Amangeldi Myrzabek, a well-known Kazakh journalist with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), has won a prestigious journalism award that, according to its sponsors, "recognizes those who contribute to real democratic development and civil society in Kazakhstan."
As Chief Web Editor at RFE/RL's Almaty Bureau, Myrzabek routinely breaks stories that state-run media refuse to cover. His articles, ranging from government corruption to social issues, are some of the most widely read stories in Kazakhstan. Myrzabek's award is named for Altynbek Sarsenbaiuly, an opposition leader who was murdered two years ago.
"We are proud to have one of Kazakhstan's most popular and respected journalists on our staff," says RFE/RL President Jeffrey Gedmin. "Myrzabek deserves this award for his many outstanding stories and his commitment to a free and independent press in Kazakhstan."
Myrzabek has previously won a number of journalism awards, including honors from the Central Asian Independent Media Association and recognition by the major Kazakh independent newspaper.
RFE/RL's Kazakh Service, Radio Azattyq
, was established in 1953 as part of the Radio Liberty family, and has redoubled its efforts since independence to provide dependable information through intensive on-the-ground reporting. Restrictions on the Kazakh media market and limited airtime have imposed a heavy burden that Radio Azattyq has sought to counter with dynamic programming and increased cooperation - online and on the air - with local and regional media.