DIRECTOR OF THE AGENCY FOR INFORMATION AND MASS COMMUNICATIONS UNDER
THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN
Politics & Diplomacy I Interview I Uzbekistan 2023
_BIOGRAPHY Previously he worked as a leading consultant of the Office of the National Security Council under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Deputy Head of the Project on the Development of Information and Communication Technologies and Information Security. He had multiple leadership appointments with the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
“THE AGENCY PLAYS A CENTRAL ROLE IN SUPPORTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF MASS MEDIA AND STRENGTHENING ITS ROLE IN THE COUNTRY'S SOCIO-POLITICAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.”
WHAT ARE THE AGENCY’S MOST IMPORTANT ACTIVITIES AND PRIORITIES?
One of the main tasks of the Agency is to ensure the implementation of the constitutional rights of citizens to freedom of speech and information, strengthening the role of the media in the socio-political and socio-economic development of the country, creating equal conditions for them in the media market, as well as protecting the rights of journalists.
The Agency develops the basis for a unified state information policy considering the profound reforms initiated by the President. It ensures the implementation of a unified state information policy and promotes the image policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan within the country and abroad. It ensures the independence and freedom of the mass media editorial offices and increases its role in the democratization of society and the state toward building an open civil society.
At the same time, the Agency's tasks include developing and ensuring the formation of favorable conditions for attracting investments and implementing projects on terms of public-private partnership. It interacts with government bodies and other organizations on the issues of propaganda and broad informing among foreign business circles, entrepreneurs, potential investors, and state and public figures on the realization of large-scale reforms in the country, creation of favorable conditions for investments and improvement of the business climate. The Agency also participates in ensuring the information security of the republic and implementing measures for timely and adequate counteraction to challenges and threats in the information sphere. It also manages the organization of international cooperation on issues within the Agency's competence.
ONE OF THE GOVERNMENT’S PRIORITIES IS TO IMPROVE TRANSPARENCY. WHAT ARE THE MAIN INITIATIVES IN THIS DIRECTION?
The world is governed by information. In recent years, in order to implement the constitutional rights of citizens to freely seek and receive information, to ensure openness, transparency and accountability of all structures of state and executive power, a number of important legal acts have been adopted. Through a Presidential Decree, it was established the right to implement a unified state policy in the sphere of information, outlining the tasks of transforming press services into a primary source in the global information space, and defining a new procedure for raising the status and effectiveness of the activities of press secretaries.
The decree obliges to organize press services in the structures of central apparatuses of state bodies and at all levels of executive power including Karakalpakstan, regional khokimiyats and Tashkent city, districts and cities. This innovation has made it possible to systematize the work of press services of government agencies with an emphasis on openness and willingness to dialogue. There are more than 140 central government agencies in Uzbekistan alone, including ministries, committees, agencies, inspectorates, state centers, among others. Our Agency coordinates the activities of press services of regional, city and district khokimiyats and economic governing bodies - companies with a state share. All press secretaries of these organizations were interviewed by the Agency's commission when they were appointed and work in cooperation with this structure.
In recent years, international experts have begun to note the importance and significance of the work done in the field of ensuring the openness of state bodies and authorities at the local level. Every year, tens of thousands of materials are disseminated in mass media and social networks, causing public resonance and wide discussion. Most of them are now published in the official comments of the press services of government agencies. Before the decree was passed, in 2018, press services responded to only 12% of critical and widely discussed materials. By the end of 2021, that figure was 93%.
In a world ruled by information, the public's appetite for it is increasing every day. To distinguish truthful information from disinformation, it is necessary to position press services as the main source of information and strengthen communication with journalists and bloggers as the main carriers of public control.