Media Toptoo 2019 Emerges as Kyrgyzstan’s Biggest Media Event

More than 500 people, including speakers and participants from nine different countries, came together at the end of April in the Kyrgyz Republic to participate in the second Media Toptoo Industrial Forum, an event focused on market trends in the media sphere.

The event was hosted by Internews through the USAID-funded Media-K project, which aims to strengthen the professionalism and independence of media in the Kyrgyz Republic in order to ensure that citizens have greater access to diverse and balanced information, are less vulnerable to media bias, and are empowered to make better-informed civic decisions that reflect their communities’ priorities to best serve the public interest.

Participants came from the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Malaysia, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, and the Kyrgyz Republic.

The speakers based their presentations and guided discussions on the production of engaging content and high-quality advertisement for improving monetization and generating income. Media producers were able to share skills, knowledge, and ideas for best practices with experienced media managers and journalists about topics such as digital environments and media reality, media preferences of different generations, native and social advertising, multimedia stories creation, and news production for different types of online platforms.

Presenting an overview of Kyrgyzstan’s Media, Internews Country Director Elina Karakulova noted that while there is a lack of high-quality and independent local media in the country, there are positive trends such as a dynamic market, relative freedom, and the prospect for advertising market volume to increase.

A man touches a large computer screen
Using technology to help reduce paper usage at the Media Toptoo Forum. Credit Samat Barataliev/Internews

This year, the Media-K project team used the Mentimeter app to gather feedback (1,768 responses) and present it in an engaging format. The app helped reduce the use of paper at the conference.

In addition to the discussions, there were equipment and software exhibitions provided by seven companies, including Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, TvU, and others.

The forum concluded with the Stremlenie (Aspiration) – 2019 Awards ceremony where twenty-three journalists were honored for their work in seven categories. Recognition was given to colleagues for their commitment to ecology and environmental protection and a young journalist was awarded a special jury prize for “career aspiration and professional growth.”

(Banner photo: Credit Bekzat Zheenbekov/Internews)