With its projects in Kyrgyzstan, DW Akademie focuses on fostering community media and helping journalists along the border of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Kyrgyzstan is the highest ranked of all the Central Asian countries on the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index. It is now ranked 89th. This indicates – especially in local comparisons – the great importance of press freedom in the country. This freedom, however, is still considerably limited in some areas - as is legal protection for journalists.
DW Akademie helps 27 community media in the country attain professional work standards and strengthens their viability. Further, DW Akademie helps them develop balanced information services specifically tailored for different target groups. The aim of this project is to counter the lack of information for the population in rural areas of Kyrgyzstan and to present the interests and concerns of the people appropriately in the media. Citizen journalists receive the type of training that enables them to provide their communities with information.
The expansion of the journalist network at the border of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan is intended to make it easier for the rural populations of both countries to obtain balanced information.
Moreover, conflicts between people in the border region can be minimized. The project improves the relations of Tajik and Kyrgyz journalists to the local population through joint discussion events. This enables media professionals to make their conflict-sensitive, cross-border co-productions more appealing to their audiences.
It is particularly challenging for children and young people to distinguish between propaganda and reliable information. In order to strengthen the media skills of young citizens, DW Akademie is working on the integration of media and information literacy (MIL) into the grade 5 to 11 curricula at selected pilot schools. Media clubs, camps and online courses offer children and young people the opportunity to learn outside of their classroom – for example, by publishing their own articles and broadcasting their own programs. They develop resilience to cope with agitation, disinformation and biased opinion-making.
Funding sources: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country coordinator: Lydia Rahnert
Locations: Bishkek, Dushanbe
Local partners: The Association of Community Media of Kyrgyzstan, Media Development Center Public Foundation (MDC PF), Media Support Center Foundation, Regional Association of Independent Media of Tajikistan (NANSMIT), Public Broadcast Company (KTRK), Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, Kloop.kg, Internews
Main focus: Qualification, professionalization and viability of the media sector, civic engagement, participation of disadvantaged groups, (local) participatory media services and community media, Media and Information Literacy (MIL)