PRESS COVERAGE OF ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS IN KYRGYZSTAN AND THE ROLE OF ECO-NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

Chinara SULTANALIEVA, Eric FREEDMAN


Chinara Sultanalieva, Independent Scholar (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)

Eric Freedman, Director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, School of Journalism, Michigan State University ((East Lansing, MI, the U.S.)


ABSTRACT

This article explores obstacles and conditions that environmental nongovernmental organizations face in interacting with media outlets in Kyrgyzstan. It also examines the limited scope of environmental journalism and the resulting limited ability of news outlets and eco-NGOs to help set the public agenda for discussion of policy and issues in the country. Even if such public relations interaction occurs, it is rarely effective and rarely generates influential eco/environmental articles in the media. The study is based on a content analysis of the news agency 24.kg and the newspaper Vecherniy Bishkek. It includes results of a survey and interviews with eco-NGOs representatives.

Keywords: environmental journalism; Kyrgyzstan; environmental NGOs; media coverage; public relations.

Introduction

If we examine coverage of environmental issues in Kyrgyzstans news media, we find that it is minimal in relationship to the countrys serious environmental and ecological problems, including water quality, air pollution, habitat destruction, climate change and glacial melt, and deforestation. There are more than 350 registered local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) dealing with the environmental situation in the country. However, this study found that only six of.


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