(By Dr Shahid Qureshi in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 23 May 2018): –
While exclusively talking to Dr Shahid, Qureshi, Chairperson of the EAMF Dr Dariga Nazarbayeva, said: “I am very positive about the success of the media forum specially participation of the international experts and media persons”. She added: “EAMF continue playing constructive role in the development of media and journalism in Kazakhstan”.
Earlier on Dr Dariga Nazarbayeva, Founder of the Eurasian Media Forum and Chairperson of the EAMF Organizing Committee, welcomed the delegates, noting that the overall theme of the Forum this year was ‘15 Years of Evolution’ and all the changes that had happened since this innovative communications platform was first established.
Dr Dariga mentioned in particular the ways in which technological change had affected the younger generation and their access to new methods of communication, social media, smartphones and free internet access, as well as the impact on the media. The Forum discussions would examine “the transformation of moral values and the evolution of the media, the incredibly expanded reach of bloggers and social networks, natural disasters and awareness of the need for environmental revolution.”
The Forum was unlikely to influence the political history of the world directly, she said, but at least it offered an opportunity to try to find common ground, a consensus, sometimes between delegates with diametrically opposed views. At a time of growing tension between world powers, the role of the media in international communications was even more crucial than in the past. “We, the journalists, are becoming hostages of circumstances, and more often mass media are turning from a source of necessary, truthful, neutral information into a propaganda tool with a full set of sometimes dishonest instruments,” she said. Welcoming a full discussion of these issues during the following two days, Dr Nazarbayeva then declared the 15th Forum formally open.
The Eurasian Media Forum (EAMF) opened its 15th annual meeting in Almaty Wednesday with a call by President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan to the journalistic community to exercise “high responsibility” in reporting international affairs. In a message to the opening session of the two-day conference, the Kazakh leader stressed the important role of the media in providing correct, reliable and objective information, as well as identifying ‘fake news’. “Against the changes taking place in the world, the escalation of geopolitical tensions and new technological capabilities, the media can become both a trigger for the escalation of conflicts and a factor for global containment and prevention of international tensions. Hence the high responsibility of journalism,” he declared. The President’s message was delivered to the conference audience of international delegates by Kazakhstan’s Minister of Information and Communications, Mr Dauren Abayev.
President Nazarbayev paid tribute to the Forum as an annual opportunity for journalists and other delegates – public figures and experts – to engage in high-level constructive dialogue on the most topical global issues. “Journalism should remain the embodiment of service to society, based on high ethical and moral qualities,” he said. Faced with the challenge of new social media, traditional journalism still held competitive advantages based on high professionalism and quality of the content. “Only correct and reliable information and verification of fake news can attract the audience, strengthening the authority of the media as a source of objective information,” the President said. Since 2002, the Eurasian Media Forum has been meeting each year first in Almaty and then in Astana, the capital, helping to strengthen Kazakhstan’s significant contribution to international and East-West dialogue.
The Mayor of Almaty, Mr Bauyrzhan Baibek, welcomed delegates back to his city for this 15th anniversary jubilee meeting. Almaty, with a thousand years of history as an East-West hub, was proud of having hosted the launch of the Forum. “In the past 15 years, the Forum has become a recognized platform, a bridge between East and West, where the most serious international issues are discussed,” the Mayor said.