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Media and Internet

Call for applications: School of Peacemaking and Media Technologies in Bishkek
Written by , Friday, 7 Jun, 2013 – 23:21 | No Comment

School of Peacemaking and Media Technologies on the basis of the “Network of Social Mediators” Public Foundation is happy to announce a competition for the new Camp for Media Innovations among the officially registered print media and online media outlets of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The project is financed by the Media Support Program of Soros Foundation – Kyrgyzstan and the National Endowment for Democracy and aims at strengthening overall potential of the local media by teaching for contemporary tools of creating content and technical modernization. During six days 20 selected participants will undergo the training on creating and distributing multimedia content, promoting the product online and writing unbiased articles for a poly-ethnic audience and media management. They will also be given an opportunity to participate in the competition for technical assistance, which is necessary for the effective work of their editorial offices.

The training will be conducted by media experts from Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The location is Bishkek, in July, 23-30 of 2013. All expenses will be covered by the party organizing the event. To
participate, it will be necessary to send an up-to-date CV/Resume, motivation letter and the filled out application form to the email address peacemakingschool@gmail.com. The application form can be downloaded from our website www.ca-mediators.net (section titled “Camp for Media Innovations”) or requested through our email.

Documents will be accepted both in Russian and Kyrgyz. Deadline for applications is July 1, 2013 not later than 18:00 pm. Only full package of documentation will be considered eligible.

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When will Metro 2033 come to Almaty or Tashkent, or for that matter, New York?
Written by , Tuesday, 14 May, 2013 – 18:57 | 2 Comments

Around this time three years ago, I posted about the video game “Metro 2033″, based on the novel by Russian journalist Dmitry Glukhovsky. The sequel (“Last Light”) has just been released, thus prompting this post. The setting of the series is an underground society founded by survivors of a nuclear war that was waged in 2013 (yikes!). They scrape by in the Moscow subway system, which has transformed into an almost Biblical sheol. NewEurasia’s snobbish managing editor Sanjar says, “it’s no War and Peace”. Sure, sure. But speaking as a person who’s probably imbibed way too much post-apocalyptic fiction since childhood, Glukhovsky and his compatriots at 4A Games have made one of the more engrossing scenarios in the genre. The series mixes mysticism, science fiction, and politics in an unusual way. It’s also nice to see some Eurasian sensibilities injected into Western popular culture; we’ve been surely lacking it since the Seventies.

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17th annual TÜRKSAV World Service Awards are coming up
Written by , Wednesday, 1 May, 2013 – 1:00 | No Comment

The Turkish World Writers and Artists Association (TÜRKSAV) shall be having its 17th annual “World Service Awards” at the end of this month. Twelve people, institutions and organizations from shall countries will be awarded in a ceremony held within the context of “Turkish Day” in the USA.

Click “read more” to see the winners and get contact information for the event.

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Voice of Internet
Written by , Friday, 19 Apr, 2013 – 7:51 | No Comment

Citizen Journalism among internet users of Kyrgyzstan became more and more popular. There are a lot of internet space and platforms, which journalists use as a new tool. News spreading becomes universal and fast. Politicians and officials started use internet tool as informational source for journalists and society.

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Protected: An injection of Dr. Habermas’ medicine on the Turkmenet?
Written by , Monday, 18 Mar, 2013 – 12:27 | Enter your password to view comments.

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You’re welcome in Turkmenistan, Prof. Habermas
Written by , Thursday, 14 Mar, 2013 – 16:08 | One Comment

NewEurasia’s Annasoltan has become somewhat well-known in media studies because of her work on Turkmenistan’s mediascape. I’ve been reading some of the things she’s written, like “State of Ambivalence: Turkmenistan in the Digital Age” (which I think ended up being cited by Freedom House) and her really cyberutopian (but very inspiring) post “OtherTube, PseudoBook, and the fate of the world in Turkmenistan”. The Americans always say they want to add their “two cents” to an issue; I want to add my two teňňesi.

It is my belief that, of all the factors which contribute to the development of a country, media is the most important because of its far-reaching impact on society. Specifically, development is aided by a media which is committed to the truth, honest about its subjectivity, advocates on behalf of the public, and supports society’s cultural and scientific advancement. Any media which makes government approval its priority or is closed to the public fails to satisfy these needs. That is because independent, private media and democracy move along parallel tracks.

There’s a German philosopher named Jürgen Habermas who has written about the emergence of the public sphere in the West, which became the basis for democracy and which was fostered by media. In brief, history seems to suggest that countries with developed private media outlets tend to be more democratic than countries without sufficient private media. Public government-owned media, on the other hand, typically shrouds its message in an unfair bias for government agendas. As one reviewer puts it,

“[Cf.] Habermas’s 1963 book, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, [in which he] examined the rise of public opinion and print culture in the eighteenth century. Habermas recognized that the explosion of the print industry—newspapers, pamphlets, and books—began to exert a powerful influence on political life separate from the traditional ruling agency exerted by the king, the aristocracy, and the parliament. For Habermas, it was not simply the growth of publishing that created the public sphere—it was the simultaneous dawn of a kind of consciousness that the public could be systematically addressed through a pamphlet as if a group of strangers were gathered together in a giant auditorium. Habermas saw this imaginary ‘public sphere’ as a potential democratic utopia where individuals could discuss national issues and come to common consent in public.”

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Pinning impressions of Central Asia, one image-sharing pinboard at a time
Written by , Monday, 28 Jan, 2013 – 8:45 | One Comment

Interested in Central Asia and engaged in social media? Not from the region but fascinated by what it has to offer and wanting to find out through images on the web? Then there might be e website out there just for you…

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Turkmenistan granted freedom to mass media
Written by , Monday, 7 Jan, 2013 – 13:58 | 5 Comments

The first ever law regulating the mass media in Turkmenistan, started to work from 3 January. The corresponding decree, as reported TURKMENinform, was signed by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The new law provides citizens of the republic free access to foreign media, prohibits censorship and will defend journalists against pressing by government officials.

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С Новым Годом! (Goodbye and good riddance to 2012!)
Written by , Monday, 31 Dec, 2012 – 12:15 | No Comment

Speaking frankly, I’m not just glad 2012′s over, I’m relieved. Wow, what a tough year it’s been for NewEurasia, both in front and behind the computer screen. I guess you can say we went through our own private little Mayan apocalypse, although it happened well before 21 December. But I’m happy to report that we appear to have pulled through, and with a new team to boot!

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This just in from the Village Women’s Newswire: US Dollar shall collapse!
Written by , Monday, 10 Dec, 2012 – 1:00 | 2 Comments

Editor’s Note: The rumor mill that Turkmenistanis depend upon for information, but which they also insightfully nickname the “Village Women’s Newswire” appears, to be going digital. NewEurasia’s Magtymguly Pyragy reports on a recent online scare, and provides translations of the speculations of Turkmenitzens trying to grapple with a terrifying — but at the moment unfounded — monetary apocalypse.

In Turkmenistan people do not get their news from official media. The most effective communication is word of mouth. It is being referred to as the “Aunts’” or “Village Women’s Newswire” (in Turkmen: dayzalar, “aunts”; obanyn ayallary, “village women”), i.e., the rumors or gossip spread by housewives and the like that is often believed to be reliable even if there is no reason to believe that. Indeed, some believe that some “reports” on this “Newswire” are being deliberately leaked by government officials, either to test the reaction of the population or to make people get used to something that is imminent, such as price hikes. Typically as with rumors, such “reports” have in some cases actually proven to be true, which is why it is hard to tell people to stop depending on this method of information. Worst of all, these “reports” can spread like wildfire, because information conditions in Turkmenistan are so terrible and boredom is so much that it is almost like infotainment.

One recent case has made rounds made Turkmenistan’s people to panickedly change their dollars for Turkmen manats: a post on the Facebook group of the new site SalamTurkmen about the imminent collapse of the US dollar, specifically in January 2013. Currently, 1 dollar stands at 2.84 manats, but if the rumors are true, it shall fall to 1.6 manats. The SalamTurkmen post has unleashed wild speculations from users, highlights of which that I think reveal a lot of Turkmen mindset at the moment I translate here:

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