Title

Mass Media Consumption in Post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan: The View from Below

Document Type

Article

Program

Pitzer College, Organizational Studies (Pitzer)

Publication Date

2015

Keywords

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Media freedom, Political competition

Abstract

This article examines how ordinary people utilize and assess the information options available to them drawing on original, nationally representative surveys conducted in 2012 in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, two regimes characterized by different trajectories since independence. In both countries, television is the main go-to source, while the Internet is used least. Trust in media, however, follows an unexpected pattern. On average, media enjoy higher levels of trust in Kazakhstan than in Kyrgyzstan, despite greater media independence and pluralism in the latter. Ironically, open political competition and media freedom in Kyrgyzstan may have a dampening effect on public trust, while in Kazakhstan limited political competition and controlled media appear to bolster it.

Rights Information

© 2015 Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization