Dutch journalist teaches Internet in Central Asia

LOOKING FOR CENTRAL-ASIAN INTERNET JOURNALISTS

Dutch internet journalist Micha Kat together with Milieukontakt?s consultant Jacobiene Ritsema gave an introduction on trends in today?s internet journalism in the Western world while Micha Kat shared his personal experience as internet journalist with the participants. ?A little less than half of them had active experience with internet? said Kat. ?I think that?s a lot. It illustrates the growing importance of the medium, also in Central Asia.? Although the festival?s theme was environmental journalism, most participants were more or less general journalists with even a specialist in sports from Turkmenistan participating.

Several of the websites these journalists contribute to, like www.fergana.ru or www.tribune-uz.info and www.iwpr.org are blocked in their home countries, in these cases Uzbekistan. Other journalists contribute to websites that are in line with governement policy like www.inform.kz or www.turkmenia.tk.
One journalist from Karakopakstan, Uzbekistan, said: ?I don?t like these computers at al. They only accelerate life and make people less happy. I stay with my pen and my notepad.?
The participants showed the most interest in the commercial aspects of internet which were given a lot of attention by Micha Kat. He showed how websites can be exploited by sponsorship, donations and advertisements. The second part of the workshop consisted of an open discussion on Central Asian subjects that could be of interest for western websites. Micha Kat said that he will open his own sponsored website www.klokkenluideronline.is for their paid contributions if they have enough quality. He announced he wouls for this purpose open a new menu ‘Internationaal’. This triggered a lot of response; an Uzbek journalist from Buchara announed two articles on Dutch men marrying Bucharan girls. Kat said this sounded promising.

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