Uzbekistan profile - Media

Filming of the Uzbek TV show Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption TV is the most popular medium

The state tightly controls the media. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says the law punishes journalists for "interference in internal affairs" and "insulting the dignity of citizens".

Foreign media have been gradually expelled since the 2005 Andijan uprising, RSF adds.

Pre-publication press censorship has been abolished but self-censorship is widespread. A law holds media bodies responsible for the objectivity of their output.

The Committee to Protect Journalists says many Uzbeks rely on foreign sources - including Russian TV and the BBC - as a counterpoint to stifled domestic media.

In 2014, Freedom House said "the Karimov regime has all but eradicated free media in Uzbekistan. The few independent journalists who remain are subjected to harassment and detention."

Human Rights Watch says at least three dozen journalists, activists, writers, and intellectuals are behind bars because of their work.

TV is the most popular medium. Private TV and radio stations operate alongside state broadcasters. Foreign channels are carried via cable TV, which is widely available. In early 2014, digital TV penetration was 45 per cent.

The President's daughter, Gulnara Karimova, was one of the major players in non-state media, but in 2013 the authorities shut down several TV and radio stations associated with her after she fell from grace in an apparent power struggle.

Uzbekistan has 687 newspapers, according to the Agency for the Press and Information. These include national dailies run by the executive and parliament, and titles published by the four official political parties, but no opposition newspapers are published.

Uzbekistan has almost 12 million internet users (internetlivestats). Strict online censorship includes filtering at a central level. Targets include opposition and news websites.

Many Uzbeks, especially young people, use Russian social media platforms, such as VKontakte and Odnoklassniki - the latter had 7 million registered Uzbek users by 2013.

Politics is rarely discussed but social issues are raised more often and sometimes draw the attention of the authorities, such as in July 2014 when discussions about a hike in the price of sugar prompted officials to cap it.

In September 2014, the government introduced a law to regulate blogging, coinciding with the run-up to a general election. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe say "these new restrictions will take the country away from democratic principles and aspirations."

The press

  • Khalq Sozi (People's Word) - state-run daily
  • Narodnoye Slovo (People's Word) - state-run, Russian-language daily
  • Pravda Vostoka (Truth of the East) - state-owned, Russian-language daily
  • Ozbekistan Ozovi (Voice of Uzbekistan) - published by ruling party
  • Hurriyat (Freedom) - published by government agency
  • Turkiston and its Russian edition Molodezh Uzbekistana (Young People of Uzbekistan) - state-run, the former comes out three times a week and the latter once a week
  • Qishloq Hayoti (Village Life) - state-run, publishes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
  • Jamiyat (Society) - state-run weekly
  • Mohiyat (Importance) - private, weekly
  • Busines-Vestnik Vostoka (Business Herald of the East) - private, Russian-language daily
  • Novyy Vek (New Century) - private, weekly


  • National Television and Radio Company - state-run, operates four networks including youth TV Yoshlar
  • NTT (Non-Governmental TV Network) - national, operated by National Association of Electronic Media
  • TV-Markaz - national, music and entertainment


News agencies