If the need of local audiences for news and analytical pieces is not met, sources in foreign countries will address this gap. This was the message President Shavkat Mirziyoyev voiced during the meeting of the Security Council, reports Menichma show which airs on Uzbekistan 24.

“If we do not take the creation of national content in the information sphere into our hands, if we do not access events happening on the global scale based on our national interests, we will create opportunities for others to do so from abroad. Because, if we do not satisfy the demand of local audiences for news and analytics on ongoing events, others will do it. The latter is impermissible,” the president highlighted.

“Every criticism should be addressed. If a journalist is right, then we need to admit it. If not, we need to learn to prevent unreliable information from appearing by explaining. And to explain to the whole society that it was untrue,” Shavkat Mirziyoyev continued.

President ordered to reassess the system of cultivating military-patriotic education among youth taking into account “globalization and growing fight for hearts and minds of people.”

President has previously spoken of the value of journalists and non-interference in their activity.

In May 2023, he called the media and journalists “the most influential force that brings an opinion of people into masses and state bodies.” Back then he reasserted the freedom of journalistic activity and reminded to be conscious of media responsibility.

Last March, journalists and local activists in their address to the president spoke about “covert, but rigid censorship.” The Union of Journalists in their statement stated, “they did not notice pressure on editorials and independent journalists and bloggers.” On the contrary, the Union spoke about the abuse of freedom of speech.

In February, Shavkat Mirziyoyev recognized that “it is harder to work” with the media having their freedom. He said he was offered “to close the media.” “I will not close them… Let them speak, but speak justly. Let them criticize, but criticize correctly,” he said.

In June, in a statement on the occasion of media workers day, the president highlighted ensuring the freedom of speech, right for acquiring and disseminating information as integral part of the strategy of development of Uzbekistan. He added that the state relies on journalists in the fight against corruption and other societal problems.

In February 2021, Shavkat Mirziyoyev in a meeting with journalists, said they shouldn’t “stop justly bringing up achievement and shortcomings.” “Do not be afraid. The president is behind you,” he claimed.

In April 2022, Gazeta.uz run an Op-Ed by Komil Djalilov “While local media remains silent, foreign win the minds.” “How come that the minds of the people of Uzbekistan are under the influence of television stations of foreign countries, but not the National TV that has dozens of channels and the budget over 500 billion sums?” asked Djalilov.

In November the same year digital television operators offered plans comprising a number of channels along with Russian state ones. Among them were BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, France 24, CGTN (China), TRT Avaz (Turkey), Belarus 24 and others.