Monday, February 4, 2013

Journalists Not Swayed by Freedom Promised by Turkmenistan Media Law

English: Ertugrul Gazi Mosque in Ashgabat, Tur...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Turkenistan President and Prime Minister Gurbaguly Berdymuhammedov last month signed into law a measure purporting to expand press freedom, but journalists in the repressive Central Asian nation aren't buying it, al-Jazeera reported.

Paris-based news media advocate Reporters Without Borders ("RWB") rates Turkmenistan ahead only of North Korea and Eritrea at the bottom of its press freedom index, while U.S.-based press advocate Freedom House ranks Turkmenistan 196 out of 197 on its press freedom index. Until January 25, 2013, the President controlled Turkenistan's five radio outlets, 39 publications, seven nationwide tv stations and lone press agency, according to the al-Jazeera article.

The media law at issue proclaims "the State shall guarantee the freedom of the media to express an opinion." RWB issued a statement condemning the law as "disconnected from reality." The measure, however, is expected to expose the nation's five million citizens to greater access to foreign news media.
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