Representative Office of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) in the Kyrgyz Republic held a series of two-day trainings on “NGO and the Media: development of effective strategies to attract society to discuss critical issues in the field of human rights” for journalists and human rights activists, employees of non-governmental organizations in Osh , Jalal-Abad, Batken and Naryn, Karakol and Bishkek (including participants from Chu and Talas oblasts).Over 120 media professionals and employees of non-governmental organizations participated in the training, an average of 20 people at each event.
The training was conducted in the framework of the project “Creating a Culture of Investigative Journalism for Furthering Democratic Reform – Linking Human Rights Organizations, Government Officials and the Media”, funded by the European Union and the Government of Norway.
During the training, participants have learned the concept of human rights, and how they are related to the lives of ordinary citizens, what laws ensure their compliance, and how to deal with the violation of human rights, how to attract the attention of authorities and the public to this problem.
In addition to theoretical knowledge, journalists and human rights activists have worked during practical sessions: media workers have learned to interview victims of human rights violations, and human rights defenders and their clients have learned how to share their stories and other relevant information.
These training sessions, on the one hand, will help the media to be aware of original relevant and controversial topics, and, on the other hand, by illuminating them, the human rights community has an opportunity to draw the attention of public authorities and local residents to the violations of human rights, seek permission for solution of various contentious issues.
Participants were employees from numerous news editorial bodies of national and regional importance, such as Radio Azattyk, IA AKIpress, “Turmush», CA-news.org, online newspaper “Vecherniy Bishkek”, Batken TV and others.
Among the human rights activists, there were employees of the Institute of Ombudsman, the Coalition Against Torture, PF “Adam jana Ukuk”, “AIDS Foundation East-West”, “Insan-Leilek” Lawyers from the Ferghana Valley, UNESCO, the Aga Khan Foundation, and many others.
The Head of the Human Rights Centre “Adam jana Ukuk” Elmira Arapova admitted that she had participated in such training for the first time, where the techniques of interaction of human rights activists and journalists were explained in practice.
“Unfortunately, there is no stable contact for interaction between us [the media and human rights NGOs], although we could closely and usefully cooperate with each other, – said Elmira Arapova. – Now we will develop contacts with journalists and will work with them in close relation, since without them, we cannot communicate the important issues and problems in our area to the public and the authorities”.
Participants noted the practical orientation of the training and said that they would use this knowledge in the development of topics, during the work on various materials, writing press releases and coverage of human rights cases.
“This training helped me understand that the theme of human rights requires a lot of knowledge in the field of law, ethics and psychology. We must be extremely careful about the information, recheck the facts and details, which I am going to do in my work”, shared her feedback a journalist in Osh Sahira Nazarova.
Trainers were prominent human rights activists and experienced professionals in their field: Heads of PF “Kylym Shamy” Aziza Abdirasulova and «Voice of Freedom» Abdumomun Mamaraimov.
“Although Kyrgyzstan has a lot of actively working media and human rights organizations, and their activities are often overlapping, but stable contact between them was not established earlier. We want to ensure that journalists and human rights activists have worked side by side, helped each other, as this will ultimately have a positive impact on their work, and most importantly – on the work results”, said Aygerim Usonova, coordinator of the IWPR office in Kyrgyzstan, about the purpose of the training.
A series of trainings “NGOs and the Media: development of effective strategies to attract society to discuss critical issues in the field of human rights” for journalists, human rights defenders and non-governmental organizations were held in six cities – regional centers of Kyrgyzstan during February and March 2015.
At the moment, the participants are working on joint materials, which will be published in various media: TV, radio, newspapers and online portals.
The next training of the IWPR will cover the international standards of journalism in covering human rights. It is scheduled for April. The IWPR employees will further inform about the details of this training.
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