Before summer recess members of the 6th convocation decided to "please" the journalists by adoption of amendments to the Law on mass media. They were initiated by the Social Democrat (former Ar-Namys member) Kozhobek Ryspaev.
According to the changes, foreign natural and legal persons and stateless persons "are prohibited directly and (or) indirectly own, use, dispose and (or) manage more than twenty percent of the shares (stakes) in a legal person - owner of the media." There is almost no such media in Kyrgyzstan, except for Azattyk radio. "We and several other media immediately opposed the bill, as it relates to freedom of specific media. Taking into account that according to the National Sustainable Development Strategy for 2013-2017 one of the main principles of the information policy is to ensure access to information and the country's entry into the global information space, the initiative appears not to comply with the requirements of time," expert of Media Policy Institute NGO Begaim Usenova wrote on his wall on the social network.
However Kozhobek Ryspaev assured that the mentioned norm will not affect the media resource, and it will be only applied to TV channels. By the way, the Kyrgyz Republic has two TV and radio companies, which have foreigners among its founders. It is NBT and Mir (Peace), but the latter is now the interstate company and is partly funded by the Kyrgyz Republic, that is not covered by the law. Another is unclear: why do we need to urgently conduct "the combing" of the founders of the media?
Kozhobek Ryspaev explained his position as follows: "The safety of our citizens, including national security, depends on the media. If a foreigner will own one hundred percent of the media, he will throw mud at our country in any way he likes."
It is very convenient to refer to the security. The same trick was used by the adviser to the President Almazbek Atambayev Busurmankul Tabaldiyev, when requiring some changes to the Constitution, namely to Article 41. Exactly right after the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Committee to the domestic Themis to review the case of the life convict Azimzhan Askarov.
But let us return to the idea of Ryspaev. It should be noted: this servant of the people rewrote the draft document from the Russian analogy document. The process of re-registration of mass media with foreign participation is gaining momentum in Russia.
If the amendments are approved, this fate is unenviable for the domestic press. Then the owners of the media will have to think not about content, but about surviving in a stable domestic crisis.
However, some local journalists have strongly opposed the adoption of the changes and believe that the deputies are once again trying to trample freedom of speech under the guise of concern for national security, which, they believe, is threatened by the media. However, media experts point out that the workers of the pen and the lens could be more active.
"Even the people's representatives say us, citing the example of the Law on foreign agents, which has not been adopted, that the writing and shooting fellows should stand together as it was done once by the human rights activists, and it will make the deputies to reject the amendments," they said.
Young oafs from politics
But whether the draconian amendments will unite the journalists of the "island of democracy" and whether they will be able to break the deputy lobby? The question is rather rhetorical. It is clear that the staff of the loyal to the authorities media will not fling spears. The MPs themselves also keep silence. Outraged cries are not heard. Today, a proactive stance is taken only by the representatives of media organizations. The founders of the media are on the sidelines so far.
Famous political writer Naryn Aiyp believes that the problem is not that the media workers can not and do not want to assert their rights in a single union, but is that such a thing as objectivity is washed out from the materials that came from the pen of the Kyrgyz "stars." "You can certainly argue that it is possible to be honest and objective without foreign participation, to recall the harsh words of criticism against the authorities, expressed in the past, which there will be one and a half for a century. The problem is that the media is systematized and the information is churned out not by us, and instead of studying and learning from the experience, we are again closed in our shell," he says.
New is not always better than the old
We were always proud of the fact that in comparison with colleagues from neighboring countries, we are relatively free and do not groan under the heel of censorship. However, such amendments are the alarm bell. Do not forget that before July 1, the special group under the auspices of the Office of the President of Kyrgyzstan should develop the concept of information policy. We can only guess what it will look like. But, as experts believe, there is no guarantee that the authors of the future project will not copy it in the same Russia, the leading mass media of which have long ago turned into an instrument of agitation and propaganda of the Kremlin. Media analysts indicate that the laws adopted in the first years of independence on our own (the Media Law - 1992, the first Constitution - 1993), were much more democratic than the present, cut out on someone else's patterns.