Industrial Forum Media Toptoo: Development Perspectives was Held in Bishkek

The forum has become an open professional platform for the sharing the best practices with colleagues and searching the new forms of cooperation.

Toptoo is an amazing Kyrgyz word that means a gathering or a meeting. And our Media Toptoo forum is a meeting of like-minded people who desire to develop high-quality, independent and modern media in Kyrgyzstan”, Elina Karakulova, the forum organizer and Country Director for Internews in Kyrgyzstan said.

According to Karakulova, the organizers tried their best to make the forum’s agenda interesting primarily for the local media market. She stressed that within 20 years Internews has trained several generations of good journalists, editors, cameramen, media managers and producers in the Kyrgyz Republic. Many of them attended the forum. These are the professionals who graduated from the Internews’ school of journalism. Many of them have become strong media managers heading the country’s leading media outlets.

“Someone shifted to politics. We are sorry that the profession is losing its staff but we take pride in the fact that they are growing in another area and help us protect and develop the media outlets. We have done a lot of great things together within 20 years, and there are even more interesting horizons ahead”, Karakulova noted.

Kimberly Rosen, the USAID’s Mission Director in Kyrgyzstan said the U.S. Agency for International Development is proud to support the Industrial forum as an important event within the framework of Media-K project.

“We support this forum because we want to help Kyrgyzstani media outlets improve their business practices, so they become financially sustainable and stronger participants in the democratic system”, Kimberly Rosen said.

The first day of the forum included the Media in Raging World panel discussion where such well-known international media experts as Michelle J. Foster, international media management and marketing consultant (USA), Ivan Kolpakov, Chief editor of Meduza (Latvia – Russia), Andrey Taranov, co-founder of KWENDI expert group (Ukraine), Vsevolod Pulya, media consultant and co-founder of Media Toolbox (Russia) took part along with Dinara Suimalieva, Director of national branch of “MIR” TV & Radio Company and Dina Maslova, founder of Kaktus.Media (Kyrgyzstan).

During the discussion, the participants tried to answer the questions like: What models of marketing strategies will allow the media to stay on the market and earn money? What the small regional outlets have to do and how thay could survive while there is a massive influence of the information monsters like GOOGLE and Facebook?

Andrey Taranov, KWENDI – Ukraine and Ivan Kolpakov, Meduza – Latvia – Russia tried answer these questions during a joint presentation “How to Create and Save Your Media Brand”.

Andrey Taranov told about the experience of the “1+1” Ukrainian TV channel, which managed to revise their brand returning the desired audience in a short time. The channel collected the best TV shows in a single expectation and, most importantly, brought emotions back into the relationship with the audience.

Kolpakov noted that it is necessary to build not just a website, but your own brand, and there is a great idea behind every successful media resource. It is should be an outlet with a recognizable and unique face, offering the audience their view of the world, learning how to work on different platforms.

The findings of the advertising market researches in the Kyrgyzstan were presented during the first day of the forum noting also the digital advertising opportunities tied to the growth of mobile devices usage. Discussion about the tools of television audience measurement (people meters) was of particular interest within the audience.

Equally productive was the second day of the forum that started with Vsevolod Pulya’s What is Happening with Media Right Now presentation.Pulya said that it is a hard work to keep reader’s attention, who gets information flow from a smartphone feed competing with messages from friends and posts on FB about cats or etc.

He stressed on a value of journalists who can tell human stories, about the importance of humanitaries to resist the dominance of bots, the importance of incorporating ethics to the artificial intelligence algorithms. At the master class he spoke about the importance for media of short videos, banners, native advertising, using tools and platforms for e-Commerce.

The greatest interest among participants raised the speech of Ivan Kolpakov, the editor-in-chief of “Medusa”, who revealed the secrets of fast and successful promotion the popular media outlet.

The site Meduza had 19 million unique monthly visitors in March 2018 becoming more popular than Russian Kolpakov also spoke about the need to be presented on various platforms.

Several experts from Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan made their speeches at the forum: Anastasiya Valeeva, journalist, media trainer with Altynai Mambetova, “School of data Kyrgyzstan”, Rinat Tukhvatshin, co-founder of, Dariya Ermakova, Marketing-director IMS (Kazakhstan) Marina Kadyralieva, Association “Industrial media committee” (Kyrgyzstan), Valeriy Mashtakov, IMS (Kazakhstan), Aibek Kurenkeyev, Expert on Digital (Kyrgyzstan) and others.

Internews also hosted #STREMLENIE – Media Awards, a prize for significant achievements in TV and online content, innovations in media, advertising and journalism.

See all the forum speakers presentations.

More Photos and videos from the forum are on the Internews in Kyrgyzstan Facebook page.

Internews held the media toptoo forum  as a part of project Cultivating Media Independence Initiative” known as Media-K, focuses on the development of independent media in Kyrgyzstan, in partnership with FHI360, that is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The key partners include the OSCE Programme office in Bishkek, IDEM, the Association “Industrial Media Committee”, School data of Kyrgyzstan, Beeline company, and “Ayu” holding.