Kyrgyzstan to host OSCE Central Asia Media Conference


BISHKEK (TCA) — The 21st annual OSCE Central Asia Media Conference, focusing on media freedom and pluralism in times of digital transformation, will be held in Bishkek on 17-18 July.

During the two-day event, over 100 participants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia, representing the public authorities, media, journalists’ associations, civil society and academia, as well as several international experts will discuss a wide range of issues under the broad topic of possibilities and challenges arising in the context of new media technologies. This will include conditions for establishing an open and secure internet nationally and throughout the OSCE region, media for minorities and self-regulation. Participants will also discuss the most recent media freedom developments across the region.

The conference will be opened by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, together with the Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek, Ambassador Pierre von Arx, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, Chingiz Aidarbekov and the Minister of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic, Azamat Zhamankulov.

The main sessions, on the impact of digital development on media pluralism and online regulation, will be complemented by two workings groups that will focus on minority media in Central Asia, in particular on tackling the problem of hate speech and on self-regulation for online media as a tool for the promotion of ethical standards in the digital environment. Furthermore, the conference will include two side-events, in which participants will discuss the latest regional trends in the freedom of the media and the Charter of Rome project concerning reporting on immigration and asylum-seekers.

Sergey Kwan