The Bureau for Investigative Journalism of the IWPR has taught the technologies of investigative journalism to 30 journalists from the southern region and from Issyk-Kul and Naryn oblasts.
During five days, the participants of the two workshops learned information about all aspects of investigative journalism: preparation and planning, data collection methods, the use of open sources, search of data about institutions and persons, open and covert surveillance. The first workshop for journalists from Osh, Jalal-Abad and Batken oblasts took place in Osh, and the second workshop for media workers from the Issyk-Kul and Naryn oblasts was held in Issyk-Kul.
The journalists solidified their knowledge of the following technologies during practical classes: information, expert, confrontational and general interview, as well as the use of multimedia tools for content creation in the investigation (infographics, longreads and other visual tools).
In addition, there were joint sessions with lawyers on the protection of sources, legal and non-legal risk, how to obtain information and documents from government agencies, on the rights and responsibilities of journalists and government officials.
A separate section was about the verification of the facts and reliability of the information when conducting and publishing the investigation.
The trainer was Oleg Khomenok, a Ukrainian investigative journalist who is coordinating a project of supporting investigative journalism in Ukraine. Legal aspects of journalistic investigations were discussed with the support from lawyers of the Institute for Media Policy – a partner of the IWPR within this project.
WHY INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM
“Today, people need not just news information. Sooner or later, people begin to think about where the money which they pay in taxes goes, how effectively the people they hired (the higher authorities) manage this money, and thus they need media coverage of this, they need the answers to the questions which only the media can give. Investigative journalists can fill this niche in the audience needs, – said Oleg Khomenok. – So I think that investigations [in Kyrgyzstan] will develop in any case. The question is how fast and how efficiently it will happen”.
The interview with Oleg Khomenok in more detail here (http://www.cabar.asia/kyrgyzstan/290-oleg-khomenok-zhurnalistskie-rassledovaniya-vospityvayut-u-vlasti-kulturu-podotchetnosti)
The two training sessions were attended by a total of 30 people, who, during the first training in Osh, represented the leading media in the region, such as: ElTR, “Yntymak”, Jalal-Abad and Batken oblast PublicTV, CA-News.org, K-news.
In Issyk-Kul, journalists represented Naryn oblast PublicTV, IA “Tүushtүuk”, “Turmush”, local newspapers, as well as human rights activists – the Office of the Ombudsman for Naryn, NGO “Ventus”, Reproductive Health Alliance, and others.
The Bureau for Investigative Journalism believes that the mutually beneficial cooperation will help them to quickly achieve the desired results (for details on a series of trainings on communications for journalists and NGOs, see: http://cabar.asia/main-ru/23-ru-ru/events/events-kg-ru/213-iwpr-vo-vsekh-regionakh-kyrgyzstana-provel-treningi-po-kommunikatsiyam-dlya-zhurnalistov-i-pravozashchitnikov)
Journalists noted the need to improve the quality of Kyrgyz journalism, which is currently represented by news and a small portion of analytics.
“For the sake of collective interests of a community, we need to develop the genre of investigative journalism, because not all government bodies are working honestly and transparently, actively using corrupt schemes. All these negative phenomena must be revealed, publicized and addressed”, said Anara Adylbek kyzy, a journalist of Naryn oblast TRC.
“It is necessary to organize more such trainings. I want to note the system of work: it is very correct that the Bureau is not just conducting training and says goodbye to the journalists, but it keeps in touch with them, supports and develops their desire to engage in investigative journalism”, she added.
The journalists also said they were inspired by the work of Ukrainian and Western counterparts, whose investigative materials were shown during the training: a material on the seizure of public territories by the former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich, on the corruption schemes of Yalta administration in tenders for the construction works and others.
“What was important for me is that the trainer explained the information very carefully, provided step by step instructions when working on the investigation: where to start, how to organize information, and how to act in certain situations. The servers and other resource portals, websites and communities for self-development that have been demonstrated to us are also important as they can help us in the work on financial fraud “, said Gulzat Gazieva, the editor of the Osh office of ElTR.
At the end of the training, the journalists presented their own topics and plan of investigations, which they would be engaged during the next two months. It was a prerequisite for participation in the training. At all stages of the investigations, the Bureau for Investigative Journalism of the IWPR will provide editorial and legal support. Subsequent journalistic investigations will be paid by the Bureau for Investigative Journalism.
Also, the journalists received professional literature on investigative journalism – “Investigation based on history” whose authors are experienced Western investigators. IWPR Representative Office in the Kyrgyz Republic has received permission to print this manual in Russian and also translated it into Kyrgyz language. Those interested can obtain this manual at the IWPR office.
OPPORTUNITIES AFTER TRAINING
The Bureau for Investigative Journalism is a project of the IWPR for the development of this genre in Kyrgyzstan, within which there will be a series of trainings for journalists from all regions, specialized literature will be issued, mentoring, legal and financial assistance will be provided to Kyrgyz investigative journalists.
The Bureau for Investigative Journalism, which was created under the Representative Office the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) in Kyrgyzstan and supported by the project “Creating a Culture of Investigative Journalism for Furthering Democratic Reform – Linking Human Rights Organizations, Government Officials and the Media” which is supported by the European Union and the Government of Norway.
Read more about the project of investigative journalism: http://cabar.asia/main-ru/23-ru-ru/events/events-kg-ru/146-iwpr-v-kyrgyzstane-pristupaet-k-realizatsii-trekhgodichnogo-proekta
Further, the Bureau for Investigative Journalism of the IWPR will actively work with the participants of the training, helping them in their investigations. The Office is open for cooperation with journalists who did not participate in the training, but have the desire to move in this direction.
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About the organization: The Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) is a British media organization, which provides support to journalists in crisis regions, developing and strengthening independent and quality journalism and reporting on the situation in these regions. It publishes analytical materials on the website www.iwpr.net. In Kyrgyzstan, the IWPR Representative office has been working since 1999.