With the assistance of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Public Foundation for the Support and Development of National Mass Media implemented the “100 Questions about the Mass Media” project, which sought to improve the legal literacy of journalists and bloggers.

24 - May, 2023

In recent years, Uzbekistan has developed a comprehensive legal framework to guarantee freedom of speech and information, promote the development of the media, strengthen the legal framework for activities, and protect the professional rights of journalists. In particular, more than twenty laws governing this field or its subfields have been enacted. However, it must be acknowledged that no organization conducts systematic explanations of the essence and content of such documents, and events held in this direction are frequently of a one-time nature, with limited financial and temporal access for all interested journalists. Simultaneously, the number of non-state media, whose editorial staff consists primarily of young people from a variety of professions, increases annually. In this instance, legal literacy is essential for both safeguarding one's rights and engaging in competitive activity. This project is also intended for the category of citizens (bloggers, initiative groups) who wish to create mass media but do not know the procedure for registering and organizing mass media activities and do not have a clear notion of which structure to contact regarding this matter. Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Mass Media Foundation, Ms. Nozima Davletova, stated that the initiative “100 questions about the mass media” is intended to provide access to legal information for all participants. “The questions for this initiative were collected directly from journalists and bloggers who have already encountered a variety of controversial situations in their professional careers. Its primary objective is to help strengthen the independence of national media by enhancing the legal knowledge of media professionals so that they can represent and safeguard their rights and legitimate interests competently”. Ms. Rahel Boesch, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Switzerland in Uzbekistan, also emphasized the significance of legal literacy for representatives of the mass media, who, despite working under continuous time constraints, must consider a variety of legal aspects. “Freedom of expression is directly dependent on democracy. However, it is crucial to be able to communicate. It is essential that media content be trustworthy, objective, and law-abiding. In this regard, we are pleased to assist the Uzbek media.” 2 After organizing and summarizing all project-related inquiries, the lawyers of the law firm Legalmax analyzed them and provided in-depth responses. For ease of information retrieval, all responses are organized into thematic sections covering topics such as media activity, its restrictions, access to information, the procedure for using personal data, copyright, etc. On the website of the Mass Media Foundation, you can learn more about them in Uzbek at https://massmedia.uz/oz/projects/100-law-questions and in Russian at https://massmedia.uz/ru/projects/100-law-questions. The same material is available on YouTube in Uzbek and Russian. Additionally, it was announced that in the near future, the Mass Media Foundation will release a mobile application for Android and iOS systems as well as a Telegram bot on which this content will also be accessible. At the conclusion of the presentation, there was a discussion of current issues affecting the Uzbek media community, during which proposals were made to enhance the national media’s sphere of operation. 

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