Kyrgyz youth media network Kloop a success

A key role of media in countries recovering from conflict is to provide balanced news to help bridge the divide between opposing population groups. In Kyrgyzstan, Kloop Media Foundation, a youth network of bloggers and web-journalists, is doing just this

Kloop’s young team in their early twenties based in Bishkek, produce news in Russian, Kyrgyz and Uzbek which is broadcast online and through local, national and regional radio stations in both the north and south of the country. The offer of news in three languages online on and on radio is key to reaching a broad audience. The news pieces also fill the information vacuum that arose in the southern part of the country following the clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in 2010 where many Uzbek civilians and journalists were forced to flee.

In June and July 2012 alone, with support from International Media Support (IMS), KLOOP Media produced 51 news releases in Russian and Kyrgyz and 16 in Uzbek.

News items included an announcement that Kyrgyzstan again had postponed sending humanitarian aid to ethnic Kyrgyz living in Afghanistan because the Afghan-Tajik border has been closed since recent events in Tajikistan; another story dealt with human rights activists who were collecting signatures against a government initiative to cut pensions and concerns about pollution caused by a Chinese factory in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Kloop Media School

In addition to being a news outlet, is a web portal and a media school in Bishkek that provides both training and a platform for young journalists to publish their work. According to Kloop’s founder, Bektour Iskender, Kloop also offers a vital portal for citizen journalists to give their own view of the country and society in a region like Central Asia, where the old state media still dominates the media landscape.

Over the summer, Kloop Media School has been busy providing summer school training on radio journalism for new journalists, also discussing standards of radio journalism. The training has been such as success that it in some instances has led to its students being hired by local radio stations, the latest being a new radio station call “Yntymak”, operating in Southern Kyrgyzstan, which has recruited three graduates. However, the summer for Kloop was not without its hiccups. An attack on Kloop’s website in July led the site to crash and restoration is still in progress.

Read more about Kloop Media here.