03.02.2010

Facts are sacred, but they should be proved

PIK analytical-informational agency

Even miracles require check and recheck!

Sergey Ursulyak

Despite that, or could be just because, the freedom of information in Kazakhstan is being regulated, a necessity of rechecking facts is raised sharply. By which sources a speakers (writers) is basing their facts? Is there anything in it for them – higher status, advertising fees, or somebody else’s gratitude? Or are they have some prejudgments because of the people they know; a company which engaged them, or relations, which were settled back home.

2010 02 03A liberal point of view on informational field is suggesting that mass-media can print any kind of information, including contrary to the fact ones. That’s why they are ranged by level of trust and authority from the side of readers and viewers. A consumer is becoming preliminary ready, buying an authoritative business issue or tabloid in his hands.

Such views on freedom of speech haven’t taken roots in Kazakhstan. The mass-media is being attacked for contempt of honor and dignity, business characters assassination, defamation. Recently a “Personal privacy” law has appeared, by which it is unclear, from what point the top authorities’ professional duties are ending and their private life begins; but all this not cancelling a majority of facts, especially in the Internet. Under Kaznet we mean those web-sources, which are dedicated to Kazakhstan or biased on its internet users.

Now it is wiretapping about some indecent distribution of state’s finance, then a women with her face covered telling story in a video clip about how political Olympus representative raped her, or even information about some luxury estates bought in Switzerland by one famous person. In such conditions you can’t avoid proving facts. But there is already a question arise – how to do it?

A deficit oа transparency is a common line of all state institutes of Kazakhstan. In this question even specialists can’t exactly tell, what represents, for instance, gold and foreign currency reserves of the country. The maximum you could find from officials is that the country has those reserves and they are around $50 billion. Concerning more specific information – how much in terms of what currency of which countries, what precious metals, companies’ stocks and other things, than this is already outside an access.

That follows by a huge field of fantasies on any themes. Many people are covering their own thoughts in fact envelope and sending it into informational flows. That’s why checking facts is a good training not only to work with journalistic information, but for live at all. This is studying to think skeptically. It is too simple to believe something when somebody, who looks well informed, states it. But if you are approaching checking of facts responsibly, then you are listening more carefully.

For instance, is it true that Kazakhmys Private Corporation received $2.7 billion from those finance that the country had lent from China? Or was it given by Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund or the decision was brought by completely different persons, and the fund was only executed it? Are those finance went on production development or debts payments? Who would be responsible for such decision? As we can see, even by this single case there are too many questions, and nobody among common journalists can receive the answer in free access.

During Soviet times not facts were requiring checking, but meaning. For instance, a newspaper reports that a lot of butter harms organism. And people are running to squirrel butter, since such publications are meaning that there would oncoming problems with butter supply to shops. Now, taking all recalls of the past, the rules of informational field are substantially changed. But all in all it should be under control: is it for real that a new factory gave a required product? The one waster money and avoided responsibility is a namesake of a minister but not related in reality? In point of fact, a secretary is responsible for everything, but not akim?

Of course, there are spider webs, propaganda and censure, sacred plans and motivation keeping in journalism, but with one major difference: almost anyone today can work as a reporter. How can you really supply respect to truth for that huge community of new correspondents? If to apply to experience of developed countries, than in US the Federal Commission on Trade announced its plans to require data from bloggers and indossators of celebrities about presents and payments from sellers and others, who are willing to get positive comments from bloggers in the internet.

But what about other types of prejudgment? In accordance with raising way of internet web by “do it yourself” principle, when people are ordering their own flights, publishing their own pictures and selling their own used goods, users must take the responsibility to make their own facts control by themselves.

This is not witnessing that journalists should not check their own facts (or that priests should ignore dogmas of their religion). However, in the end, everyone is required to become more decent reader – more skeptical or more curious. Why this story requires so much attention? Is that blogger saying bad things all the time? Is she always speaking about glorious products that she uses all the time? Are there any exposures in his blog? Why this politician saying beautiful things about other politician? On what company this product expert works? Why almost anybody are disturbed by new customs rules, but others act they as there were didn’t noticed that?

Governments could apply regulations (and in Kazakhstan they are very much abused by this); however, in the end we will get this kind of a journalism that we’re requiring. If we could ask about it, the web sites will propose not only content, but also the systems of reputation definitions, for those who are inputting information would have (or have not) reputation of reliable sources of it. Today already you can judge by real website traffic of Kaznet to whom information consumers trust more. Or on whom internet forum a bickerfest is supposing more social resonance.

In this world, more and more disturbing judgments, we need to spend a little more time working on supplying our own intellectual cohesiveness: a task, which couldn’t be trusted to the government, politicians or mass-media. Facts are sacred, however not all mass media, both new and old, which are reporting those facts to us can be trusted.

An interpretation of facts is also very important to Kazakhstan. Given $19 billion, became notorious and spent by the government on anti-crisis measures. One experts are tendered on how quickly and massively the government had pumped into the economy. And this is supposedly is cool by the matter of fact. But others are stating that, considering scales of domestic economy, with reasonable usage of every billion of dollars there must be a good effect in terms of GDP growth up to 1%. Or 0,5% minimum. Thus, 9,5% of growth by results of 2009?

Today, when interpolitical situation in Kazakhstan is differencing along with geopolitical background around it, checking of facts is worth to be proved more substantially. They are like beacons and pointer in informational flows, by which you can check with on how stated course is compared with real state of the business.

8 comments

  1. Anonymous

    насколько заявленный курс соответствует реальному положению дел.

    -----------------------------------------------

    Вы это серьезно?

  2. Anonymous

    А понять навал по поводу того, что некоторым СМИ запретили даже всуе упоминать имя Тимы Кулибаева? Очень «по-рахатовски»...

  3. Anonymous

    Да, против Тимы точно, поперли факты... Отмашется? Врят ли, Ноль Первый не за него

  4. Graham E

    WOW, what a lawlessness you got there. Iraq is seeming to be democratic country for me after reading this article.

  5. Anonymous

    За Кульком, точнее после Кулька возьмутся за Таса.

  6. Anonymous

    Ноль 1 сам за себя. И зарубите себе это на носу. Надо просто выжить...

  7. Anonymous

    Не болды? Неден сескенды халык?

  8. Осакаровка

    А фуй его биледi