Perspectives in Journalism

September 21, 2008

The Bishkek express

Filed under: Education,Journalism — willnortonjr @ 7:35 pm
Bishkek, the capital of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, with a population of about 1 million, is situated in the north part of the country

Bishkek, the capital of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, with a population of about 1 million, is situated in the north part of the country

(Sunday, 21 September) Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan:

Kaare Melhus and I flew to Bishkek, leaving Pristina late in the morning (with a layover in Istanbul).  It is our second trip to the capital of Kyrgyzstan, home to American University – Bishkek.

Melhus and I made our initial review of the program in September 2007.  We met with university officials of the central Asian nation and wrote a report suggesting that a media center be developed at the university for the journalism faculty and for use by journalists who attend mid-career development workshops.

Now we are returning to Bishkek to discuss details about the center with faculty, administrators and journalists.  We arrived at 1:30 a.m. on Monday for meetings beginning in the afternoon and continuing into Tuesday.

Our first visit developed during a breakfast meeting in Lincoln during the late winter of 2007.

The Republic of Kyrgyzstan has roughly 5.3 million people and is located in central Asia.

The Republic of Kyrgyzstan has roughly 5.3 million people and is located in central Asia.

Dr. Ellen Hurwitz, president of American University — Central Asia (AUCA) and Dr. Norman Stewart, consultant to the president at AUCA, visited the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to discuss activities in Kyrgyzstan at UNL’s College of Business.

Before the visit, I had talked with Natalie Hahn, a long-time friend, about helping consult on the  journalism program in Bishkek.  Natalie, a UNL graduate in journalism and home economics, had spent decades with the United Nations, including more than 35 years in Africa.

Hahn was aware of UNL’s programs at Addis Ababa University and in Pristina, Kosovo.  We had talked several times about our college’s international initiatives, so she urged Ellen to meet with us in Lincoln.

We met for breakfast at the Roger’s House, a bed and breakfast establishment a couple of miles from Andersen Hall.   I told Ellen that we could not be involved in Kyrgyzstan without the help of Norway’s Gimlekollen University network.  I urged Norman to return to Lincoln in a week, when we would be hosting Oyvind Aadland and Kaare Melhus.

Norman visited Andersen Hall a week later, met with the three of us and invited us to the university in Bishkek. Norman was able to find $375 to purchase equipment for the journalism media center at the university in Bishkek. Thus began the series of events that has led us back to this part of the world again.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] The Bishkek expressI told Ellen that we could not be involved in Kyrgyzstan without the help of Norway’s Gimlekollen University network. I urged Norman to return to Lincoln in a week, when we would be hosting Oyvind Aadland and Kaare Melhus. … […]

    Pingback by Kyrgyzstan » The Plan, Stan. — September 22, 2008 @ 8:11 am


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