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Media Dialogue Newsletter #9

Media Dialogue Newsletter

Bishkek, August 20, 2020

This month, we have launched a new online training for the Kyrgyz media called “Elections in numbers: how to prepare and cover elections using data”, as part of our aim to enhance media professionalisation. In this new training, international expert on data journalism Vadim Makarenko shared his experience on how to work with data before, during and after the elections, on what to look for and how to plan the production of election materials, namely how to create a publication calendar; where and what data to look for; and why it is better to work beforehand with academic experts on data analysis and interpretation. The training will be focusing on working with Datawrapper, a tool for analyzing, visualizing and publishing data. In this practical lesson, we will be focusing on visualizing datasets of journalists from 16 newsrooms from different media outlets in Kyrgyzstan.

More training sessions are soon to follow in cooperation with the National Mediation Center and the European Partnership for Democracy, within the framework of the Media Dialogue project. These training sessions will be focusing on conflict-sensitive journalism and the legal aspects of journalism during elections. The National Mediation Center will conduct training sessions for journalists and mediators throughout the country until November 2020, with the first workshops taking place in the Chui and Osh regions.

On August 19, we held a focus group meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Department of Information and Mass Communications under the Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic to discuss the role and importance of state bodies in the development of the media sector. Previously, we have held focus groups with media experts, journalists, editors, managers, bloggers and civil activists, throughout June, as part of our goal to take into account the views of all stakeholders when assessing the situation in the media sphere 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 #9

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