Freedom of speech and media is a priority of the state policy in Uzbekistan. The country is making active efforts to democratize the information sphere, establish a dialogue with the people, and expand access to information.
Today, the mass media actively and successfully bring to the population the information that is in demand in society, comprehensively cover the large-scale transformations underway in our country, paying close attention to addressing the pressing problems of citizens.
In this regard, AIMC within the framework of its authority has always stood and will stand on guard of the interests of the mass media, which today rightfully begin to take the role of the "fourth power".
At the same time, some media, social networks and various messengers have been publishing unconfirmed information, and there are facts of inaccurate information dissemination. Regarding these issues, on October 10, 19 October and 11 November 2020, the Agency published statements indicating the facts of non-fulfillment of the Laws "On Mass Media", "On Principles and Guarantees of Freedom of Information", "On Protection of Professional Activities of Journalist", "On Personal Data", "On State Language", "On State Youth Policy", "On Consumer Rights Protection" and other regulatory and legal acts.
The Agency had all necessary grounds and facts to place such statements: incitement of interreligious hatred (Effect.uz, Hordiq.uz), dissemination of pornographic information, propaganda of violence (Nova24.uz), etc.
Besides, the Agency is authorized body on development and implementation of unified state policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the field of information. In this regard, AIMC has the right to issue warnings, conclusions and binding instructions on revealed violations.
In particular, on 20-23 November this year the websites ("Kun.uz", "Daryo.uz", "Gazeta.uz", "Podrobno.uz", "Repost.uz") registered as mass media received warnings about the dissemination of information that does not meet the requirements of current legislation.
Thus, on the website "Kun.uz" various comments, insults and appeals of individual users of social networks were presented as public opinion.
Also, on 17 November, the materials posted on the websites "Gazeta.uz", "Daryo.uz", "Podrobno.uz", "Repost.uz" questioned the statistics of coronavirus infection and did not provide official explanations on this issue.
The Agency is convinced that the main goal of journalism is to responsibly bring to the society comprehensively verified and objective information, which presents all points of view.
In order to create favorable working conditions for the mass media and ensure openness and accessibility of government agencies, since March of this year alone the Agency has organized over 700 press conferences and briefings. As part of these events, the heads and officials of the relevant government agencies directly answered pressing and topical issues for the population and promptly responded to the problems raised in the media.
Activities in this direction continue, in particular, the Agency approved a media plan of events to be held at the AIMC and the National Press Center. The media plan includes over 100 press conferences and over 80 press tours.
In addition, in order to ensure openness and respect for the constitutional right to information, the Agency, together with the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional and Tashkent city khokimiyats, developed and posted on the official web resources of the Agency plans for media tours, as well as press conferences and direct dialogues with the participation of heads of government agencies in the field.
For November-December of this year it is planned to hold 120-150 different media events in each region of the country. All this so that the media could easily receive the necessary information from primary sources.
It should also be noted that in December this year it is planned to approve criteria for determining the openness of government agencies. From 2021 will be published quarterly ratings, compiled by these criteria. The results of these ratings will be discussed at relevant sessions of the Parliament.
Another important step is the creation of "Dialogue platforms " at the Agency and its regional subdivisions. This project is aimed at protecting and ensuring the rights of media representatives and bloggers and providing them with necessary legal advice and assistance.
The Agency responsibly declares its readiness to provide comprehensive practical assistance to journalists and bloggers, creating all necessary conditions for constructive and open dialogue between government agencies and media and the public, thus guaranteeing freedom of speech and media development in the country.