• By: OLM Staff

Ottawa Life Magazine writer Mckenzie Donovan wins Foreign Media Award

Ottawa Life Magazine Features writer Mckenzie Donovan has been named the winner in the Americas category in the 2022 Kazakhstan through the Eyes of Foreign Media Contest which has been held annually since 2014. The Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the results of the contest today. 

Donovan has been writing for Ottawa Life Magazine for five years. He has written extensively about Kazakhstan and was part of a group of accredited foreign journalists invited to cover the presidential elections in Kazakhstan in 2019 following the resignation of long-term President Nursultan Nazarbayev in March 2019. Seven candidates registered to replace Nazarbayev, making it the election with the largest number of presidential candidates in Kazakhstan's history. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev won the electionKassym-Jomart Tokayev.

This year foreign media paid significant attention to the systemic changes taking place in the country since the beginning of 2022, the political, economic, and social reforms within the paradigm of the New Kazakhstan.

The jury included Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Roman Vassilenko, President of Kazakhstan’s Chief Editors Club Bibigul Zheksenbai, and Chairman of the Board of Kazakh Tourism Talgat Amanbayev. They reviewed more than 50 applications from foreign journalists and bloggers from 40 countries, which were published over the past twelve months. The pieces presented appeared in newspapers, magazines, online resources, popular Internet platforms, blogs, and in the form of podcasts. The topics covered were international relations, history, culture, tourism, health care, sports, nuclear disarmament, renewable energy, and others.

According to the jury's decision, seven foreign authors were the competition winners. Donovan won for his article titled Nazarbayev, Tokayev and Kazakhstan's continuing political reform journey about the political reforms program in Kazakhstan. Judges said his article was the best among the entrants from the Americas category.

The European winner was British blogger Tristan Hughes for an episode of his podcast The Ancients, titled Ancient Kazakhstan: the gold of the Great Steppe, dedicated to the exhibition of the archaeological heritage of Saka tribes held in Cambridge last year. Georgian author Gulbaat Rtskhiladze was selected among the entries from CIS and Eurasia countries for his article on the historical ties between Kazakhstan and Georgia. Sanjay Kumar, a journalist from The Korea Herald, won in the Asia-Pacific region for his articles on investment opportunities in Kazakhstan and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA). From the Middle East and Africa, the jury decided to select two contenders at once: Driss Lyakoubi, a journalist from the Moroccan editions of Le Matin and 12.ma, for a series of articles on the topic of his country’s cooperation with Kazakhstan, and Emrah Kaya, a Turkish author, for his quality review of the New Kazakhstan development process. The jury selected travel blogger Khalid Almutairi from Kuwait for his tourism-related e-book about Kazakhstan in Arabic.

The winners are awarded a trip to Kazakhstan to visit the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Turkistan, and Burabay resort area in September this year.