Kyrgyzstan profile - Media

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Kyrgyz residents read newspapers in the downtown of Bishkek, 30 March 2005Image source, Getty Images

Television is the most popular medium. There are state-run networks and more than a dozen private stations. Russian networks have a large audience.

Most radio stations are privately-owned; a handful broadcast nationwide. The newspaper sector is experiencing declining sales and financial hardship.

Kyrgyzstan has freer media than neighbouring countries, press freedom groups say.

"The pluralism of the Kyrgyz media is exceptional in Central Asia, but the polarisation of Kyrgyz society is reflected in the media," says Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Self censorship is a problem, says RSF. The group advocates limits to the damages that must be paid by critical media outlets that are targeted by defamation lawsuits.

There were 3.6 million internet users by July 2022, comprising around 55% of the population ( Mobile phones are often used to go online.

Instagram is the most popular social media platform with around 1.6 million Kyrgyz users.

US-based Freedom House has criticised the "arbitrary" blocking of websites under anti-extremism legislation.




News agencies/internet