Live-streamed political program reaches thousands of young Kyrgyzstani citizens eager to participate in political life
The continued expansion of internet use in Kyrgyzstan has created new opportunities for young people to meaningfully participate in politics. Looking to take advantage of this new avenue for political participation, NDI partnered with Radio Azattyk (the Kyrgyzstani affiliate of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) to produce a weekly livestreamed political discussion show, “Azattyk Club.” The platform is currently the only livestreamed political show in Kyrgyzstan. Since the show’s debut in April 2017, more than 100,000 people (an average of 10,000 viewers per episode) have watched across Facebook, YouTube and the Azattyk website.
Whereas more standard television programming in Kyrgyzstan consists of pre-recorded or strictly managed interview segments, often edited to remove controversial topics, Azattyk Club emphasizes live, unedited interactions between citizens and their elected representatives. This requires politicians to present stronger arguments in favor of their positions, while giving their constituents a rare platform to hold their elected officials accountable.
Each episode features one major political figure, such as a parliamentary faction leader, a member of parliament (MP), or a prominent government official. Two moderators ask these politicians a series of questions about their work and views of the current political environment.
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