President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov will pay an official visit to Iran in the coming days, TASS reports with reference to the IRNA news agency.
This will be a two-day visit, during which it is planned to sign an agreement on strengthening cooperation. Along with the head of state, a government delegation will also arrive in Iran.
The Turkmen leader will visit the neighboring country on the invitation of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. One of the first congratulating Serdar Berdimuhamedov on his election to the highest state post, Raisi in a congratulatory message stressed that Turkmenistan occupies a special place in Iran's relations with neighboring countries.
Earlier it became known that Iran will double the import of Turkmen gas for swap deliveries under the scheme Turkmenistan-Iran-Azerbaijan.
Prime Minister of Georgia Congratulates Media Outlets and Journalists on the World Press Freedom DayTuesday, 03 May 2022 10:18
I wholeheartedly congratulate every media outlet and journalists on the World Press Freedom Day.
Free and independent press based on true values and professionalism is one of the key features defining democracy of any country. Georgian media has gone a long way since regaining independence and endured many challenges, intimidation and pressure.
Provision of an enabling environment for the independent press has been among our prime goals from day one, when our political team came to power. It has been the aim of numerous reforms that we carried out. The Georgian media landscape is nowadays pluralistic and free. Every condition is created for boosting journalism and its further development. Georgia is an undoubted leader of the region by the World Press Freedom Index and it is ahead of a number of EU member states. It is a great merit of the authorities and society, manifesting in a huge gain for the entire country. Our authorities aspire to facilitate a further development of press freedom in the country.
Over and above, I pledge support and wish you every success in your future professional endeavors.
Prime Minister of Georgia
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan reports that Turkmenistan is following with concern the events taking place in recent days in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Based on centuries-old ties of friendship and brotherhood, good neighborly relations and relations of strategic partnership, we are sincerely interested in the soonest normalization of the situation in the country, in the further stable socio-political and socio-economic development of Kazakhstan.
We express a firm belief that such qualities as wisdom, foresight, deep respect for the customs and traditions of the ancestors, tolerance, always inherent in the ancient Kazakh people, will serve as a solid foundation for solving all arising issues in the constitutional and legal framework and in accordance with international norms and rules.
Press Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan
Ambassador Kelly Degnan: The Emergency Operation Center training is just another example of the kind of training that the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency has been doing for years to help build Georgia’s capacity, to counter weapons of mass destruction threats, and other kinds of emergencies in Georgia and the region. The U.S. has been working with different Georgian agencies to help strengthen Georgia’s border security, its emergency response, and its disease surveillance capability to keep Georgians safe. We are very proud to continue this robust relationship between the United States and Georgia in strengthening Georgia’s security and its democratic progress.
US Embassy in Georgia
The Vice Prime Minister/Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Zalkaliani participated in the first "Global Week of Media and Information Literacy" launched by the Communications Commission, based on the UN Resolution of 25 March 2021.
In his speech, the first Georgian diplomat stressed that Georgia is a co-author and main sponsor of the resolution, and that such a resolution was adopted for the first time by the UN General Assembly.
"Being one of the initiators of the resolution, Georgia highlights the importance of combating disinformation and strengthening media literacy, as well as the priority of protecting the media and the freedom of expression," Zalkaliani said.
According to him, the spread of disinformation and misinformation is one of the main challenges facing the world.
"In case of Georgia, the disinformation activities are aimed to disrupt the democratic development of the country, to undermine trust in stateinstitutions and to disrupt Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations "- said the Minister, emphasizing the importance of strengthening media literacy in this regard.
International Webinar by Asian and African Media Diagnosed COVID-19 and Social Change with the Focus of Peacebuilding
On February 13, 2021, an international webinar on “Voice of Peace: Media Perspective on COVID-19 and Social Change” was held to discuss the contents of national responses to political, economic, and social aspects under the heavy influence of the pandemic.
This event was co-hosted by Risingbd of Bangladesh, The DAWN of South Sudan, PTV World of Pakistan, and a UN-affiliated NGO named Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) headquartered in South Korea.
Dr. Javed Ali Kalholo, Senior Producer of PTV World, stated that the globe witnessed disastrous diseases in the new century from swine flu to Eblola before COVID-19. He advocated international cooperation to “fight the existing menace of virus collectively and do share a cognitive approach towards the post-pandemic world.”
Mr. Nabeel Tirmazi, Broadcasting Consultant & Programme Manager of Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD), mentioned that media responsibility in democratic states has grown to “dispel wrong notions, apprehensions and misinformation”, adding to the functions of informing and educating. To cope with the COVID-19 crisis, he suggested capacity building for healthy journalism from international media practitioners with the case of combating disinformation regarding the pandemic with international organizations including WHO and UNESCO.
Mr. Ibnul Qayum Sony, Senior Sub Editor of Risingbd, Actor and Independent Film Director explained that the current phenomena of COVID-19 have mixed results. In the case of Bangladesh, he said that loss of lives and economic downturn from the lockdown coexist with the significant decrease in the level of pollution in rivers of the country resulting in biodiversity.
“South Sudan is the newest country on earth, having gained independence from Sudan in 2011, but a political crisis two years later has left it bleeding,” said Mr. Okech Francis, Deputy Editor in Chief of The Dawn Newspaper. To respond to poor infrastructure, health services, and economic performance in the country and region, he highlighted that knowledge and skills for sustainable future of peace and security need to be provided, rather than handouts.
Mr. Supalak Ganjanakhundee, Bangkok-based Southeast Asia Analyst, Thailand, says that the country is “still struggling to contain the spread of the deadly disease” and the recent student democratic protest, which also “extended to neighbor Myanmar after the military in that country staged a coup in the pre-dawn of 1 February.” He added that the demands from protest are to be taken seriously “to bring genuine democracy, stability and peace to the country.”
Dr. Ian Seo, General Director of HWPL, pointed out that the recent dysfunctional election system in Thailand and South Korea and public dissatisfaction with the current leadership during the pandemic brought uncertainty of democratic system of the two countries. He suggested that giving insights and inspiration to youth is media responsibility and dedication for the future with peaceful societies.
Press-release of the HWPL
“Journalists, as we are, will now work alongside national, regional and international institutions to make peace an important leverage for global balance.”
On July 27th ‘France Peace Media Network’ was launched at the Ibis Porte de Bercy hotel for providing a media platform for active communication among journalists and media persons who have agreed to contribute to the realization of peace journalism. About 20 French citizens and journalists attended in the ceremony and Mr. Makaila N'guebla from la Maison des journalists who proposed the peace media network made the above announcement as a congratulatory speech about establishment of the ‘France Peace Media Network’.
This network has been organized by an international peace NGO called Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) in cooperation with journalists who participated in the last two media forums held in France. Journalists participating in the network will increase the number of regular reports based on ‘peace journalism’, contribute peace contents through a sharing platform for articles and hold regular meetings to discuss ways to implement ‘peace journalism’.
Hamid Chriet, a political commentator of BBC and RT (Russia TV) said, “I do lots of intervention on BBC and RT. It is not easy to talk about Peace in the powerful countries with many interests in it. To make this network goes on we need an online platform that is autonomous and accessible in order to promote Peace. We can develop networking with other nations like gulf countries who are interested in and directly related to the subject of Peace, not just in France.
HWPL the host organization of the establishment of this network is an international registered peace NGO based in the United Nations Department of Global Communications and has consultative status with ECOSOC. With peace and respect for life as fundamental values, HWPL is engaged in a worldwide peace movement through international legislation, peace education projects and providing forums for inter-religious conversation. In particular, peace forums by HWPL have been held 40 times since November 2016 to facilitate peace journalism and peace-related news coverage with 176 journalists from 22 countries.
Internews Ukraine experts have prepared a comprehensive overview of Ukrainian media sphere (https://medialandscapes.org/country/ukraine) for the Media Landscapes project launched by the European Journalism Centre (EJC), in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). We have selected ten key facts from the research.
1. Television is the most popular medium in Ukraine. According to a research by InMind for Internews Network, 77 percent of Ukrainians watch television at least once per month, while 74percent use TV channels as their weekly source of news.
Online media are the second most popular in Ukraine, as 60 percent of Ukrainians visit news websites at least once per month and 57 percent use the Internet as their daily source of news.
Radio is the second least popular medium in Ukraine. Only 26 percent of Ukrainians listen to the radio at least once per month, and 25 percent use it as their daily source of news.
Print media are dragging behind all other media in terms of audience. Only 21 percent of Ukrainians read print media at least once per month - this figure has declined by 10 percent since 2016. Only 16 percent of Ukrainians use print media as their weekly source of news.
2. The landscape of trust across the country heavily reflects the current political and security situation of Ukraine. According to recent polls, 66.7 percent of Ukrainians trust voluntary organisations, 64.4percent trust the Church, and 57.3 percent trust Ukraine's armed forces and other military and paramilitary formations. The level of trust in the media equals 48.3 percent.
TV is the most trusted medium - 56 percent of Ukrainians trust regional TV channels and 61percent trust national TV channels. Online media are almost as trusted as TV: 52 percent of Ukrainians trust in regional news websites, while 58 percent trust in national websites.
Radio is the second least-trusted medium, with 34 percent of Ukrainians trusting national radio stations and 39 percent thinking local radio stations tell the truth. Print media are the least trusted in Ukraine. Only 35 percent of Ukrainians trust regional print outlets, while 33 percent trust the national newspapers.
3. The most popular Ukrainian media have clear links to politicians and political parties, as they belong to oligarchs who are often involved in politics directly or indirectly. These links are the strongest in the TV sphere.
All top TV channels belong to different oligarchs: Ihor Kolomoyskyi controls 1+1, Rinat Akhmetovowns Ukrayina (Ukraine), while STB, ICTV and Novyi Kanal (New Channel) belong to Victor Pinchuk, son-in-law of former Ukraine's President Leonid Kuchma. Inter TV channel is a part of Inter Media Group which belongs to Dmytro Firtash and Serhiy Liovochkin. Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, who is closely linked to Russia's President Vladimir Putin (his daughter's godfather), allegedly controls 112 and NewsOne TV channels, the most popular news channels in Ukraine.
4. Since 2014, the Ukrainian TV sphere has developed mainly in the information direction. New channels such as Hromadske (Civic), Espreso, 112, NewsOne and Priamyi (Direct) are focusing exclusively on news and talk-shows about politics, economy and society. However, all these channels, except for crowd-funded and grant-funded Hromadske (Civic), are private and have a non-transparent ownership structure. Meanwhile, independent outlets, like said Hromadske(Civic) or Hromadske radio (Civic radio), or more niche are influential in their segments, although they still cannot compete for massive audiences with oligarchic TV channels.
5. Ukraine has no influential broadcaster to counterweight the oligarch-owned media. Suspilne(Civic), the public broadcaster, has been launched on 19 January 2017. The aim was to provide an independent source of unbiased information, without financial or administrative influence by the state.
The issue has been pending for the last twenty years so far, although the first tangible progress in this respect was achieved in 2014, once the Law On Public Television and Radio Broadcasting was adopted. Its implementation, however, has protracted in the absence of the state authorities' political will as well as continuous underfunding.
6. As use of the Ukrainian language was hampered during Tsarist and Soviet periods, the Ukrainian government tries to provide the national language with regulatory support. Thus, it launched a campaign aimed at strengthening the role of Ukrainian language in media. To this end, language quotas have been introduced for TV channels and radio stations.
For licensed television and radio companies, the transmission of European productions, and also American and Canadian productions, should make up at least 70 percent of the total weekly broadcasting between 07:00 and 23:00. Out of these hours, at least 50 percent of the total weekly broadcasting must be of Ukrainian production.
Meanwhile, radio stations are obliged to air at least 30 percent of songs in Ukrainian language.
7. Ukrainian media sphere is designated as "partly free" by Freedom House's Freedom of the Press 2019 report.
One of the problems is that attacks on media professionals and houses are occurring. On 20 July 2016, a prominent Belarusian-Ukrainian journalist, Pavel Sheremet, was killed in a car explosion but those responsible have not been found yet.
Manipulations with media have also happened. On 29 May 2018, media reported that Arkady Babchenko, a Russian journalist who moved to Ukraine, was killed. The next day it turned out that Babchenko was indeed alive and his "murder" was a decoy for security services to catch a killer, allegedly linked to a broader plan by Russian security services to murder journalists and activists working in Ukraine.
8. The Internet plays a significant role in the everyday life of Ukrainians. According to the 2018 Factum Group Ukraine research, 21.35 million of Ukrainian citizens (65 percent of the country's population) are regular Internet users. 21.9 million (67 percent) have Internet connection at home.
The average Internet-user resulting from this study is female (52 percent), 25-34 years old (28percent), lives in a city with population of 100,000 and more (44 percent). As many as 27 percent of Ukraine's Internet users live in villages and 28 percent live in small cities. The only social group which does not use Internet often is people aged 65+ which constitute only 4 percent of Ukraine's Internet-users.
9. Facebook is the dominant social network in Ukraine with few real opponents. Russian social networks VKontakte (In contact) and Odnoklassniki (Classmates) used to be the most popular, but things changed dramatically in May 2017 when Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, on the basis of a decision by Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, imposed sanctions on some Russian Internet services.
According to the study conducted by InMind for Internews Network, 57 percent of Ukrainian social network users are on Facebook (37 percent back in 2016), 21 percent are on VKontakte (In contact; 49 percent in 2016), 15 percent are on Odnoklassniki (Classmates; 40 percent in 2016). Twitter is only used by 8 percent of Ukrainians who are into social networks (12 percent in 2016). Up to 42 percent use Facebook to get news, while 8 percent do this on VKontakte (In contact), 4 percent on Odnoklassniki (Classmates) and 2 percent on Twitter.
10. Given that Ukraine's legislature in the media sector is relatively vague, its practical implementation can be characterised as sporadic, multidirectional, inconsistent, unbalanced and non-transparent. Existing laws are predominantly declarative and therefore insufficient in their regulative function, which results in their failure to translate into specific, effective policies.Instead, these declarative laws often overlap and duplicate each other, leading to ineffectiveness at best and legal impasses at worst.
Most of the laws have been developed based on their Soviet prototypes, and as such they are not entirely up to date to the new trends in the sector. Legislation on online media is virtually nonexistent. As a result, there is a major gap in national law which leaves online media neither regulated nor protected.
By studying and supporting the Ukrainian media sphere, Internews Ukraine helps to build a vibrant and prosperous society. Our competencies include not only conducting media monitoring and preparing analytics, but also coordination with national and international media, developing communication or information strategies and media campaigns.
Peace Media education at Cervantes Gymnasium Aia-Gess in Tbilisi, Georgia on June 7th was hosted by an international peace NGO called Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) in cooperation with Cervantes Gymnasium Aia-Gess. Cervantes Gymnasium AiaGess and HWPL have been builing their partnership peace education and peace camp.
Mr. Avtandil Otinashvili, the Chief-in-Editor of Newsday Georgia gave a lecture to the students in regard to “Peace Journalism”. As it was a participation-based lecture to learn the subjects of “Media Literacy” and “Peace Journalism”, the students got involved with giving presentations of their thoughts regarding the articles given. Ms. Tamar Lolishvili from Cervantes Gymnasium Aia-Gess said, “Broadcasting news prepared by the students can help reaching people in different areas, even with different languages more easily that will be a model example for our young generation.”
As a global project for peacebuilding with a network of educators, peace education by HWPL has been conducted in collaboration with 214 education institutions in 23 countries. To further nurture students and citizens with the value of peace such as coexistence and respect, peace education at a national level has also been sought by national governments in 7 countries including Guatemala, Iraq, the Philippines, and Cambodia.