In October, Elira Turdubaeva, from the International Ala-Too University in Kyrgyzstan will give a presentation on social media and online activism in today’s Kyrgyzstan. As editor and contributor to the volume “Mapping the Media and Communication Landscape of Central Asia”, Elira will discuss the local media landscape of Kyrgyzstan, shedding light on critical issues affecting its digital environment.

The Online talk will be held on Zoom on October, 10 from 12:00 to 13:30 (Helsinki time). If you wish to participate and receive emails with updates about the next online talks, please leave your contact information here by October, 9 at noon: registration form. If you have previously registered for Online talks or RMLN email list, you don’t need to register again.

About the research: Central Asian post-independence media and communication industries, professional practices, education, persisting and evolving values and traditions remain critically understudied, with a notable scarcity of research and scholarly publications on the complex and increasingly changing landscape of communicative ecology in this region. This edited volume thus seeks to address this gap in the literature by exploring, analyzing and shedding light on the field, practice, research and critical inquiry of media and mass communication in four countries in Central Asia – Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The absence of chapters focusing on or referring in detail to Turkmenistan in this volume is not intentional. No submissions were received, reflecting to a large extent the current communication and media landscape, which is controlled by the state and lacks press independence.

Although there are locally published books, they either lack scholarly rigor or are translations from Russian publications, or are just training manuals. With this volume, we hope to contribute to overcoming the dearth of works on Central Asia for both scholarly knowledge and undergraduate and graduate student education in journalism, media and communications and also international institutions that take an interdisciplinary approach to Central Asian Studies or post-Soviet communication and media practices.

As the editors of this volume, we aimed from the start to include local authors as well as new and emerging researchers from this region, and to provide a space for Central Asian authors who often find it difficult to get published internationally, as well as to ensure the latest research in this field of studies is included in a collection of work that contextualizes the issues explored. By bringing together new and emerging researchers with established authors we also hope to provide a supportive dialogue between different points of view.

Speaker’s bio: Dr. Elira Turdubaeva has a PhD degree in Media and Communications from Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Manas University. She worked at several universities, including a prior appointment as Department Head of Journalism and Mass Communications at American University of Central Asia. She is also a founder of a new start-up Online University in Kyrgyzstan and Association of Communicators of Kyrgyzstan. Currently she is a Head of Journalism and Mass Communications Program at International Ala-Too University in Kyrgyzstan. Her research focuses on media and AI, media uses, AI in education, political participation and media, election campaign analysis, protests and social media, social media uses, network analysis, new media studies, ICT and youth, propaganda analysis, representations of gender, journalism education, media and migration, media and activism, surveillance technologies and privacy in Central Asia, hate speech and social media, media and conflicts in Central Asia, etc. She is a co-editor of a book “Mapping the Media and Communication Landscape of Central Asia”.

Moderator: Katja Lehtisaari (Tampere University)

Online talk on Russian Media is a collaborative initiative between Russian Media Lab Network, University of Helsinki, and Tampere Research Center for Russian and Chinese Media.

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash.

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