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Media Dialogue Newsletter #7

We have launched a  new grants programme for supporting media organisations to create media products related to upcoming parliamentary elections on October 4th, 2020. The overall objective of the Media Dialogue grant programme is to support media organizations and civil society organizations advocating freedom of speech in performing the role of watchdog, offering an open forum for debate and being a public educator, thereby contributing to ensuring a democratic electoral process. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply by August 17, 2020. All the information related to this grant competition should be sent in writing to cholponbolotbekova@epd.eu with the subject „Questions grant competition” before August 12, 2020.

This week we continued to support independent and freelance journalists by distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) to eight additional editorial offices and media organisations working in the regions. Previously, we helped twelve media organisations based in Bishkek with PPE, in order to prevent the staff’s exposure to COVID-19 while conducting their work. Leila Saralaeva, editor of “Novye litsa” online newspaper, expressed their thanks on social media, saying that they felt empowered by our support to now go without fear to the frontlines and continue their reporting on some of the most pressing issues in Kyrgyzstan.

The project partner Media Policy Institute held a series of webinars for journalists and editors from May to June 2020, covering issues such as parliamentarism, law-making, political regimes, electoral systems, and political parties. The workshops were led by local experts, with input from international experts. To further support journalists covering these topics, local expert Aisuluu Tekimbayeva developed accessible learning materials that can be used to familiarize voters with the electoral process, political regimes, structuring and development of political parties, and different platforms. These materials will be presented to media editors at Training of Trainers (ToT) workshops, which will be held on August 4 and 6, 2020. Following the workshops, it is expected that editors will conduct trainings for their staff to better equip them with the knowledge needed to help raise public awareness of the elections and enable voters to make conscious choices during the parliamentary elections.

Meanwhile, some exciting news from one of our grant recipients, TV1KG, who has produced some very interesting pieces in Kyrgyz language devoted to Covid-19: Interview with researcher and epidemiologist Aijan Dooronbekova on the Kyrgyzstan’s fight with Covid-19 and Interview with Aida Zurdinova, non-staff clinical pharmacologist, Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic on the use of medicine during Covid-19 exposure. We are really happy to see how TV1KG is contributing to strengthening the media environment in Kyrgyzstan.

 

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 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 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 #7

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