By Eric Freedman, Richard Shafer
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Additional resources for After the Czars and Commissars: Journalism in Authoritarian Post-Soviet Central Asia
They held a tender and in one day closed the station. If only they had given me at least three months, so I could earn money to repay the advertising debts! Tell me, how could I be indiﬀerent and praise the regime a er such treatment? I understood that this is a completely unfair regime. How could you close a prospering company? How could they remove 150 people from their jobs? . 8 Indeed, a er the 1997 tender, Nazarbaeva and Aliev were widely known as the main players behind Kazakhstan’s mass media (Dylevskaya 2001).
The inner circle is comprised of the ﬁnancial-industrial groups closest to the president, such as that led by Nurtai Abykayev, his close friend, TABLE 1. SNAPSHOT OF KAZAKHSTAN’S MOST CITED FINANCIAL INDUSTRIAL GROUPS, 2007 ASSOCIATED WITH THE FOLLOWING NAME BUSINESSES/ENTERPRISES ASSOCIATED WITH THE FOLLOWING MEDIA Abykayev, Nurtai Said to be associated with the Ispatkarmet steel producer, Kazakhmys light metals extraction company, and Petroleum Kazakhstan. Said to control most government media Aliev, Rakhat/ Nazarbaeva, Dariga* Nurbank, Sakharnyi Tsentr sugar company, Ne yanoi Tsentr oil company, Mobil gas stations, series of oil reﬁneries.
As this chapter will show, the Aliev-Nazarbaeva group was just one of many such groups to form and prosper during this period. THE ERA OF FINANCIAL INDUSTRIAL GROUPS In the last decade or so, ﬁnancial-industrial groups with close ties to the president have purchased or gained control over much of the country’s print and electronic media. 10 For the most part, the media avoid subjects that could get them in trouble with government ofﬁcials or with the ﬁnancial-industrial groups that ﬁnance them.