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Alisher Tastenov. Features of the state information policy of Kazakhstan

The objectives of the state information policy are the publicizing and clarification of government initiatives, stability assurance, and promotional tasks. The effectiveness of ongoing governmental programs and other initiatives, peace and harmony in the society, and the image of the state bodies in general depend on the implementation of the information policy. And it is not only the profile ministry that is responsible for the effectiveness of the information policy, but also every government body.

Meanwhile, the analysis of the government’s information work of recent years revealed a number of problems.

The main problem is the lack of modern and efficient PR-approach in publicizing. Often there is a lack of focus on the target audience through channels of information that are appropriate for that audience. Also certain features of a particular region are not always considered, popular regional media for instance. In the publicizing of the state programs not enough attention is drawn to the positive aspects of innovations, and specific opportunities and effects of their implementation for each inhabitant, city, region or country in general.

The majority of placed materials is characterized by “dry” information. Presentation of new laws, legislative acts, rules or programs usually contain a variety of legal, political, and economic terms that are incomprehensible for ordinary people. And most of the time these materials are not accompanied by the explanation of professionals, who could explain the essence of new innovations using simple and clear language.

For example, this year the introduction of land reform was accompanied by a lack of explanation, both by public authorities and by the expert community. As a result, it contributed to an incorrect understanding of the goals and objectives of land reform in society and the emergence of unauthorized rallies in the country.

There is also a poor use of social networks by press services of the state bodies. It should be noted that in recent years, many state bodies have created official accounts on social networks. However, they are not using them as effectively as they could in promoting their initiatives. In most cases, these accounts are not maintained regularly, limited to “dry” publications of official press releases of the state bodies. There is also no connection on the social networks between the state bodies and the population, so the feedback is not considered, which in general can negatively affect the image of the public body.

Along with these problems, foreign media, especially Russian, continue to dominate the domestic information field, thus, the vulnerability of our media space and information security in general remains.

External information flows of the country are almost entirely provided by foreign media. Cable network in Kazakhstan in the vast majority is broadcasted by foreign TV channels. As a result, the narrowness of the suppliers of information in the national media causes the narrowness of the internal information market.

Also there is an inefficient use of budget funds due to the low quality of the information product produced in the framework of the state order. This is explained by the fact that due to the dumping system, competition is often won by studios that produce low quality content. Therefore, allocated finance, essentially, is not directed at the quality of the product, but quantity.

At the same time, currently in Kazakhstan external information counter-propaganda is not effective enough, there are also no effective mechanisms to deal with external players. Counter-propaganda in social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Odnoklassniki, VKontakte and others), which can be used as channels of influence by both external and internal players, is weak.

Internal information response is characterized by an insufficient level of efficiency and quality of official materials from the government bodies. Untimely response of the various government bodies to high-profile events has become a subject of traditional criticism by a number of media. For example, despite the informational response of the state bodies on the terrorist attack in Almaty in July this year, a series of negative materials, filled with criticism towards the government bodies, were published.

In order to promote government statements, a wider use of expert society, analytical and sociological structures, and leaders of society is needed.

In general, preventive information campaigns, which should work on prevention of potentially resonant events in society, are poorly applied at both regional and national levels.

Thus, these problems impede the effective implementation of the state information policy and, therefore, require measures for their elimination.