November 21, 2019

“Journalists are the Gatekeepers”

In early November, 30 exchange program alumni from across South and Central Asia came together for the Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminar (TIES), “Women in Media: Creating Networks for Social Change” in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

At the seminar, the #ExchangeAlumni - men and women, journalists, producers, vloggers, and filmmakers, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan - talked about the common challenges women face in media, how #medialiteracy can be used to tackle disinformation and misinformation - including the way women are portrayed by the media, and came up with innovative ways of empowering women to develop partnerships for community action.


Deputy Assistant Secretary Aleisha Woodward DAS Aleisha Woodward speaks with exchange alumni at the American Center in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
During the seminar, the alumni also got a chance to meet local journalists who are using new ways to reach audiences, as well as visit the American Center in Almaty, where they heard from Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) Aleisha Woodward of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).

“Journalists are the gatekeepers. Journalists also need to be responsible and be the arbiters of truth,” said DAS Woodward, adding, "We have seen how disinformation can impact society. In a pluralistic society, we need ways to talk to each other, even when we don’t agree."


Alumni TIES participants A group of alumni brainstorm ways to tackle disinformation and challenges women face in media.
We’d like to thank our exchange alumni who came together across various exchange programs and countries to develop creative solutions to the issues women face in media. We can't wait to receive their grant project proposals and learn about the ways in which they plan to make an impact!