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Professional reporting on countering violent extremism discussed at OSCE-supported training course in Kyrgyzstan

Some 30 competitively-selected Kyrgyz journalists from Batken, Bishkek, Jalal-Abad and Osh, cities completed a four–day training course in Issyk-Kul region on Sunday on media reporting on violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism (VERLT).

The training course, held in Sary-Oi village, was organized by the OSCE Centre in Bishkek, the Media Policy Institute, and the Kyrgyz State Committee of National Security, with the aim of enhancing journalists’ professional capacities in credibly and critically reporting on the nature and consequences of terrorism. They also reviewed the legal and ethical frameworks for journalists in relation to reporting on VERLT.

“In line with the OSCE’s comprehensive approach to security, the workshop responds to the increasing demand for a better understanding and discussion about the various and inter-related roles of media in the context of counter-terrorism policies and freedom of the media,” said Maciej Dachowski, Head of the Politico-Military Dimension at the OSCE Centre in Bishkek. The event is part of the OSCE Centre’s project on promoting national dialogue and capacity-building on information security.

Begaim Usenova, Director of the Media Policy Institute, said: “In recent years, professional and timely coverage on issues of counter-extremism in Kyrgyzstan has become relevant. It is extremely important that the legal and ethical questions of journalists in covering terrorist attacks, anti-terrorist operations and armed conflicts, are addressed during the training course.”

Experts from the Russian Federation and the United States led theory-based and practical sessions, while participants also produced a draft media ethical code on covering VERLT issues, which will be discussed further within journalists’ editorial offices.

Separately, Nikolay Pavlov, a producer at the Washington, DC Bureau of Thomson Reuters Video News, today delivered a lecture at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek for students of various Kyrgyz universities on the interaction between journalists and authorities, and highlighted examples of countering extremist propaganda.

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