From Kazakhstan Encyclopedia
Template:Redirect Template:Infobox company Template:Infobox TV channel The Khabar Agency (Template:Lang-kk; Template:Lang-ru) is a major media outlet in Kazakhstan. It was established in 1995, known originally as the National Television News Agency. It is currently one of the largest networks in the country, and broadcasts daily in Russian and Kazakh. Additionally, Khabar runs the satellite channel Kazakh TV, which is potentially available across Europe and Asia. It features programming in Russian, Kazakh, and English.
Khabar annually hosts the Eurasian Media Forum, which attempts to bring together journalists and political figures to "facilitate the professional development of the Eurasian media and promote international public understanding of Eurasian issues".
The ownership of Khabar has at times not been completely clear. Dariga Nazarbayeva, daughter of Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev, founded and controlled the company. She officially stepped down as company chairwoman during her bid for parliament in 2004. However, she still retained close ties to the agency and continued to organize the Euraisan Media Forum. Her husband, Rakhat Aliyev, confirmed that the couple still held shares in Khabar, along with several other media outlets. He was, however, quick to deny direct ownership, and attacked those who claimed otherwise.
In April 2006, Kazakhstan’s Information and Culture Minister Ermukhamet Ertysbayev announced the intention to gain "one hundred-percent state control over the Khabar joint-stock company." This came on the heels of a general government call for greater control of the media, brought about from the turmoil following the murder of political opposition leader Altynbek Sarsenbayev.
Shortly thereafter, Dariga’s Asar party was merged into Otan. Some observers see the near-simultaneous loss of both the political party and the Khabar network as efforts by President Nazarbayev to reel in his daughter.
As one of the primary media outlets in Kazakhstan, Khabar is often under scrutiny for its role in elections. The agency is often criticized for covering mostly pro-presidential parties, namely Otan (now Nur-Otan) and Asar, Dariga’s short-lived party. During the 2004 elections, for example, half of all election coverage on Khabar was devoted to the Asar Party.
Khabar’s headquarters is located on Republic Square in Almaty, just east of the Monument to Independence and across from the Presidential Palace.
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