Central Asia - namely Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan - rarely makes headlines of the international press. While over the past few years, the region has undergone significant changes with Uzbekistan opening up after years of isolation and Kazakhstan facing the biggest protests in history, the world public has remained largely uninformed about the developments. This is one of the reasons why, faced with such poor scrutiny, regional autocracies often make it difficult for journalists to access information and create obstacles for in-depth reporting. But the five countries, stuck between reemerging Russia, expansive China and continuously unstable Afghanistan, constitute a perfect ground for observing the dynamics of international cooperation and competition, economic development in Eurasia as well as provide fascinating case studies of post-Soviet transitions in their own right.
The panel will gather journalists and editors with long-term commitment to and experience in Central Asia who will discuss why reporting from the region is important, what challenges journalists working in underreported regions face, and what influence unbiased reporting can have on politics in places like Central Asia.