Kazakhstan: Countering Disinformation


GlobalJax hosted a delegation from Kazakhstan to gain insight about responsible journalism and government transparency from US news outlets. The program highlighted political and economic reporting, and the examination of pre-recording and live interview formats. Delegates interacted with local organizations such as Florida Times-Union, Jax Daily Record, and Office of Public Accountability to discuss effective ways of ensuring correct and factual information is released to the public and ways to remain apolitical. They also assessed the ability of publications to use Florida's Open Records Laws to obtain information from local and state government when necessary. Delegates gained insights about responsible journalism, government transparency, journalism law and ethics, and challenges to journalism. This project supports the US Embassy in Astana's mission objective to counter violent extremism in the region.

After the 2015 presidential election, the Kazakh government continued to control and repress the media through legislative policies, even though their constitution guarantees freedoms of speech and the press. Most outlets are state-owned and are pro-government. In addition, government, rather than independent regulatory entities, oversees media licensing and regulation. The internet is restricted through mass surveillance, imprisonment of bloggers, and frequent blocking of access to news websites, social media and messaging services. A law against the spreading of false information was also used to detain and prosecute journalists in retaliation for their work.

Sources: BBC, Freedom House

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