Uzbekistan: Islam Karimov criticized media for "toothless" approach
On January 27 giving a speech at the joint session of Legislative house and Senate Oliy Mazhlis (lower and upper houses of the parliament), the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov commented on local mass media.
According to Uzbek leader, the local media remain "toothless". Karimov believes that today’s conditions have set the task to strengthen the role of mass media in the system of civil society institutions. Further liberalization of mass media, active involvement of non-government press, radio, television, and their expansion in Internet must ensure publicity and openness of reforms, conducted in the republic, as well as facilitate the gradual emergence of stronger civil society, Karimov supposes.
"It is necessary to create additional conditions for better coverage of both foreign and domestic policy by mass media, considering the pluralism of opinions on the events in the country and outside. Special attention should be paid to the launch of legal mechanisms, targeted at further development of media technical base, financial and ethical stimulating of employees. Competitive compensation of labor, financial and ethical incentives assume higher independence, freedom of editorial office among newspapers and magazines and their responsibility", Uzbek President said.
It has to be mentioned that the words of Uzbek leader sound more than strange, away from reality and even hypocritically. In the last years nearly all independent mass media in the republic have been shut down; despite legislative liquidation of censorship, officially "authorized" press, radio and television energetically advertise "the national achievements under the leadership of wise President". Dozens of journalists, which cooperated with foreign mass media earlier, had to leave the country while the rest of them, staying home, are being suppressed by the government.
Overall, it is the government that knowingly prevents "gradual emergence of strong civil society" and "higher freedom for newspapers and magazines".