A media training tour for journalists took place in October as part of the project “Addressing Cross-Border TB, M/XDR-TB and TB/AIDS Among Labor Migrants” implemented by Project HOPE Kazakhstan with the support of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Journalists from seven regions of Kazakhstan participated and represented print, online and television media, as well as press services.
Attendees visited a TB dispensary where the head physician delivered a presentation about TB characteristics and treatment methods. Afterward, journalists toured an outpatient clinic for working migrants where they learned about treatment algorithms and problems faced by the migrants. Attendees also met with active members of the public fund “Zhariya International Center” and were briefed on that organization’s activities.
“The combination of a media tour with training enables us to not only obtain new knowledge but also to strengthen practical skills, which are key to becoming a true professional,” said Mira Mustafina, a journalist from Almaty. “New contacts and sources of information are also necessary for a good-quality coverage of the subject.”
A highlight from the event was a meeting between attendees and Elaman Zhekshembek Uuly, a labor migrant from Kyrgyzstan. During this question and answer session, journalists learned about the personal plight of migrant workers. Attendees also learned how volunteers from non-governmental organizations help migrant workers preserve their health.
“The main point of this training for myself was to obtain personal attachment to the subject,” said participant Valentina Kozybakova, a reporter from Aktau. “First and foremost, labor migration is about people, their lives and fates. And when they are challenged by a disease such as TB, sometimes they are even afraid to visit a clinic. I acquired lots of interesting information and I know what I will be writing about when I return home.”
Journalists have already begun releasing their accounts of the tour. Project HOPE-Kazakhstan intends to expand this type of collaboration with mass media. The next media training tour is scheduled to take place early next year.
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