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20 facts of attacks on journalists registered during riots in Bishkek

Elina Karakulova, Director of Internews Representative Office in Kyrgyzstan, told at the round table discussion «Media and Power: Interaction or Confrontation?» at 24.kg news agency that 20 facts of attacks on journalists were registered during political confrontation in October 2020.

According to her, the confrontation between the authorities and the media is a normal phenomenon. Another thing is the value guidelines on the political arena and on the national platform. There is a different understanding of freedom of speech.

«Once again, we realized that the media are practically not protected, that journalists are left to themselves in matters of physical and cyber security. There is no defense, there is absolute chaos, disorder and anarchy. There is also no reaction of the authorities to journalistic investigations, to data stories. This greatly demotivates journalists,» Elina Karakulova said.

The founder of Kaktus.media Dina Maslova noted that editorial offices were under pressure from different sides. This is cyberbullying, when hundreds of trolls spam, complain about pages, organize DOS attacks, attempts to hide and steal pages on social media.

«Let’s remember how everyone was jammed on October 5 — this is one of the elements to hinder the work of the media. There is also the good old method — to bribe, to distribute positions, to find some kind of relatives. There is no need to freeze accounts, you can demoralize the information resource in another way. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen not only legal protection, but also information security,» Dina Maslova believes.

The participants also acknowledged the fact that journalists were deprived of their self-defense mechanism.