The IWPR has completed a series of trainings “International standards of journalism: coverage of human rights issues”, held in Bishkek, Osh and Karakol.
Beginners and experienced journalists have learned the basis of international standards of journalism and their application while working on human rights issues.
The trainings were organized by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) in the framework of the project ” Creating a culture of investigative journalism for furthering democratic reform: Linking human rights organisations, government and media”, supported by the EU and the Government of Norway.
Bureau of Investigative Journalism of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting in Kyrgyzstan (IWPR) invites journalists and representatives of human rights organizations in Kyrgyzstan to take part in the five-day training “Investigative Journalism”.
In addition to teaching the principles of international standards of journalism, training participants also learned the basics of human rights system: what a human rights violation is, which local and international laws point to it, why we should pay attention to the violation of human rights and highlight these issues, how to properly approach when working on such materials, not to take someone else’s position, as well as to raise large-scale problems related to the protection of human rights using the example of several people.
In addition to the theoretical material, participants learned the information on modeling exercises and during the work on materials. At the end of the first day, all participants were allocated into groups and determined the theme of a collective journalistic product that they were working on during the second day of sessions.
After completion of the practical part, the groups presented their work to the audience. Then they, along with their coach, identified strengths and weaknesses of the material, approach to work, incomprehensible situations, mistakes and acquired experience – all this will be further taken into account by reporters while collecting materials and writing articles in real life.
The IWPR seminars on international standards of journalism with emphasis on human rights in total were attended by about 50 reporters. In Osh, the reporters were from Batken, Jalal-Abad and Osh oblasts; in Karakol, there were reporters from the Issyk-Kul and Naryn oblasts, and in Bishkek – from Talas, Chui oblasts and the capital city.
Those three training sessions were aimed at improving the quality of journalists and their materials in covering human rights issues.
“We hope that in this way, we will give impetus to human rights journalism, – believes the director of IWPR in Kyrgyzstan Abakhon Sultonnazarov. – Everyone has heard of human rights and human rights activists, but the quality and efficiency of the work of the non-governmental sector and journalists in terms of serving the needs of society, protection of its interests and restoration of justice leaves much to be desired. One of the problems is the wrong approach in covering human rights issues or the omission of such topics at all”.
Journalists from such media as the NTS, “Yntymak”, regional TV stations, Radio “Azattyk”, representatives of community radio, news agency AKIpress, IA VB.kg, IA “Ozadagon” and newspapers participated in the IWPR trainings «International standards of journalism: coverage of human rights”.
Representatives of the media do not believe that human rights issues are not given enough attention, but agree that there is no systematic approach to the work in this area and more penetrating publications that would have an impact on the solution of the problem.
At the same time, there is still a question of internal censorship, which is especially strong among journalists in the regions, where the mainstream media are controlled by public officials, or close to their circle of people.
“Journalists should not be afraid to cover human rights issues, – said a local journalist, head of the NGO “House of Journalists “Nurgul Sharshembieva. – When people talk about the themes of human rights violations, we think that it must be something serious or large-scale, but it turns out, if you thoroughly understand, that violations happen everywhere, and we must tell about them to the authorities to improve their work in the community”.
Abdumomun Mamaraimov, editor of the portal VOF.kg, which specializes in the publication of articles on human rights issues, was the trainer. He is an IWPR partner in this project.
The Institute for War and Peace has worked in Kyrgyzstan since 1999, and one of its areas of work is focused on human rights issues, as the most important and sensitive issues that require more careful lighting. In addition to the trainings, the IWPR develops journalistic materials on political-social and socio-economic issues, produces radio programs, and beginning with the end of 2014, the IWPR publishes expert analytical materials on website www.cabar.asia