Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

CABAR.asia Holds Reunion Workshop

Analysts and journalists discuss regional prospects for the coming year.
By IWPR Central Asia

Young Central Asian alumni of this year’s CABAR.asia summer school met up again for a three-day workshop to discuss new challenges and trends in the region.

The analysts and journalists, from Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, convened in Bishkek for an event supported by the MFA of Norway and the British Embassy.

Participants spent the first day discussing potential trends relevant to their countries in 2019, which was followed by sessions on writing and fact-checking.

The second day was dedicated to influence political and managerial decision-making processes, with speakers from all four countries giving their own perspective.

An additional meeting was held on hydropower engineering issues in Central Asia, a key issue for many of the states.

Sherali Rizoev, an analyst from the Centre for Strategic Studies of the president of Tajikistan, told the participants about the launch of the key Rogun Dam project, while political analyst Zhavlon Boimat explained why Uzbekistan has changed its position regarding construction.

Farkhod Mirzabaev, an analytic journalist from Tashkent, said that he had learned a great deal.

“First, how to structure an article, which has motivated me to write new articles and cooperate with CABAR.asia. The sessions featured have been very interesting, too, especially the ones dedicated to hydropower projects in Central Asia with the participation of key experts.”

The final day was dedicated to practical and online skills for journalists and experts alike. Sessions included data visualisation and infographics.

Amangeldi Dzhumabaev, a Bishkek-based researcher, said that this had been particularly relevant, adding, “I think data visualisation will be useful for writing articles.”

Media trainer Farishtamokh Gulova also held a session on verification.

“If you, as journalists or activists, understand it’s fake news and its purpose is to get likes and clicks, you can use this,” Gulova told participants. “There are certain rules of fact-checking. First, find the original source. If you cannot find it, you should find at least a few independent sources who can confirm the information.”

“The programme has been useful for all the participants,” said Asel Sooronbaeva, an alumna from Bishkek. “Bringing young journalists and analysts together in one place has provided an opportunity not only to share experiences, but also get to know each other better.”

“I like that the summer project is continuing to grow,” agreed Khadisha Akayeva from Semei in Kazakstan. “The feedback was very useful to me; discussing journalistic errors and getting advices on how to progress our work. This is ga ood motivation. I also would like to note that it was a perfect decision to bring journalists and experts together – it will let us write deeper and better thought-out material.”

This publication was prepared under the "Giving Voice, Driving Change - from the Borderland to the Steppes Project" implemented with the financial support of the Foreign Ministry of Norway.