Better, but could do even better
The pluralism of the Kyrgyz media is exceptional in Central Asia but the polarization of Kyrgyz society is reflected both within the media themselves and in the environment for journalists. Although the crackdown on the media that preceded the 2017 presidential elections is long over, investigative journalism is still hesitant – hampered by difficulties in accessing information and subjected to a great deal of harassment, including physical violence, cyber-attacks and interrogations. Revelations about corruption can still be very dangerous for independent journalists and media outlets, as was seen in the Matraimov affair. Journalists will also continue to lack security until legislative reforms cap damage awards (which have been astronomic), abolish the president’s special protection and ensure judicial independence. There is still a great deal of self-censorship on such subjects as inter-ethnic relations. Certain kinds of hate speech still go punished, but the fight against “extremism” is sometimes used as grounds for ill-advised prosecutions of social media users.
83 in 2019
29.92 in 2019