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IWPR Kyrgyzstan: Mass media and NGO network to promote government accountability to society

Consolidation of journalists and non-governmental sector will help promote rule of law in Kyrgyzstan. Mass media and civil society representatives a society created the Mass Media and NGO Network. The network aims to create an enabling environment for building and nurturing a culture of transparency and accountability, respect for general human rights and rule of law, as well as equal access to justice for everyone to needs and wants of citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The online platform will become a key tool of the network to allow for exchange of information on cases of corruption and human rights violations as well as analysis of citizens’ online reporting. The anti-corruption platform is developed by the Kloop Media Foundation and hosted at http://kloop.kg/akp/.

The network will focus on development of investigative journalism genre, analytical and civic journalism in the Kyrgyzstan, strengthening of communication between media and NGO representatives and culture of the rule of law in society and government bodies.

“Mass media and civil society network aims to develop communication skills and capacities of civil society to help them solve the long-standing and widely recognized problem of information bottlenecks in the Kyrgyz media, the main gatekeeper for information and knowledge in the country,” said Jyldyz Kuvatova, director of the Media and Civic Participation for Transparency and Accountability Project funded by the European Union, during the platform launch at the Internews in the Kyrgyz Republic. The network participants discussed the platform’s concept and design, criteria for participation and format of the network’s interaction.

At the meeting IWPR presented is project on investigative journalism and related manual for investigative journalists. “IWPR’s research demonstrated low cooperation between NGOs and media whereas both parties recognize the necessity to cooperate for mutual benefit,” noted Meerim Shamudinova, the program manager of IWPR.

“Since early 2015, IWPR held a series of trainings across Kyrgyzstan to improve the quality of interaction between journalists and human rights activists, which resulted in steady flow of information on human rights violations and important issues of the day from human rights activists to reporters, society and government officials,” added Meerim Shamudinova. “We applied the same approach during the training on journalistic investigations. Representatives of human rights and other NGOs joined trainings so that reporters had substantive and quality sources for investigations.

NGO representatives agreed with the findings of the research and underscored the importance of the network’s mission. “Media and non-governmental sector have a pivotal role in the processes of transparency and accountability, as well as in promotion of the rule of law in Kyrgyzstan, such a consolidation became an imperative,” noted Nurgul Dzhamankulova, public relations specialist of the Development Policy Institute.

Media and NGO representatives issued a resolution to collectively create an enabling environment to improve and promote the culture of transparency and accountability of government bodies and society at national and local levels. The network will meet monthly. The October meeting will gather at the IWPR office in Kyrgyzstan.

The network resulted from the cooperation between the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) and Internews Network representative offices in the Kyrgyz Republic as part of the two projects aimed at increasing the role of civil society in accountability of public institutions through cooperation between civil society and media. Projects are funded by the European Union within a financing agreement signed by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the European Union signed in September 2013.

The network is open to new members, both from the NGO sector and mass media.

For more information or cooperation, please contact:
Inna Rakhmanova, project manager 0 (312) 986 880, inna.rakhmanova1@internews.org, Meerim Shamudinova, program manager, 0 (312) 313 097, meerim@iwpr.net.

Read more about the Media and Civic Participation for Transparency and Accountability Project of Internews Network and Kloop.kg: http://internews.kg/?p=7177.

For more information about the IWPR project on development of journalistic investigations: http://cabar.asia/ru/main-ru/23-ru-ru/events/events-kg-ru/146-iwpr-v-kyrgyzstane-pristupaet-k-realizatsii-trekhgodichnogo-proekta.

Internews is an international non-profit media development organization whose mission is to empower local media worldwide to give people the news and information they need, the ability to connect and the means to make their voices heard. Formed in 1982, Internews has worked in more than 90 countries, and currently has offices in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and North America.

The Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR)is a British non-profit media organization, covering the situation and supporting local media in crisis regions around the world. In Kyrgyzstan, the IWPR has been working since 1999.

The Kloop Media Foundation was first established in Kyrgyzstan in 2008 with the purpose of creating high-quality, inspirational and universally-accessible educational opportunities for the brightest youth in the Kyrgyz Republic of Central Asia.