2021 Central Asian Journalism Virtual Institute Launch
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2021 Central Asian Journalism Virtual Institute Launch

April 2, 2021

On Monday, March 29, Meridian International Center and American University of Central Asia launched the first Central Asian Journalism Virtual Institute, funded by the U.S. Department State. Young journalists representing Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan will participate in a month-long virtual training program on topics including media literacy, data journalism, and digital storytelling. As travel restrictions continue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this innovative virtual program connects young journalists across borders through live sessions and online teamwork.

Opening the event, the U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic Donald Lu stated, “I believe the people of Central Asia value investigative journalism and freedom of the media. Central Asia faces tremendous challenges to democracy, almost on a daily basis, and it’s independent journalism, together with civil society, that defends democracy against those who wish to establish dictatorships. It’s all of you who give me hope in the future of that democracy.”

The Central Asian Journalism Virtual Institute provides early-career journalists and journalism students with the skills they need to launch successful careers in journalism and media. The Virtual Institute will provide an interactive curriculum to develop participants’ skills in areas such as data journalism, digital media, social media, podcasting, and storytelling. The program will also strengthen participants’ knowledge of ethics in journalism, source verification, and disinformation. The Virtual Institute is open to participants from across Central Asia and aims to develop a cross-regional network of Central Asian independent journalists and media organizations.

American University of Central Asia will host the inaugural Central Asian Journalism Virtual Institute online from March 29 to April 23, 2021. The Central Asian Journalism Virtual Institute is part of the Central Asia Media Exchange Program (CAMEX)funded by the U.S. Department of State and implemented by Meridian International Center.

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