Kazakhstan: Blogosphere’s Self-Reflection

Recently, the Kazakhstani blogosphere has suddenly become interested in what the blogs really are and what sort of impact they have. Bloggers produced series of posts on this topic approximately at the same time. It is difficult to say for sure what was the reason for such wave of self-reflection – maybe it is caused by rising attention of the international donors to development of the citizen journalism, maybe by a series of “best blog” contests (at least three contests are under way – a MediaNet's, neweurasia's competition and a Hivos-funded one, organized by CJ.kz; and some more are ahead), or maybe by the maturing of the blogosphere itself.

Mantrov says that, based on his own experience, citizen journalism – a sign of democratic pluralism – is when a cyber-activist or a journalist is analyzing a certain topic not because of the honorarium, but first of all, because he or she is imbued by an issue and tries to solve the problem.

Aftakep structures his interest in the blogs in three clauses:

“1. Self-expression. Do you remember the Maslow's Pyramid of Needs? Self-expression is only a couple of lines below sex – very close. Why do you think the blogs appeared?
2. A storage of wise thoughts.
3. Original way of communication. Social networks are fully built on this desire of a human: new acquaintances, others’ lifes. Cool.”

Megakhuimyak sees the blogs as a tool for politicians to spread their message. “Interesting, the Russian oppositionists – in contrast to the Kazakh ones – have media, access to the television and some popularity in the society. However, all of them do blogs, like SPS leader Nikita Belyh or liberal leader Boris Nemtsov, because they don't want to lose another chance to work with the electorate and gain additional political scores. Our opposition members only yell that they can't do anything to broadcast their thoughts. But, apparently, they simply don't want to. That's why they have such levelof popularity”.

Cross-posted from neweurasia.

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