Миллиарды на информацию. Как Правительство потратило десять миллиардов на содержание госСМИ и почему это плохо

Entry type: Single project

Country/area: Kyrgyzstan

Publishing organisation: PolitKlinika

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 2022-12-13

Language: Kyrgyz, Russian

Authors: Cholponbek Sabyrbekov, Chynargul Zhumabekova


Cholponbek Sabyrbekov – data journalist. I have been working in the field of journalism for two years. Participant of the data journalism program Internews Kyrgyzstan. Finalist of the Central Asian competition “Media Camp Fest 2022”. Fellow of Data Communication Fellowship of ForSet. Participated in trainings on data communications in Tbilisi.

Chynargul Zhumabekova – data journalist. I have been doing data journalism since last year. Participant of the Data journalism program Internews Kyrgyzstan. Finalist of the Central Asian competition “Media Camp Fest 2022””. Fellow of Data Communication Fellowship of ForSet. Participated in trainings on data communications in Tbilisi. Participant of DataFest Tbilisi 2022.

Project description:

This article is about expenditures from the republican budget of Kyrgyzstan for the maintenance of state-owned media. An important point of the material is that the government, spending large sums, uses the media for propaganda and denigration of opponents. The study focuses on the number of state-owned media outlets, the cost of maintaining them, and the state of freedom of speech. In addition, the material contains the opinions of deputies, experts and responsible persons. And the results of international studies reporting on the deterioration of the situation with freedom of speech in countries with a large number of state-owned media.

Impact reached:

After publication, our material was reprinted by other media, such as “Kloop”, “Bulak.kg”. Under the material, readers left comments about the need to reform the state-owned media. In addition, readers questioned the need to fund so many media outlets. After the publication of the material, the fact-checkers found out that in one of the major channels the funds were used inefficiently.

Techniques/technologies used:

To obtain information on the number of state-owned media outlets and spending on them from the budget, we sent inquiries to the Ministry of Culture, Information, Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Finance. However, they did not respond to our requests within the time frame and we had to wait over 2 months to get the information.

In preparing this material, we used tools such as Google Sheets, a tool for visualizations Flourish. The main techniques for preparing the material were data analysis and content analysis. Since our editorial office is small, we use ready-made services for visualizations.

Context about the project:

Great political changes are taking place in Kyrgyzstan. And information plays a big role in these changes. The government, allocating large funds, uses state-owned media as a propaganda tool. Using the power of the state, these media often disseminate false information and slander non-governmental organizations. There have been many cases of independent journalists exposing lies or misrepresentations by state media through fact-checking. On the other hand, in the material we draw attention to the large funds allocated annually and compare them with the internal debt of the state. The topic of public debt is acutely perceived by society. People are annoyed that the government, instead of using this money to solve social problems or pay off debts, spends it on supporting state media.
In addition, a complete list of state media cannot be found in the public domain. It must be requested from the responsible ministries, which may not respond to the request or not respond in time.

What can other journalists learn from this project?

Our material is considered unique in the country. Because before us, no one has done such a study. The data that we used in the material is not in the public domain, so our material has become a good archive. Other journalists may use our data, graphics and sources to create their own stories. All links to official requests and responses to them, data and graphics will be in the public domain.

Project links: