Efforts to Modernise National Media Gain Pace

Progress has been made in modernising the media and its interaction with the state, the need for which was pointed out by State Secretary Marat Tazhin at a Feb. 22 meeting with media leaders.

The main focuses of the meeting were economic aspects of Kazakhstan’s media and its competitiveness, content and HR policies.

Since the meeting, the Ministry of Culture and Information has been working with media companies to revise their financing across the wide spectrum of initiatives. The base cost per minute for documentaries has increased from 50,000 to 180,000 tenge. The cost of programmes on non-state television channels has also been increased 25 times.

An expert group was formed to improve competitive procedures for public procurements. Another important area of focus is intellectualising the media and enhancing the expert presence therein. Topics for state owned news media were revised under Order 2013 and reduced from 121 to 87 directions. Programmes with low viewership will be replaced. The Kazakhstan Broadcasting Company is launching new programmes on socioeconomic topics with video conferences. News feeds and timing are also being reconsidered.

The Khabar news agency will offer its audience family quizzes, cooking shows, intellectual game shows and other programmes to upgrade its content. Non-state TV channels came out with suggestions to re-format analytical programmes. The websites of Kazakhstankaya Pravda and Egemen Kazakhstan newspapers are also undergoing makeovers. New websites will be launched as 400 print media outlets transfer to online formats.

The Ministry of Education and Science will offer new approaches to the training of professionals in media through the Bolashak programme and internships for training key engineering staff of media organisations and companies, as well as improving journalism curricula in universities and interacting with employers to help develop professional standards.

Domestic television and radio content is to be consolidated within a single portal, www.otauv.kz. So far, the project has been running in pilot mode. The project ensures online placement of 37 television and radio channel feeds and provides viewing capabilities to 500 users simultaneously, including time shift options.