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IWPR Central Asia and CABAR.asia Held Online Training on Fundamentals of Journalistic Investigation

Journalists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan took part in the four-day training.

Since 2015, IWPR Central Asia has been involved in development of journalistic investigation genre in Central Asian states. Since this period, various trainings and workshops with participation of local and foreign trainers are held every year for journalists from the above countries.

By results of trainings, participants carry out investigations that are published by local media and on the website of analytical platform www.cabar.asia.

Due to the epidemiological situation, this year the training was held online, as for the rest everything remained the same. The training was held during four days with involvement of 20 journalists from four Central Asian states.

Vladimir Thorick

The key trainers were Vladimir Tkhorik, an investigative journalist from Moldova, editor of the journalistic investigation agency RISE Moldova, and Andrei Zakharov, an investigative journalist from Russia, now working in the BBC Russian service.

Trainers told about the main stages of preparing a journalistic investigation: finding a topic, formulating the hypothesis, making a plan of work and main rules of the investigation.

Andrei Zakharov

As it was a distance training, the trainers covered the use of digital technologies during investigation. Andrei Zakharov held a practical session on finding topics, ideas for investigations by using expanded yet unknown to the wide public functions of search engines, social media and a variety of online resources.

Vladimir Thorik told in detail about international databases, various registers, which can sometimes help track down the illegal activity of citizens of Central Asian states. Previously, these registers helped to publish a series of high-profile investigations about officials, politicians and businessmen of the region.

Investigative journalists from CA states held practical sessions on local databases. The alumni of CABAR.asia School of Analytics, Khadisha Akayeva and Yokub Khalimov, held a session for Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. Both are practicing investigative journalists, whose works are published on the website of CABAR.asia. Metin Dzhumagulov, the investigative journalist of Kloop.kg, which already published a series of high-profile investigations about corruption in the republic, held a session on databases of Kyrgyzstan. 

When explaining the main principles of journalistic investigation, Vladimir Tkhorik also covered in detail such essential aspects as personal security and psychological health of the investigative journalist. Investigations, especially in Central Asian region, are often accompanied by risks, threats and stress. Tkhorik shared his practical advices and secrets on how to properly organise the process of work, which security measures should be taken, how to recover after a stressful situation.

Participants of online trainings are practicing journalists in local media. Many noted the practical area of training and shared that were planning to use this knowledge when both preparing current journalistic materials and working on investigations.

It is always interesting to listen to trainers with vast practical experience, especially if you are a novice in this area. Trainers have done their job excellently. The content was so full that I’ll need to get back to presentations to refresh my memory.
I have always wanted and now want to carry out investigations. I am trying to publish, but the structure of my materials hardly conformed the rules of the genre. In this context, the lectures of Tkhorik, who explained at the elementary level what the journalistic investigation is, helped me very much. The advices and examples made by Andrei Zakharov were also very valuable.

By results of online training, participants received invitation from IWPR Central Asia for cooperation with CABAR.asia analytical platform as freelance journalists both to prepare journalistic investigations and articles in other genres.

Later on, the YouTube account of CABAR.asia will have videos of the four days of the training. Below is a short video prepared by the SMM manager of CABAR.asia, Tolgonai Akimova.

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