August 30, 2016
Uzbekistan has been attaching special importance to freedom of expression and information, and transformation of media into a platform for people to openly express their thoughts and attitudes to current events. The republic is creating all the conditions needed for the development of the media and support for its representatives.

The role of nongovernmental television and radio channels, print and online media in bringing the essence of the ongoing reforms in Uzbekistan, the value of the progress and borders that have been achieved, the value of the current peaceful and happy life to the public with the focus on the younger generation. The role and place of the electronic media was noted in the ‘Concept of enhancing democratic reforms and building the civil society in the country’, which was put forward by President Islam Karimov and approved by the Parliament. Their further development is defined as one of the priorities of reformation of the information sector.

As emphasized by the state leader in his congratulatory message to the print and media workers, \"from the very first days of independence our country has been consistently pursuing a policy of continuous enhancement of the role of media in society and their effective performance, strengthening of the legal and logistical capacity of media structures, promotion of social status and prestige of the journalist profession.

Uzbekistan has been paying a particular attention to the creation of equal conditions for the development of the governmental and nongovernmental media in the country\'s information space. This is evidenced by the fact that the government budget has allocated about 14 billion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 30.08.2016, 1$= 2989.64 soums) in the form of loans, social orders and state grants in recent years alone to support the electronic and print media.”

The promotion of the development of domestic electronic mass media in the international community, the exchange of experience between national and international experts in the field, development of recommendations and proposals for further promising areas of their development have been the key objectives of the Media Days in August. They were organized by the National Association of Electronic Mass Media, the Parliamentary Commission for Management of Assets of the Public Fund for Support of NGOs and Other Civil Society Institutions, the Public Fund for Support and Development of Independent Print Media and News Agencies, the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan, the Regional Office of Konrad Adenauer Foundation for Central Asia, UNESCO and UNICEF offices in Uzbekistan, Embassy of France, the Czech Republic in our country, and other partners.

The agenda included a scaled media camp Navqiron Jurnalistlar (Promising Journalists). The event took place in a picturesque part of Urgut district, in Chor Chinor health complex, as well as on the bases of STV Channel (Samarkand) and Bunyodkor TV complex in Tashkent under the slogan \"Yet More Mobile, Interactive, and Better!\" \"Modern trends in the formation of a new generation of journalists, and prospects for expanding young audiences: the focus on multimedia journalism’ was the subject of the media camp.

The media camp brought together 200 representatives of central and regional television and radio stations. It included about 25 training seminars and workshops with the participation of international experts from France, Germany, Russia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and other countries, where during seven days the participants advanced their skills, got acquainted with the latest trends in production and distribution of media content, and discussed relevant issues of further development of the information sector.

The diversity of topics at workshops and trainings covered standards of professional journalism, application of new technologies in the production of talk shows, creative social ads dedicated to the Year of Mother and Child Health, the latest trends in TV design, methods of building content in radio news programs, innovations in presenting news, and others.

“I was surprised at how strongly the guys I was lucky to work with expressed their desire to learn and how active they were at practical classes,” shared the department head at SONY Russia Dmitry Bunevich. “I am impressed by the level of proficiency of the Uzbek operators.”

“I was impressed by communication with the young people in the media camp,\" said the Head of the European Commission Country Office for Bulgaria, an expert on the media development in South-East Europe, Ognian Zlatev. “Young TV journalists of Uzbekistan are always interested in global trends in the sector, they are well informed. I tried to expand their knowledge of journalistic standards. For example, it is inappropriate to quickly comment on the event without checking the source first, and making sure in its credibility. All the participants grasped all I was saying. They have excellent prospects.”

“The classes in the media camp were held for a week in a picturesque corner of the Samarkand region,” said the head of public relations department of the UNICEF Country Office for Uzbekistan Atul Kumar. “One of the trainings was conducted by UNICEF experts. I participated in the workshop on production of children\'s television programs. The urge for creativity in young TV journalists, their desire to acquire new knowledge and skills impressed me greatly. I believe, by the completion of the media days they realized how to use the new knowledge to the benefit of the people, and work with children for their welfare.”

The centerpiece of the Media Days was the international seminar titled ‘Enhancing the role of nongovernmental electronic media in the process of democratization and modernization of the country: the experience of Uzbekistan’.

It brought together members of the lower house of parliament, representatives of ministries and departments, state and public institutions, international organizations and foreign embassies in Uzbekistan, domestic and foreign experts from Germany, France, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Russia and other countries.

Prior to the start of the international forum, the participants visited the TV channel STV Samarkand, which marked its 25th anniversary. The guests were introduced to modern studios and shooting rooms, a museum of the TV channel, its history and development stages.

As noted at the workshop, electronic media have been getting popular in the country, television and radio market is booming, paving the way for pluralism of opinions in various strata of society. The process of capitalization of companies, increased interest of investors in the electronic media, expansion of the air ads market, and introduction of digital technologies have increased the number of nongovernmental television and radio channels. Uzbekistan has entered a new stage in the development of the media that generate national interests, are effectively involved in the democratic process, and meet international standards.

The evolution of electronic broadcasting in our country is obvious: the legal framework for the operation of the media corresponds to democratic standards.

Youth television studios operate in all regions of the country: enthusiastic young journalists try their pen, trying to be impartial in the search for truth. 98% of young journalists of electronic media were born and grew up in the years of independence, and their average age is 20.

They are free of the blinders imposed by the propaganda of the past, and are now showing patriotic enthusiasm and involvement in civic activity, online activism and intellectual maximalism.

This fact can not but affects the content they produce. The media products of young journalists reflect the free spirit of the new generation. Their reports, programs and social ads surprise not just the older generation of the national press, but also foreign experts with their creative formats, optimistic view on the current challenges, the impartiality of information.

The workshop was divided into three sessions. The first was dedicated to development trends of electronic media. The second session covered the ways of improving the quality of media content and socio-economic issues of the media in the conditions of their convergence, and the third was about the use of modern tools for access to global media platforms.

Speaking at the workshop, Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission for Management of Assets of the Public Fund for Support of NGOs and other Civil Society Institutions under Oliy Majlis Akmal Saidov elaborated on the instruments of targeted social support for the media. For example, in the current year NAEMM has received a grant of 19 billion soums for shifting TV stations to digital broadcasting. Over the recent years, the Parliamentary Commission has allocated over 15 billion soums in the form of state orders, subsidies and grants for the development of the media.

The participants heard reports on the media coverage of the activities of state authorities and administration, public institutions on strengthening of nongovernmental television and radio stations, development trends of the domestic media market, strengthening the economic independence of radio stations, interaction of media and social networking, and others.

Representatives of international organizations and foreign experts highly commended the conditions and opportunities for effective operation of electronic media in Uzbekistan, shared their experiences.

The international workshop was followed by the presentation of the outcomes of media camps in Tashkent and Chor Chinor recreation area , which took place in the Bogishamol Garden Park of Samarkand. The event was attended by over 200 people - foreign experts and representatives of international organizations, the media, the guests, who could personally watch the media products produced by young TV journalists during the media days. The whole event was very beautiful and solemn. No one stayed indifferent to the coolness of numerous fountains and the splendor of the Bogishamol Garden, a huge screen that demonstrated the creativity of the media camp participants. All the participants of the Media Days were presented with memorable gifts on that extraordinary evening.

Then Media Days continued in Tashkent. The National Association of Electronic Mass Media introduced the guests to the current state and prospects of development of infrastructure of the national nongovernmental television and radio broadcasting in Uzbekistan, its logistical capacity, human and technical resources.

The August Media Days were crowned by the traditional festival ‘Ozod Yurt Tulkinlari’ (Waves of the Free Country), which aim at promoting the creative and technical staff of electronic mass media in producing national social media products. Since its origin in 2007, the festival was attended by hundreds of media workers.

The best representatives of TV and radio studios came together for the festival from all over the republic. As noted by speakers at the opening of the event, along with serving the interests of society, mass media are destined to help people to orient in the events. They should namely orient, and not just report on the abstract facts, motivate the state and society to move forward on the path of progressive development.

The media is currently experiencing the stage when nongovernmental television and radio studios cease to be a simple tool for delivery of information and entertainment, but turn into the constructive force that can contribute to the further development of their country.

The true freedom of speech and democracy takes years of work, career development, training, speakers stressed. The task of growing a new generation of socially responsible and objective journalists is being successfully addressed.

Teams of nongovernmental television and radio stations presented their creative works in the categories “The top TV and radio products on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan, ‘The top media project dedicated to the national program the Year of Mother and Child Health’, ‘The top TV station’, ‘The best radio station’.

“In a few days our country will celebrate the dearest holiday, the Independence Day,” said the director of the Nukus FM radio station Bahtbek Elmanov. “In our broadcasts, we reflect how Uzbekistan has changed over the years of independence, positive changes in the minds and lives of the people, the boundless love for children and respect for elders.”

Selected by jury through the online voting, the winners were awarded the cherished crystal statuettes of the festival, diplomas and memorable gifts.

A new media complex of the nongovernmental youth television and radio company Vodiy Sadosi (Echo of the Valley) was presented as part of Media Days in Tashkent.

The new TV studio ZOR-TV of the TV and Radio Company demonstrated the most advanced media standards. All the equipment was purchased for loan foreign currency funds and exempt from customs duties in accordance with the Decree of the President of Uzbekistan ‘On granting additional tax benefits and preferences for further development of the media’ of 2011. Speaking of the state support, the presentation emphasized the remarkable contribution of the Parliamentary Commission for Management of Assets of the Public Fund for Support NGOs and Other Civil Society Institutions under the Oliy Majlis, which channeled 4.8 billion soums for the development of broadcasting media.

Ferghana hosted a workshop dedicated to the programs of nongovernmental television and radio stations on the preparation and celebration of the 25th anniversary of independence. The workshop was preceded by the opening of the new building of Margilon TV.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)


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