Why does Tajikistan always lose information war and what should be done?
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01:44 / 2024-04-13

Why does Tajikistan always lose information war and what should be done?

Asia pluse

Few proposals to win the information war.

After every conflict on the Tajik – Kyrgyz border the discussion in “information war” takes place among journalists, experts, and the authorities. After the recent armed conflict on the border and the capture of information space by the neighboring country, the weakness of Tajikistan and his defeat in information war became more evident. The failure in information war caused that a few days after the outbreak of the latest border conflict journalistic organization and mass media gathered to discuss the future of media development in the country and, thus, resistance to widespread information attacks. The conclusion of that meeting was short: "Elite" of Tajik journalism gathered, talked and dispersed. Authorities weren’t present and therefore nothing was done to correct the flaws.


It is apparent that we lost information war.

With the “Asia Plus” initiative on October 11th journalists, heads of several journalistic organizations and experts gathered once more on a talk show to discuss the problems of mass media in conducting the information war.

It is apparent that the indisputable point of discussion was that the Tajik side lost the information war. All journalists and the experts admitted that Tajikistan has completely "capitulated" in this regard.


Why did we lose?

To be specific, the main factor in the failure of the information war by Tajikistan was the lack of strategies of the mass media. Thus Tajikistan had no preparation for information war and unfortunately still hasn’t. The lack of access of professional journalists to quick and timely information indicates the lack of a specific strategy in the direction of the country's information policy. It was mentioned by all the experts.

For example, Abdumalik Kadirov, head of "Media-Alliance" of Tajikistan, said, "In any war, if the rules are not followed, it will be lost. In the recent information war, the reason we lost the war was that the neighboring country had a specific plan but we operated without it.”  

According to the head of NANSMIT Nuriddin Karshiboev the lack of access to information by journalists is the main factor to failure in information war and he pointed out that “Tajikistan was not ready for information war.” In terms of professionalism and compliance with the legal and ethical norms Tajikistan lost to Kyrgyz side but the main reason was the lack of access of professional journalists to official data. "Unfortunately, whenever the tense situation on the border or in another region of the country occurs, the officials refuse to provide data to journalists." 


Rustam Azizi, another expert, mentioned about the lack of a specific strategy of Tajik mass media in information war and despite to ours, neighboring country’s mass media had a strategy.
The journalists of the neighboring country were prepared beforehand, they knew what they were going to say and for whom they were going to say it. "Unfortunately, our mass media did not have such a specific strategy, and this was the main reason for the defeat of the Tajik side."

That is, in general, there is only one problem: Tajikistan was not ready for an information war, as there are no strategies in this direction. In this regard, the information war was lost.


Why is it bad?

Losing any battle is always bad, especially the defeat in an information war in the modern age leads to defeat in other fronts as well. The coverage of news on recent border conflict proved how bad the loss of the information war can be, as the most influential world media explained the conflict to the favor of Kyrgyz side. The reason was the efficiency of the Kyrgyz media in providing in time necessary information to international media. They managed to provide suitable information for themselves, but Tajik media did not only fail to provide information, but they did have not enough information to explain the conflict in general.

This situation caused Tajikistan to be presented in the international media as the initiator of the border conflict. By hiding information on the number of dead, wounded, destroyed buildings and other destructions of the Kyrgyz army, Tajikistan allegedly confirmed that it is an aggressor country. As Kyrgyzstan, by officially publishing this information and using tragic situations (death of women and children), was able to present itself as the victim and Tajikistan as the aggressor in the eyes of the international media.


What should be done?

Any defeat is painful and sad and the only way to recover is correcting the past mistakes.

Representatives of the state authorities were also invited to participate in the discussion that was mentioned, but unfortunately they did not attend. If they attended the discussion, they would be aware of the problem and the proposed solution. Since they were not present, below are some ways to solve the mentioned problems and the solutions that are in the interest of the state and the nation.

1. The most effective way to succeed in the media battle and win in the information space is the mutual cooperation between government authorities and the media. How can this cooperation be? Very simple, easy and mutually beneficial:

- timely submission of official information by the authorities and its immediate publication by the media;

- Access of responsible representatives of conflicting bodies to journalists and adequate response to media representatives' questions.

In both cases, the authorities can present their official position, which is also considered the position of the state, by using various media platforms (publishing, radio, television, informational websites, official media pages on social networks) not only to the residents of Tajikistan, but to the whole world. Thus, the mass media can access official, accurate and immediate information and present it to their audience in several languages.

2. With the implementation of the first paragraph, there is a need to revise information policy. Fundamental changes should be made in the education of future journalists. The reform should start from the faculty of journalism and proceed to the upper level - modernization and efficiency of the work of the state media. Because in the way that media professionals are trained any information war will be lost.

3. Organization of a center or a group for the collection, processing and presentation of information in emergency situations. The main task of the group should be coordination and support for joint activities of responsible state authorities, mass media and experts. The group may not be permanent, but it should be assembled quickly if necessary.

Who can join this group?

- authorized representatives of the relevant authorities, such as the official who has the authority to provide information on the situation;

- responsible representatives of the mass media, as a person who has an influence on the politics of his media;

- experts in the field, those who know the subject well and are able to explain;

- Professional journalists who know foreign languages, translators and programmers.

If all the above mentioned points find their solution and the authorities change their relationship toward the mass media and establish cooperation in order to protect national interests, the result of further information wars will be in favor of Tajikistan, otherwise, we will continue to gather together after each conflict and have a conversation and disperse without any results.

This article was translated from the Tajik language, which is posted on the Asia Plus website (https://www.asiaplustj.info/tj/news/tajikistan/20221013/charo-toikiston-amesha-angi-ittilootiro-mebozad-va-ch-boyad-kard

Monitoring service NANSMIT


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