Media Dialogue Newsletter #39

Media Dialogue Newsletter
Bishkek, 18 March, 2021


The European Partnership for Democracy has been supporting the elaboration of the Information Policy Concept of the Kyrgyz Republic in the framework of the Media Dialogue project. On March 11-12, a workshop with participation of the media sector representatives was held in Osh, Jalal-Abad and Batken regions, where the key problems and challenges affecting priority areas that will be addressed by the Concept were discussed. “Journalists from state and independent media, as well as digital activists, came to the workshop today to discuss together vital problems and challenges facing the media sector. We appreciate that our voices are heard and our proposals will be taken into account when adopting the Concept,” – said Diana Raimzhaniva, Deputy Director of Jalal-Abad Regional Media Center. Earlier, on March 4, a similar workshop took place in Bishkek.

On March 17, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy organized in the framework of the Media Dialogue project a round table discussion on preventing and countering the use of hate speech in the run up to the April local elections. Participants included experts from the Central Election Commission, from the legal community, as well as reprsentatives of media and CSOs. The discussion provided an opportunity to actors actively working on hate speech in Kyrgyzstan,  yet are not always aware of each other’s activities around the issue, which leads to a fragmentation of efforts. Therefore, this discussion created a platform for experts to come to a common understanding of the definition of hate speech in the Kyrgyzstani context, of the actions to be taken as well as recommendations on how to work and raise the awareness among political candidates on hate speech and positive measures to promote more tolerant speech.

On March 17, the Media Dialogue project held its second public Media Dialogue Talk, devoted to the topic of “Investigative Journalism – How to Create High-Quality Material.”  Roman Dobrokhotov, the founder and Editor-In-Chief of the Moscow-based independent online newspaper The Insider presented the tools at the disposal of investigative journalism and shared insights into his most famous investigations, challenges and trends in investigative journalism and fact-checking. Investigative journalists from Kyrgyzstan Bolot Temirov and Ali Toktakunov also intervened and shared their experience and vision of the development of investigative journalism. Participants asked questions about journalists’ safety, monetization methods for media organizations, access to information, and possibilities of collaboration for Kyrgyzstani investigative journalists with The Insider. “Today, we had a wonderful opportunity to listen to one of the best Russian investigative journalists, Roman Dobrokhotov, and ask him questions. The format of the event where we can learn new things and exchange experiences with journalists from neighboring countries is just great. It allows us to communicate and ask questions in real time. We would hardly have been able to ask our questions on social networks,” noted Kamilla Valieva, a reporter of the Current Times media outlet.  Media Dialogue Talks are 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 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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