Kazakhstan – publications in Poland
© mukhtarablyazov.org 04.01.2013

As the press office of the Foundation, we see great value in regularly informing the leaders of public opinion about the events in Kazakhstan. We also see a growing awareness of the real situation in Kazakhstan among journalists. Its manifestations include the appearance of two communiques of the Polish Press Agency, the largest news agency in Poland in the last week. The communique of 21 November, 2012, regarding the decision of the General Prosecutor's Office of Kazakhstan also appeared in 9 online media sources associated with the leading Polish newspapers (including wprost.pl, wyborcza.pl, onet.pl) and a blog of the politician, Janusz Korwin - Mikke. The communique, disseminated also by the PPA the following day, informing about the granting of the right to host Expo in Astana in 2017, enjoyed great resonance in information services. This is good news, since the increasing frequency of information will prevent the topic of Kazakhstan from being preliminarily rejected due to the exoticism of the country for Poles. It is necessary, however, to maintain this process, so that the editorial offices begin to create their own materials about Kazakhstan, especially in the traditional media.

The other good news concerns the key message of the communiques. Both communiques made a reference to the trial of Vladimir Kozlov, and he himself was addressed as the leader of the opposition. Both the first and the second communique included a reference to the strike in Zhanaozen. Such frequent reiteration of the news about Kozlov and Zhanaozen as key elements in the context of the information, can attest to the fact that journalists in PAP - effectively receive our narrative on the events in Kazakhstan, the role of the opposition and highlighting the undemocratic actions of the government in Kazakhstan. The strength of the ‘rooting’ of the topic of Kazakh repression in the minds of journalists writing about Central Asia is confirmed by the fact that the information on EXPO 2017 was not presented as a success for Kazakhstan, but rather became an opportunity to remind the public about the difficult situation of civil society. TheExpo 2017 Astana Organising Committee has clearly invested in strong promotion of the event, creating an active profile of the event on Twitter: https://twitter.com/EXPO2017Astana, or taking care of a well designed website. However, the information, which should have a positive tone for the authorities of the country, in Poland has been described as a surprising event in the context of the persecution of the media and the opposition. The ratio of the content of the communique can even lead to the conclusion that the information about the granting of the organisation of the exhibition was merely a pretext to describe oppression in Kazakhstan.

Noteworthy is also the fact that the announcement of Astana’s victory took place on the second day of Nazarbayev’s working visit in France. On the first day, Nazarbayev offered the President of France Francois Hollande's a declaration of Astana’s readiness to support the withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan. The following day, it transpired that the Bureau International des Expositions, an international institution charged with deciding who will host EXPO, having its registered office and strong ties with France, has decided to grant the prestigious event to Astana. It may be suggested by some that Nazarbayev’s visit played a role in the decision-making process of the Bureau International des Expositions.

Although news about events in Kazakhstan are important and create an opinion about this country in Poland, the most important news in our opinion is related to communiques about events in Poland which are simultaneously linked to the situation in Kazakhstan. An example might be a conference held the day after the conviction of Vladimir Kozlov. Thanks to the presentation of a Polish, local accent in the form of the guests present, namely: attorney Jacek Świeca and MP Marcin Święcickias well as successful invitation of keymedia outlets, we managed to push through news which reached the Advertising Value Equivalency amounting to 27 332 PLN and was read by about 142 thousand people (estimates forIMM).Thanks to the Polish context, as opposed to the communiques speaking solely about Kazakhstan, the news appeared on the lead pages of the biggest Polish news web portals.

The news features in the main news service of Poland’s greatest online portal Onet.pl.

The above mentioned arguments allow us to recommend that focus be placed on communicating Polish accents regarding the situation in Kazakhstan, at the same time not completely ruling out the publication of stories promoting awareness about the events in the country.

Tomasz Czuwara

Press Office of the ODF / Charisma DKB


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