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Values of journalism in the field of migration

AVRUPA TIMES/LONDON-The al-Farabi Kazakh National University has launched a new project of the UNESCO Chair in Journalism and Communication “Region - Central Asia: journalism education on migration issues” with the support of the International Program for the Development of Communications (IPDC). Last year, the research group of the al-Farabi Kazakh National University launched the “Media SDG Platform” based on massive open online courses (MOOCs), which included journalism disciplines covering issues of gender, ecology, sustainable development, conflict-sensitive journalism, safety of professional media workers. All these courses are not only educational, but also practical in nature. Now the project is developing and its new stage is “Region - Central Asia: Journalism Education on Migration Issues”, and the main goal - to expand new educational technologies through high-quality programs that take into account the ethical aspects of reporting on migration processes.

Member of the Board - Vice-Rector for Science and Innovation of the University, Doctor of Economics, Associate Professor Zhamilya Aitzhanova noted that all projects of the university are focused on the Sustainable Development Goals. At the al-Farabi Kazakh National University, before the start of the current academic year, a lot of analytical work was carried out, as a result of which the concept of quality education is now focused on reassessing, rethinking and revising education to achieve the SDGs.

The implementation of the scientific projects’ results is designed to guarantee quality education, responsible production and consumption, and environmental safety. Sergey Karpov, program specialist for communications and information at the UNESCO Cluster Office in Central Asia, emphasized that international validation of the project allows to attract the best experts in the region to it and will strengthen the dialogue between countries and cultures.

Dean of the Journalism Faculty of the al-Farabi Kazakh National University Temirgali Kopbaev drew attention to the fact that forecasts of the global structures on migration show that it will only grow in the coming years. Therefore, journalists must not only inform, but also have a sensitive approach to the construction of their publications and stories, adhere to ethical principles. Head of the UNESCO Chair in Journalism and Communication Nazgul Shyngyssova presented an overview of the team’s multifaceted activities in the field of media research, which allows involving active people in supporting positive changes in the world and improving quality of journalism education.

Head of the Department of Foreign Policy Cooperation of the Representative Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Almaty, Almasha Arenova, said, that ability to give a professional assessment in the migration field, formulate the right agenda and positively influence to the cross-cultural exchange in Kazakhstan - valuable skills of a journalist.

Sultan Khudaibergenov, SMICA regional communication manager, explained, that issues of migration are studied and monitored in many international structures, and cooperation between them is very important. Gulnar Asanbaeva, an expert on media literacy, proposed implementing in the project the thesaurus, based on the size of the assessment of migration processes, and retrospectively analyze the causes of the main types of migration.

As Sascha Borgardt, the representative of the republican German newspaper Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, explained, sometimes even large European media do not follow the principles of a balanced approach and tolerance in interpreting events in the field of migration. Therefore, it is important to study the origins of migration, resources, and methodologies in order to provide ongoing information support for the media image of the migrant.

The representative of the UNESCO Chair on Copyright, Related, Cultural and Information Rights of the National Research University, Higher School of Economics (Russia), Ruslan Budnik, expressed the opinion that everything that happens is based on laws, including those related to communication activities.

The MOOC platform of the al-Farabi KazNU is annually updated with new subjects; now there are more than 100 different courses in Kazakh, Russian, and English, which are taken not only by students, but also by those, who wants to improve their skills or increase qualifications. Senior lecturer of the AlmaU University Saltanat Berdikulova, Head of the

UNESCO Chair for Sustainable Development of the al-Farabi Kazakh National University Tursynkul Bazarbaeva, Associate Professor of the UNESCO Chair in Journalism and Communication Bauyrzhan Imangaliev, 3rd year student of the university Kamilla Aisautova - spoke about their successful experience of working with the SDG Media Platform.
The discussion was attended by Professor of the State University of Middle Tennessee (USA) Zeni Sarabia-Panol, Director of the UN Regional Resource Center at the Faculty of International Relations of the al-Farabi Kazakh National University Leila Delovarova, Professor of the University of Florida Wayne Wanta, Dean of the Journalism and Information Systems Faculty of Bishkek State University (Kyrgyzstan) Altyn Asanova and others.

The project “Region - Central Asia: Journalism Education on Migration Issues” was launched accompanied by applause; the working group revealed some aspects thanks to which the future course, based on the new UNESCO textbook, will be original and attractive for a modern audience. The final result will be presented next year.
Regularly learning of methods how to report on migration and improving professional skills through the Journalism Education Platform in the new MOOC strengthens the country's leading university's contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.

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