On February 25-27, Internews held the second Regional Innovation Laboratory “STORYCRAFT – Innovate. Play. Engage” (Innovation Lab or Lab) to promote regional collaboration and co-production of innovative media content related to preventing violent extremism (PVE), according to the European Union Delegation to Tajikistan.

The Innovation Lab is a place where media professionals and civil activists can work together to create professional content, learn new tools and acquire the skills necessary to promote and maintain higher standards reporting on the topic in the region.  Local and international experts on innovative multimedia content production and PVE coverage closely worked with participants during the Lab.

Over three days of the Lab, ten teams of 50 media professionals, experts, civic activists, IT specialists and government representatives, reportedly came together and consolidated their efforts to tune up and upgrade their projects using the expertise of invited unparalleled experts in multimedia.

Each team consisted of five adepts representing those fields that are necessary to strengthen projects with required expertise, know-how and competence.  The Innovation Lab participants also had an opportunity to advance their knowledge of PVE reporting qualities and characteristic, which will help them to make their projects innovative and relevant.  At the end of Innovation Lab an independent jury will single out up to six most innovative media projects that will receive sub-grants of up to 14,000 EUR per project.

Regional Innovation Laboratory is organized as part of the project, Contributing to Stability and Peace in Central Asia, financed by the European Union and implemented by Internews.  The project is focused on national and regional efforts to prevent radicalization in Central Asia through increasing the capacity of journalists, civic activists and media professionals (through training activities, workshops both on national and regional level, and innovation laboratories) in production of high-quality media content and raising the level of critical media consumption of representatives of civil society, decision-makers and public.