Mass media and electoral campaigning
On 31 October 2016, a practical seminar in the form of videoconferencing took place for journalists at the republican press centre for coverage of the elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The theme of the seminar was mass media’s role in the election campaign.
The deputy chairman of the Central Electoral Commission, K.Adilov, and others have said that during elections, conditions are provided for voters to access complete information about that political parties taking part in the elections, their candidates’ election programmes and also about the essence and significance of electoral processes.
The electoral campaign for the elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan has entered its new phase. Electoral campaigning began from 28 October this year. In accordance with the law “On elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, in conducting electoral campaigning, equal conditions are provided for candidates for President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. These include equal access to state-owned mass media, that is equal amounts of air time and print space are provided free of charge.
A procedure, volume and time for the use of mass media for the purpose of electoral campaigning are specified by the Central Electoral Commission as agreed with political parties. In this context, taking into account proposals from political parties, in order for each candidate for President of the Republic of Uzbekistan to explain the main points of election programmes to voters, they are given 638 minutes of free air time each on the “Ozbekiston” and “Yoshlar” television and radio channels of the National Tele-radio Company of Uzbekistan, 206 minutes each on 12 local television and radio channels of the National Tele-radio Company of Uzbekistan and 286 minutes each on the “Toshkent” television and radio channel.
In the Khalq Sozi, Narodnoye Slovo and Pravda Vostoka newspapers, six columns each, in the Ovozi Tojik and Nurly Zhol newspapers, 5 columns each and in 30 local newspapers 55.5 columns in all of free print space are provided for each candidate.
During electoral campaigning, help is required of mass media for candidates in creating an atmosphere of transparency and openness and in disseminating any information relating to their electoral campaigning while taking into account such criteria as efficiency, adequacy, equality and objectivity. In coverage of candidates’ electoral campaigning in news and other information programmes, mass media ensure equal conditions, including in terms of duration and volume, broadcasting or publishing them predominantly in single information chunks.
At the same time, relations as regards air time or print space that is paid for are carried out on the basis of agreements concluded between mass media and political parties. Information disseminated by mass media must correspond to reality, should not violate the rights or legitimate interests of candidates and political parties.
The seminar took place in the form of free exchange of opinions. Journalists were given answers to questions that were of interest to them.