Central Asian post-independence media and communication industries, professional practices, education, persisting and evolving values, and traditions remain critically understudied with a notable scarcity of research and scholarly publications on the complex and increasingly changing communicative ecology landscape of this region. Mapping the Media and Communication Landscape of Central Asia: An Anthology of Emerging and Contemporary Issues addresses this gap in literature by exploring, analyzing, and shedding light to the field, practice, research and critical inquiry of media and mass communication in four countries in Central Asia—Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. This book includes local authors as well as new and emerging researchers from this region to contextualize the issues explored and provide a supportive dialogue between different points of view.
Elira Turdubaeva is a visiting scholar at media and communications department at University of Central Asia, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
Evangelia Papoutsaki is associate professor at Unitec-Te Pukenga, New Zealand
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Introduction: Mapping the Communicative Ecology of Central Asia Media: Emerging Trends and Persisting Issues
Elira Turdubaeva and Evangelia Papoutsaki
Part I - Identity, Media and Politics
Chapter 1: Re-Orientalizing Central Asia: Role of Russian Media in Construction and Negotiation of Identity in Tajikistan
Chapter 2: The Evolution of State-Sponsored Television Series in Kazakhstan
Chapter 3: Efforts of Nation Branding in Post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan
Chapter 4: Media’s Role in Political and Social Transformation in Central Asia
Chapter 5: Kyrgyzstan’s News Media Discourses on Tribalism: 2009-2014
Part II - Issues: Gender, Religion, Environment, Migration, Activism
Chapter 6: The Media Landscape in Three Central Asian Countries, and its Impact on Key Social and Behavioral Dimensions in the Region
Tatiana Karabchuk, Aizhan Shomotova, and Glenn W. Muschert
Chapter 7: Representation of Islam and Muslims in Kyrgyz Media
Mukaram Toktogulova and Elira Turdubaeva
Chapter 8: Gender and Media in Uzbekistan: Reproducing Gender Role Stereotypes
Chapter 9: Environmental News Reporting in Kyrgyzstan: A Content Analysis of Kyrgyz Press
Chapter 10: Reporting on Migration and Representation of Migrants in Kazakh and Russian Media
Chapter 11: Community Media in Kyrgyzstan and their Role in Strengthening Remote Communities Agency
Evangelia Papoutsaki and Elira Turdubaeva
Part III - Digital and Social Media
Chapter 12: Mapping Social Media in Kyrgyzstan
Ahmed Al-Rawi, Tahmina Inoyatova, Elira Turdubaeva and Evangelia Papoutsaki
Chapter 13: Social Media, Online Activism and Government Control in Kazakhstan
Dila Baisembaeva, Evangelia Papoutsaki and Elena Kolesova
Chapter 14: Mediated Public Diplomacy Targeting Kyrgyzstan
Ahmed Al-Rawi, Joseph Nicolai, Tahmina Inoyatova, Elira Turdubaeva, Tolkun Bekturgan Kyzy and Evangelia Papoutsaki
About the Contributors
This book incisively explores the close interconnections between Central Asia’s multiple media landscapes and pressing issues that face the region, including violent extremism, labor migration, sex and gender identity, climate change and the environment, and the heavy influence of Russian media. It examines the rapidly changing persona of Central Asian media and journalism in the context of the public’s expanding access to social media, the persistence of post-Soviet authoritarianism, traditional cultural and societal values, and constraints on freedom of expression.
This volume, written by both local and international experts on Central Asia, is an impressive collection of essays, essential for any scholar and researcher in media and communication field. It covers a wide range of issues dealing with the history, development, the current state, and contemporary challenges the media, technologies, and practitioners face in the region today.
It is now conventional wisdom that media plays a crucial role in shaping society and individual choices, but we know little about how the media works in various political contexts and how different issues are treated. This ground-breaking book is the fruit of a remarkable collaboration between many scholars. This volume is a touchstone for students and scholars in media studies and the broader research community that seeks to understand the drivers of social processes in the region.
This book fills a gap in research on the media, provides rich material on statistics, trends in terms of capacity of media, freedom of expression, and countries development priorities. For the first time an overview of curricula in the context of evolving digital technologies is made. The topic of gender and media runs through the publication, in addition to being investigated separately. The limitations around media studies and freedom of expression in the region are worth exploring on their own. This book will be of interest to media researchers, policy makers, journalism universities, and management professionals. I gladly recommend it for reading.
Mapping the Media and Communication Landscape of Central Asia is an all-encompassing volume that offers new perspectives on social, political, and economic developments in the region. The contributions provide insights by scholars from Central Asia who skillfully combine their academic knowledge and personal ties with the area. Highly recommended.
Central Asia is a critical sphere of influence for at least one great power, and as the war in Ukraine has shown, it is increasingly so for the other. Its communication ecology is vital to study as the processes of propaganda and political muscle flexing transforms the region from a series of Soviet outposts into sovereign nations of significance. To examine Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan in their post-Soviet incarnations, where media freedom is lacking or under threat, is timely. For this examination to be undertaken by local and other scholars is not only timely but novel. Having reported on this region as a foreign correspondent and later visited as a journalism educator, it is heartening to know so many young Central Asians wish to work in the field of communications and are being given the scholastic basis to do so. This book will be a major contribution to their education as well as the wider scholastic community.
The nexus where Central Asian nation building, social transformation, and (digital) media meet is understudied. And when written about, too often filled with less than useful stereotypes and not quite up to date information. Therefore, this volume is warmly welcomed. Because not only does it include analyses of the media coverage and media ‘manipulation’ of important issues such as ecology, migration, religion, and gender stereotypes, but these analyses are written by Central Asian scholars, which should be welcomed, not because of where they were born, but because they clearly know what they are writing about and—let’s admit it—have ‘the finger on the pulse’, a valuable asset when we are talking about such complex issues as these, and when the aim is to fit country analyses into a wider pattern. Some of the conclusions are very bleak but justifiably so…at least with this volume, we are getting some solid, in-depth studies of that bleakness and that is always the first step in order to do anything.
Central Asia is an exceptionally varied and dynamic region. Its national media systems have been informed by both Russian and Western media practices and are in the process of developing their own syntheses of these. Turdubaeva and Papoutsaki’s anthology is ground-breaking in providing high quality analyses of government regulation and monitoring of media in the region and of national media engagements with crucial topics such as the environment and gender. This volume is not just essential for Central Asian studies, but is also significant for global media, news, and current affairs studies more broadly.
This book skilfully illuminates Central Asia’s transitional societies, economies, and polities, offering a unique perspective from established scholars from or based in the region. Collectively, the authors provide a nuanced analysis of the issues facing this enigmatic and under-researched part of the world.
Here it is at last, a comprehensive volume on the communication and media environment in Central Asia. Like environmental diversities of mountains, valleys, and the steppe, the presented studies trace the similarities and differences in the development of media systems in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Reading this volume, I have learned a lot, starting from a chronicle introduction that has helped me to better understand the background and fill the knowledge gaps of the current media and the changing communication landscape.
Inquisitive questions and keen observations as to lingering patterns and tectonic shifts in the media and cultural landscapes of Central Asia are brought together in cogent accounts for students and scholars interested in the region’s past, present, and future.