Do not stop delivering justice, do not be afraid – Policy on freedom of speech of New Uzbekistan

Dilmurod delivering his speech (Picture by Seok-Jae Kang)

Dilmurod delivering his speech (Picture by Seok-Jae Kang)

By Dilmurod Jumabaev

Text of the speech delivered by Dilmurod Jumabaev, Uzbekistan, at the World Journalists Conference (WJC 2022)

“Till 2016, for many years, the role of the press in Uzbekistan was significantly weakened. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who was elected president of the country in 2016, immediately and unequivocally stated that without accelerated development of the sphere, without ensuring the freedom of speech and press in Uzbekistan, reforms are impossible. He set the task, according to which state bodies should establish a direct dialogue with the people, and the mass media should become the real “fourth estate” in the country.

An American political activist Ralph Nader once said, “Information is the currency of democracy. It’s denial must always be suspect.” Increasing the role and influence of the media in society, the effectiveness of their activities, strengthening the material and technical base and personnel potential, all-round stimulation of the work of employees in the field has become a priority for the new Leader of Uzbekistan.

It should be noted that over the past years, in order to strengthen the relevant regulatory and legal framework, 12 acts of legislation were adopted, the media sphere and the system of information services are being radically updated.

It should also be emphasized that number of registered mass media has risen from 1514 in 2016 to 1893 in 2022. Of the total number of media outlets, newspapers – 642, magazines – 482, TV channels – 72, news agencies – 5. The electronic media, in particular, internet journalism are increasingly becoming part of the society in Uzbekistan. Thus, 638 of registered mass media, or 33.7%, are websites of Internet publications. Following the policy transparency and openness, Uzbekistan has hugely simplified accreditation procedures for foreign journalists. There are almost 60 accredited correspondents of foreign media in the country.

Today in Uzbekistan the media is the real voice of the people, the shifts are undeniable. Information cannot be hidden today, it circulates freely and this is directly related to freedom of speech. The media, along with objective coverage of large-scale changes taking place in our country, draw the attention of government departments and the public to pressing issues on the ground and encourage leaders at all levels to address them.

What’s more, regular meetings of heads of governing bodies of all levels with representatives of the media, journalists, as well as a broad discussion in the form of an open dialogue of topical issues related to the life of the state and society have become traditional. This approach is considered to be one of the most important directions of the policy of openness, transparency and democratization being pursued in Uzbekistan.

Fair criticism of journalists and bloggers points out the mistakes and shortcomings of the old-fashioned officials, forcing them to change their style of work and increase responsibility. People are also freely expressing their opinions through the internet. These critical views are heard by public authorities. They analyze their activities through criticism, take measures to solve existing problems, learn to communicate. In this way, governing bodies are operating in a new reality, in a new Uzbekistan.

Yes, it is not getting easy, some officials with outdated thinking may not like the need to work in an open and transparent manner, to learn to accept the criticism in relation to their activities. However willpower, hard work, perseverance and walking in the right direction are making this possible.

Mass media and social networks in Uzbekistan is very active today in the process of fighting the shadow economy and corruption through covering their consequences and forming an intolerant attitude towards these negative phenomena in society.


Mirziyoyev such expressed his strong support towards assiduous journalists: “Do not stop delivering justice, do not be afraid. We will not deviate from this path. If you advocate justice, write the truth, the leaders may hate you now, but eventually they will start working. This will lead to systematic work.”

Uzbekistan has gained a reputation in the new world. The role of the media in this is enormous.”


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