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Media Dialogue Newsletter #6

The Media Dialogue project has launched a new grants programme for media organisations and CSOs in Kyrgyzstan to conduct social media monitoring initiatives on the upcoming parliamentary election campaign, with a focus on monitoring instances of hate speech and divisive, inflammatory narratives by the main electoral stakeholders. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply by August 16, 2020.

The winners of the first grant programme of the Media Dialogue project are working to strengthen the media environment in Kyrgyzstan, and are raising awareness on the challenges affecting the media sphere and on the need to promote democratic changes in the regulatory framework governing this sector. Content devoted to such topics was recently published by one of the grantees, 24.kg, and is available in Russian language: “Heroes Among Us: How Civil Society Protects Kyrgyzstan from Coronavirus”, “Law on Information Manipulation: Five Steps to an E – Dictatorship”, “Law on Information Manipulation Law needs to be rewritten. Opinion of media editors”.

In mid-July personal protective equipment was distributed to twelve media organisations based in Bishkek by the European Partnership for Democracy in the framework of the Media Dialogue project, in order to prevent staff’s exposure to COVID-19 while conducting their work. In the upcoming week, personal protective equipment will be distributed to eight additional editorial offices and media organizations, including independent and freelance journalists, working in the regions.

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 electionrelated 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.

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 #6

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