On 18 August, 13 participants of the “Central Asian Summer School of Contemporary Journalism” were awarded certificates for the successful completion of this three-week long training. Within this time the young journalists were introduced in-depth into the characteristic features of TV based journalism with a focus on particular topics relevant to Central Asia. Traditionally this School is a joint programme of the OSCE Academy in Bishkek and the Deutsche Welle Akademie in Bonn and has been realized since 2010. The main aim of the School is to enhance the capacity and the qualification of young journalists from Central Asia. The curriculum of the course was designed jointly by experts from the OSCE Academy and the Deutsche Welle Akademie and it aims at enhancing theoretical knowledge and practical skills.
The participating young professionals were trained in the ethics of journalism, in online based research and in the specific topic of ethnic conflict reporting. In addition to the theoretical knowledge, participants of the journalism school had a chance to apply the newly acquired skills in practice. During these three weeks, they worked on their own video material that is available here: http://akademie.dw.com/zaschool2017/.
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the team of international and local trainers, who shared their knowledge, ideas and their experience with our participants: Margarita Kalz-Mihajlova, Stephan Hille, Aibek Dzhangaziev, Emilbek Sadyrov, and Andreas Maus. Also, the school would not have been possible without the continuous and invaluable support of our long-term partner Deutsche Welle.
The reflection from one of the participants Farangez Shozedova (Tajikistan) highlights the value of the School for the region:
-I've been working for TV for 7 years. During this period, the opportunities for us – young journalists –have always been restricted in some way or another. Introducing something new was overwhelmingly difficult. In this regard, when I found the advertisement on the website, I decided to apply to learn something fresh.
After I got accepted, I was hoping that there would be more practical exercises than theory during the training. To my great happiness, the reality surpassed my expectations. During the first days already, we were given cameras. What I enjoyed the most was the fact that we had the opportunity to choose topics for our own stories.
The summer school taught each of us to work in teams. At first, it was difficult to get used to it, because everyone saw the story differently, but thanks to our wonderful coaches we overcame all difficulties. On the very last day, while watching our final works, we saw a big difference between the first work and the final one. Not only were the participants happy about this progress, but also our coaches. They could see the results of their efforts.
I have to say that the participation in this school brought me to a completely new professional level. It was a valuable experience and a good school that allowed me to enhance my knowledge in the field of television journalism. I realized that I really like to cover social problems, it's mine and I'm doing very well. Upon return to Tajikistan, I want to apply all the knowledge that I have gained. I hope that I will succeed. Thanks to all the coaches and the Academy for this invaluable experience.
We also talked to one of the DW trainers, Andreas Maus to learn more on the process.
-What was the main focus during this course?
-We basically focused on two subjects:
- progress: after the training, each participant should be able to make a television story (primarily a reportage) independently, meaning working on research topics, transforming it into a specific story, technical and camera skills, editing and presenting the finished product.
- curiosity: we aimed to teach them how to look for "news." Make a television story that shows an open and critical view of social problems in Bishkek and Kyrgyzstan.
-What can you say about the participants of the 2017 School?
The level of knowledge was very good, and the results are amazing. At first, they did not even know what "Storytelling" was, what kind of drama is needed for reporting and how to work with the camera, how to edit. But within three weeks their progress was wonderful. By the end of the course, all groups made their full TV stories.
-Would you like to wish something to our graduates?
Well, I just wish that the knowledge acquired here will be used in their professional lives. After all, what we have taught will open some prospects for independent journalism.
We congratulate our participants on achieving this milestone in their journalism training and careers and wish them all the best in their future endeavors! We hope to hear their names more in the coming years! Safe trips back home and looking forward to new gatherings!