Last week, CNN’s “Eye On” series began running short spots on the country that looked more like infomercials than news coverage, according to EurasiaNet.org. The stories cover a host of not-so-hard-hitting topics, ranging from the country’s growing economy and bright energy future to its drive to become a ski mecca.
The EurasiaNet blog post noted that the promo video for the program briefly showed logos for the Astana Economic Forum and for Samruk Kazyna, a state-controlled fund that manages national assets. Some of the pages on the “Eye On” website, however, show adisclaimer at the bottom stating, “CNN’s Eye On series often carries sponsorship originating from the countries we profile. However CNN retains full editorial control over all of its reports.”
Following EurasiaNet’s lead, The Atlantic also criticized CNN, but this time for not being more transparent with their coverage of Kazakhstan. Max Fisher, an associate editor of the magazine, noted that the version of the Eye On site available in the United States lacked any disclosure of the state sponsorship. Fisher also charged CNN with using interviews with “experts” who are really current or former Kazakhstani government employees.