Media for improved reporting on environment and natural resources in Central Asia

Media for improved reporting on environment and natural resources in Central Asia

Protecting the environment in Central Asia through innovative reporting, inspiring new initiatives, and strong collaborations

The training of trainers on professional reporting on environment and natural resources with the use of multimedia enriched my experience as a media trainer and my knowledge in the field of environment. I also gained new skills for working with multimedia tools and services. After the training I developed my personal training module on reporting on environment and natural resources.

Chinara Sydykova, journalist, media trainer and director of "Rentgen Media" Public Foundation

CONTEXT

The project’s goals are to improve communication and collaboration between Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and media professionals from Central Asian countries through regional exchange reporting trips, thematic educational events on the environment and natural resources, and professional networking events. Working together with local CSOs and media companies, the project will develop and deploy sustainable interactive tools and platforms including data visualizations, mapping, and ways to improve civic engagement with environmental protections.

OBJECTIVES

  • To develop the technical and editorial capacity of local and national media professionals to produce quality and conflict-sensitive information on natural resources.
  • To foster collaborative regional approaches on information and communication, sharing and dissemination of cross-border content.
  • To develop and deploy sustainable tools and platforms for locally led cross-border collaboration and on-going media production.

RESULTS

  • In a regional assessment on access and quality of information on environmental issues in Central Asia carried out by SIAR in September 2016, only 3% of the total content analysed was related to environmental and natural resources.
  • In the same study, information reported by media outlets on environmental issues was not identified as actionable. The observed media content also included little input from the general public; there was a lack of personal stories in most of them.
  • Lack of inclusion of women as characters, experts and interviewees at analysed content was identified as another weak point in regional media.

FACTS AND FIGURES

  • A Geojournalism platform was set up with 28 465 unique visitors (Sep 2016–Jan 2017)
  • As of January 2017, 61 media pieces on natural resources are available on the Geo journalism platform
  • 106 people have attended 3 joint CSO/Media workshops on reporting on conflict-sensitive issues, especially natural resources.

TESTIMONY

A TV report on strengthening river banks in southern Kyrgyzstan prompted state bodies to provide previously allocated funds to begin environmental protection work

An episode of the TV programme “Eco Plus”, produced by the Koroz production studio, described the need to strengthen the river banks of the Kozho-Ashkan River, located within the Kyrgyz Republic-Uzbekistan border region. The government had already allocated approximatly 7 million Kyrgyz soms (approx. 96,000 EUR) of construction to straighten the Kozho-Ashkan river banks, but for unknown reasons the funds were not transferred to the local department of the Ministry of Emergency in Batken region on time, delaying construction.

After the TV programme was aired, the local department received the allocated funds and resumed construction. The local ministry representatives greatly thanked the TV crew for publicizing the issue.