Kazakh President Establishes New Legal Guarantees for Journalists in Updated Media Law

ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a law on mass media on June 19 to enhance protections and expand rights for journalists in Kazakhstan. The updated legislation introduces the concept of a “special status of a journalist,” which provides additional legal guarantees and protections for journalists, along with expanded rights when searching, requesting, receiving, and distributing information.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Photo credit: Akorda

According to a press statement released by Akorda, the law introduces a broader concept of “mass media,” encompassing both traditional mass media and Internet resources.

The law envisions creating a unified media platform to implement state information policy. This platform will provide grants for non-state media, simplify the accreditation process for journalists with government bodies and organizations, and offer other functions.

A one-year statute of limitations for requirements imposed on the media to refute information that does not correspond to reality and discredits honor, dignity and business reputation has been established.

The accreditation process for foreign media representatives and journalists has been refined.

The period for considering media requests has been reduced from seven to five working days, allowing journalists to receive information more promptly, thereby maintaining the relevance of the news agenda.

The law mandates the creation of social and professional councils responsible for developing a Code of Ethics for Journalists. These councils can operate at both republican and regional levels. Additionally, the law improves mechanisms for financing state information policy through the introduction of grant funding.

The law bans the dissemination and posting of information promoting suicide or providing methods and calls for committing suicide.

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