And the final featured article from the students as part of the “media freedoms in post-communist countries” series, this one describing media repression in Uzbekistan.
Ever since Uzbekistan gained independence from the Soviet Union, they have failed to maintain any sort of consistent media freedom. In a country where nearly all local media is directly run by or associated with the state, it’s no wonder that Uzbekistan ranks 164 out of 179 according to Reporters Without Borders’ 2014 World Press Freedom Index. Since the Andijan Massacre in 2005, foreign media has been expelled at such a rate that they are virtually non-existent in Uzbekistan, and local media exposed to increasingly more harassment.
Karimov has kept a tight hold on Uzbekistan since his rise in 1991. The state owns the major media outlets, such as the only Internet provider, Uztelecom, which has the right and ability to censor, restrict, block, and control all Internet access and international phone calls at the will of the state. When we think about how much information we glean from the Internet, an entirely state-proctored connection is hardly one step short of brainwashing. Want to read the New York Times? Blocked. BBC? Yeah, right. Deutsche Welle? Nope. Any other Western or independent news sites? Blocked, blocked, blocked. Continue Reading