

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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