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22/02/11 - Reforms in the Media. New legislative initiatives under discussion

posted 15 Jan 2012, 03:27 by Ambasciata Uzbekistan
The role of mass media in ensuring transparency in activity of public authorities and the government was addressed at the panel discussion organized by the committees of the Senate of Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan on science, education, culture and sports, and foreign policy in cooperation with the National University.
As it is known, the Concept of intensifying democratic reforms and formation of civil society in the country put forward by the president outlines the priorities for further reforms in the media, freedom of speech and information.
Participants of the discussion noted that the country has developed a legislative base for mass media development over the past years, meeting democratic demands and standards.  About ten laws presently ensure the effective work of mass media. The number of print media has grown 1.5 times, while online media increased sevenfold over the past decade, so their total number now makes up 1,200. Along with that, the number of internet users exceeds 7.4 million people. TV and radio programs are broadcast online as well. Some TV programs are transmitted on international channels though the satellite system to 180 countries.
Particular attention was drawn to the development and adoption of the law on the openness of public authorities and government.  As noted in the Concept, this law could expand the bottlenecks in implementation of the constitutional right of citizens for information and, along with that, raise the responsibility of authorities for quality of decision-making. It should define clearly the procedures of informing the public about the activities of state bodies, ensure the broad access for public and public associations to information on the decisions they make, especially those pertaining to the rights, freedoms and legal interests of citizens.
Following the meeting, the participants approved recommendations to be considered in the preparation and adoption of the bill.