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Freedom of the media - a guarantee of freedom of expression and information
May 17, 2015, 5:05 pm
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Tashkent hosted an international conference on "Strengthening self-reliance and independence of the media - a guarantee of freedom of expression and information". It was attended by more than 100 experts and professionals from 30 national government and public agencies, and more than 20 international organizations and foreign embassies, as well as 50 media representatives from all regions of the country.

The event was organized by the National Association of Electronic Mass Media of Uzbekistan (NAEMM), together with the Parliamentary Commission for the management of the assets of the Public Fund for Support of NGOs and other civil society institutions under the Oliy Majlis, representatives of the OSCE, UNESCO and the Foundation n.a. C.Adenauer on Central Asia in our country and others.

The main objective of the conference was to discuss the main trends and issues to further strengthen the independence of the media, including the economic, the preconditions for the formation of independent television and radio broadcasters, to develop their active citizenship, the creation of conditions of freedom of speech in the country on the basis of further development of competition in the creation and dissemination of high quality media-production.

Within the framework of the International Forum were also held panel discussions on improving the legislative framework of media development and enforcement of legal acts the media sphere, strengthening economic foundations of the media as a factor in ensuring their freedom and independence, role and importance of state support for the development of socially-oriented media. Some of the international participants in an interview to IA "Jahon" shared their views and comments on the development and liberalization of the media activities in our country.

Daynius Radzyavichius, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media in Vienna, Chairman of the Lithuanian Union of Journalists, said, "Today's life is completely related to information technologies, which are developing very rapidly. Ensuring the rule of law and the adoption of appropriate laws contribute to the development of the media."

"The main criterion for the liberalization of the media - is, first of all, high-quality work of journalists. In my opinion, the information should be available to everyone, everywhere and always. In this regard, it is necessary to take those laws which actually serve to raise a new, higher level of reform in ensuring freedom of expression and information."

He added, "Within the legislative activity the experience and perceptions of the media representatives are very important, because they will operate in accordance with the laws of the country. In this context, today's event is very relevant and in demand. All that contributes to strengthen the independence of the media, including the issues of improving the legislative framework of the media sphere were widely discussed at this forum."

Peter Shivi, professor at the Higher School of Management (Germany) said, "Such events, the exchange of ideas between international experts from different countries contributes to better results in the democratization and liberalization of the media. Without a strong, independent, democratic and highly professional media can not achieve full consensus between society and the state. From this point of view, the effectiveness and efficiency of the reforms implemented in Uzbekistan in this area is very important for the future of the country."

Rene Falkner, Managing Director of Sachsen Fernshen GmBH & Co. Fernseh-Betriebs KG (Germany), said, "This conference, to be attended by both local and foreign experts, it is extremely important in terms of studying the experience of Uzbekistan in strengthening the autonomy and independence of the media, as well as exchange of views on the matter. It is interesting to observe that in the media and in Germany, and in your country are almost the same conversion. In particular, there is a consistent strengthening of the organizational and legal framework for the media, strengthening their participation in the processes of democratic renewal and modernization of the country, the expansion of topical issues illuminated. Especially it concerns the appearance of the emergence and development of socially-oriented media products, infrastructure improvements to strengthen the role of television and social networks. In Uzbekistan, these areas are now developing dynamically." 

"At the conference I took part in discussions with colleagues. In particular, we discussed the draft Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan "Support for socially-oriented mass media". It is encouraging that in the discussion of the draft legal act is attended not only by representatives of line agencies, but also the journalists from print and electronic media and television. We all put forward their suggestions for improving the law," He said.

Beate Schneider, Institute of Journalism and Communication Research (Germany), said, "With the development of information and communication technologies priorities for people to obtain information changed. Currently, the Internet is gradually pushing aside the traditional media as a source of news. Even the TV is still out of competition and satisfying the information needs of the majority of the audience is gradually losing positions. Modern man spends more time with the Internet, but not with the TV."

He said, "Another trend we are seeing is the emergence of a new direction - the creation of a socially-oriented media products. At the same time, this category of information file effective of all, distributed through the Internet. It is encouraging that the NAEMM and other agencies of Uzbekistan jointly with foreign partners implement projects to create socio-oriented media products. Creative groups formed in Tashkent and in the regions of the country, preparing public service announcements, topical issues affecting the picture today in various fields. This indicates that today the Uzbek media are passing their way up to date."

Heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Tashkent, also attended the conference. They praised the achievements of Uzbekistan in strengthening the autonomy and independence of the media, freedom of expression and information.

Stefan Prisner, UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan, Permanent Representative of United Nations Development Programme, said, "The holding of such conferences with the participation of international experts is very useful for the exchange of ideas, views and experiences of different countries. Reforms to liberalize the media in Uzbekistan deserve high marks. As you know, the process of democratization is not instantaneous, it's a long way to go. In this regard, the involvement of foreign experts is very useful, it can be swapped extensive experience and make for themselves the necessary conclusions."

"In conclusion I want to emphasize that we are actively working with our Uzbek partners on further development of the capacity of the media. Ongoing measures to improve the vocational skills of young journalists and technicians of electronic media," He said.

Krista Pikat, head of the UNESCO office in Uzbekistan, said, "We are pleased to collaborate with the NAEMM, and other institutions of Uzbekistan, leading its activities in the field of media. Today's conference is one of the results of the Association of cooperation with foreign partners. Recently, we celebrated World Press Freedom Day. This conference is part of a large-scale events held in Uzbekistan in May this year. In particular, in the framework of the NAEMM organized media days in some regions of the country have been training seminars, workshops, "round tables" with the involvement of national and international experts."

She went on to say, " It should be emphasized that freedom of expression for the United Nations and the entire international community are essential. Free, independent and pluralistic media play a key role in ensuring good governance in a democratic society. Therefore, the United Nations and, in particular, UNESCO shall pay particular attention to measures implemented in Uzbekistan aimed at increasing support for the media. We are their part, to cooperate fully with the reforms in this direction." 

Hofer Wissing Naythart, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany in Uzbekistan, said, "Uzbekistan has carried out systematic measures aimed at comprehensive support to the autonomy and independence of the media, strengthening their active citizenship, the creation of conditions of freedom of speech in the country. Today's conference is dedicated to informing the international community of experts on the achievements of the republic in this direction, the study of international best practices for its further implementation in domestic practice."

He added, "In this regard, it should be noted separately activities of the National Association of Electronic Mass Media of Uzbekistan, as in the era of globalization the internet further strengthen its role as a source of receiving and disseminating information. Therefore, it is encouraging that the NAEMM is consistently working on the development of online journalism. This is the most rapid and convenient form of communication of information, the provision of socio-economic, organizational and technical assistance to electronic publications and news agencies, as well as the training of qualified personnel in this field. Activities of the NAEMM also received a high score of foreign participants." 

He mentioned, "For its part, Germany is ready to continue cooperation with Uzbekistan in the field of media law, to strengthen their autonomy and independence through the implementation of joint projects. We need to continue to exchange views and experiences on the subject." 
 

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