Where does “fake news” come from and how does it infiltrate the mass media?

May 11, 2018 – Almaty Seven master-classes form the first-day ‘curtainraiser’ for the program of the anniversary Eurasian Media Forum The fifteenth Eurasian Media Forum will be held in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Almaty on May 22-24. The Forum is an international communication platform established in 2002, which annually brings together more than 500 delegates from […]


Almaty, Kazakhstan, May 2018 – The annual Eurasian Media Forum will hold its 15th session this month (22-24 May) in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s commercial hub, with a full house of prominent political leaders, senior news media figures and experts on East-West relations.

Speakers will examine the most topical issues on the global news agenda, including a chill in great power relations, pressures on the European Union, environmental options, information technology and the ethics of social media.  The overall theme will be ‘evolution in world affairs’.

Journalists from East and West will have an opportunity to engage with former prime ministers, ministers and international officials in the course of seven different panel discussions, each moderated by a professional television presenter.

The first session, under the heading ‘Global Cooling’, will look at the return of Cold War rhetoric between some world leaders.  Contributors to the debate will include Matteo Renzi, former Prime Minister of Italy, Javier Solana, former Secretary General of NATO and Foreign Minister of Spain, and Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The evolution of the European Union, its current challenges and future prospects, will dominate the second session.  The panel will comprise media and political figures from Bulgaria, France, Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom.

Other sessions of global importance will cover the evolution of information technology, public trust and the green economy.

Topics of more specific media interest will target the rise of the blogger, social media and the whole sensitive area of ethics and morality.  The Forum is due to end on the question: “Where do we find our new values?” 

The Eurasian Media Forum series was launched on the initiative of Dr Dariga Nazarbayeva, head of its Organising Committee, to promote East-West understanding after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Manhattan and Washington. It has established a distinctive reputation for bringing together public figures and experts with senior media representatives to discuss the issues of the day. 

You can register for the forum here: http://eamedia.org/eurasian-media-forum-2018-registration-page/

Irina Khakamada will participate XIV Eurasian Media Forum

We are delighted to introduce the new speaker for the XIV Eurasian Media Forum!

Former vice-speaker of the Russian Parliament, a Minister, and a presidential candidate, as well as a PhD University lecturer, Noble prize nominee, and a businesswoman, Irina Khakamada will join us at the last session of the forum titled “LIFE IN A ‘SIMPLIFIED’ WORLD”.

Note: one of the declared speakers of the session, Gianluca Vakki had withdrawn his participation on the Forum due to personal issues. In his statement he wished the participants of the Forum to enjoy the event and to receieve the interesting news.

Day 1 – Summary

Astana, Kazakhstan, 22 June – The 14th Eurasian Media Forum got off to a stimulating pre-launch start Thursday with a day of professional masterclasses and a lecture on the history of the media.

Ahead of the formal opening on Friday, experts attending the Forum held classes on media-related subjects, including creative thinking, political campaigning, business news and fact-checking in the digital age.  The importance of social media was a common theme.

The lecture on “Five Centuries of News History” was given by Shelby Coffey III, vice-chair, The Newseum, Washington, and former editor of the Los Angeles Times.  He ranged from the first newspapers in the 17th century to the advent of Facebook and Twitter.

The two-day Forum is being held at the brand new Congress Centre within the complex of Astana EXPO-2017, the world exhibition hosted this year by Kazakhstan, on the overall theme of ‘future energy’.  The Forum itself has adopted the positive catchline: ‘Win-Win Scenario’.


The first masterclass was conducted by David Applefield, special representative, Financial Times, USA-France, on the theme:  “How creative thinking nourishes content and commerce.  Celebrating original thinking and gaining media impact.”

Introducing his subject, Applefield declared:  “There has never been a more important time for media professionals to talk to each other.”

He described creativity as the motor for producing viable content, which required a combination of journalism and commerce.  Content covered everything from news and information to entertainment and advocacy, he argued, but it had to be compelling.

“These are great times for creative people, but we need more and better commerce to fuel good media,” he said.  Ideas were hiding everywhere, he told a mainly young and local audience.

Giles Kenningham, former head of political press to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, then talked about the interaction of political campaigning with the media, under the title: Mechanisms of successful campaigns in the media.”


Media campaigns matter because they really do affect the outcome of elections, he said.  The successful media campaign must create a choice for the voters.  It must persuade them which party to back by establishing the contrasting factors.  “You need to play to your own strengths and exploit your opponent’s weaknesses,” he explained.

Drawing on his experience as an advisor to David Cameron, he stressed the importance of putting in place a full team of experts:  media, communications, public relations and fund-raising.  At the start of the campaign it was essential to decide on a strategy and stick to it.

How to lose a campaign?  Kenningham was an observer at the recent UK general election rather than a participant.  His view was clear.  Prime Minister Theresa May’s theme of “strong and stable” government had been fatally undermined by a key change of policy midway through the campaign.

The next masterclass was conducted by Todd Baer, Global Director, Bloomberg Media, UK, on the subject: “Overview of business news. Commercial aspect of media. How do media companies make money?”


Commenting on the relationship between content and revenue, Baer said there was no doubt that content creation came first, followed – if successful – by revenue

 He defined business news as events and data that move markets.  The events could be economic, financial or political.  For example, recent news of a significant change in the Saudi Arabian royal line of succession had moved international oil markets.

How to make business news interesting?  Use real stories about real people.   Put a face to the data.   Explain why markets are going up or down.  Cause and effect.  Who is affected?  And above all, “always be first, but first be right.” Baer said.

Delivering the Forum’s lecture on news, Shelby Coffey III brought the audience sharply up to the minute by declaring at the outset: “A great deal involving the future of news is being played out right now in Washington.”


He prefaced his talk with some comments on the current state of relations between the media and governments in what he described as a “hyper-connected but most divided world.”

In Washington, he noted, the established American press had to contend with a President who was adept at using social media, but it was important to note that this was not without historical precedent:  Franklin D Roosevelt had used radio broadcasts to communicate directly with the American people in the 1930s and 1940s.

Citing examples of press freedom from the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution to modern times, Coffey expressed guarded optimism about the future of the media.  “Some very high quality journalism is being produced right now and more can certainly be done.  At the same time, it is true that standards may have slipped overall because of the sheer number of untrained citizen journalists,” he warned.


The final session of the day was devoted to young and innovative journalism.  The two speakers were Versha Sharma, Managing editor, NowThis, and Toby Leah Bochan, Head of Video, Storyful, who spoke on the theme: “Factchecking in the digital video age”.

Versha Sharma said the two organisations worked closely together in the social media field.  NowThis concentrated on publishing video on social media: ‘stories that move’ – chosen to appeal to a youth audience.

They prided themselves on being one of the youngest newsrooms in the world, staffed by ‘New Media Super Natives’ who had intimate knowledge of social media platforms.

For Storyful, Toby Leah Bochan explained how their organization engaged in meticulous detective work to verify videos that appeared on social media.   This involved checking the source, date and location of the original video contribution.

Explaining the business model, she said clients were prepared to pay for the verification service, as well as paying for certain distribution and licensing rights.

All in all, a great day!