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Khadisha, Kazakstan: “After CABAR.asia School I Know What to Write about”

The first step might be the hardest, according to Mikhail Korostikov, but I will manage it if I read and write a lot.

Khadisha Akayeva, Semei, journalist and editor

Deputy editor-in-chief in Semeyainasy news agency, head of information department of the branch of Youth Information Service of Kazakstan in Semei. Creates multimedia materials using data journalism tools, investigates corruption offences in Kazakstan.

When I was waiting for my flight at the airport, I was browsing my feed on Facebook, as usual. I saw an ad announcing the School of Analytic Journalism of CABAR.asia. Then I decided to take part in this school.

Much to my surprise, I was selected. In June, I went to Bishkek with my colleagues from Kazakstan.

For more details about the School of Analytic Journalism of CABAR.asia please see press release

For other feedbacks of School participants please see Opinion.


Lola Olimova and Khadisha Akayeva

The organisers of this pilot project of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) should be awarded with a medal.

In nine days, our group of analytic journalism (the second group was a group of journalistic investigations) has had three trainers: Diana Dutsik from Ukraine, Mikhail Korostikov from Russia and Savia Hasanova from Kyrgyzstan, not to mention interesting meetings.

Diana Dutsik is a wonderful journalist and media specialist. She has given us a lot of information analysis theory, shown a lot of perfect examples, and, most importantly, given us anchors we can rely on in our stories not to get lost, or miss something important that makes stories full.

Mikhail Korostikov is a journalist of Kommersant publishing house. He is not a theorist, but a practitioner, who has become a journalist after obtaining a degree in international relations. He provided us with quality analytical materials and explained them to us in detail. We were making up appealing headings, analysing our mistakes.

Savia Hasanova is a data visualisation specialist. She was our trainer for a short period, but she did a great job: we were clearing the data in excel spreadsheets, and then used services to visualise them as infographics. Savia showed us how to calculate shares and percentages and how to apply them in analysis, which is the most important thing to me.

Mikhail Korostikov

In addition to the three main trainers, we have had a lot of other things: meetings with political analyst Zainidin Kurmanov (he has told us about the politics in CA countries), lawyer Altynai Isaeva, specialists of think-tanks and journalists of Kyrgyzstan (Kloop and Kaktakto). [su_pullquote] After completion of the CABAR.asia School of Analytic Journalism I definitely know what to write about, where to seek information, how to process it, and what will be the outcome.[/su_pullquote]

I can write a lot about the programme, but what’s most important to me is that after completion of the School I definitely know what to write about, where to seek information, how to process it, and what will be the outcome. The first step might be the hardest, according to Mikhail Korostikov, but I will manage it if I read and write a lot.


School participants from Kazakstan

According to our coordinator Lola Olimova, participants from four Central Asian countries have been thoroughly selected by organisers. Later on, when I took a closer look at the people, who gathered in the OSCE Academy, I realised it was true. Each of them is a young journalist with fiery eyes, seas of ideas, and critical view of the world. We, journalists of Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, came to know each other better during coffee breaks, team games, which were often made up by creative guys from Tajikistan, during lunches, dinners and trips. [su_quote]During our classes, we supported each other with professional advices, and later we thought about the topics of joint articles. We saw how participants built trust with each other. [/su_quote] I even memorised the names of participants. Thanks to our trainers, I also memorised some interesting facts about the participants. It can seem a mere trifle, but in fact the general atmosphere depends on it.

Photo of Khadisha Akayeva during a trip to Supara-Chunkurchak

Everyone, as expected, told about their home countries – about problems and nuances. They told about some little things that you can hardly know if you don’t know a person well. Finally, we found more similarities than differences between our countries. And together we were glad that Kyrgyzstan had more or less open access to data.

It was great that despite our division into two groups at the School of Analytic Journalism of CABAR.asia – investigators and analysts – we still tried to share information, links to various useful services and research methods.

On the last day of the CABAR.asia School, we went to the ethnic complex Supara-Chunkurchak. Yoga classes were waiting for us there, which turned out to be fun. We relaxed, enjoyed life and left for our home countries to start writing analytical articles on topics that were relevant to our countries.

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