Mass Media in Central Asia

According to Countryaah, Central Asia is the middle part of Asian continent. This page lists and introduces major newspapers in the countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Mass media in Kazakhstan

In Kazakhstan, seven daily newspapers and around 950 newspapers are published less frequently. In addition, there are approx. 340 magazines and newspapers. Of the daily newspapers, six are published in Almaty and one in Astana; three of them are government agencies. The largest daily newspaper is the Russian-language government agency Kazakhstanskaja Pravda (founded in 1920, circulation approx. 34,000). The largest Kazakh-language daily newspaper, Yegemen Kazakhstan (Independent Kazakhstan, founded in 1919, circulation approx. 31,800) is published by the government. An independent weekly newspaper, Karavan (founded in 2001), has a circulation of around 250,000.

The state broadcaster has radio and television broadcasts in Kazakh, Russian, Uighur, German and other minority languages. Radio broadcasting started in 1921, television broadcasting in 1959. During the 1990’s, it was opened for private radio and television activities, and as of 2001 there were 124 radio and television stations. There are two major private television companies, KTK and NTK, started in 1990 and 2000 respectively.


Mass media in Kyrgyzstan

After independence, freedom of the press in Kyrgyzstan was considerably greater than in neighboring countries, but has gradually narrowed. After 1991, a number of new newspapers were established. There are approx. 340 newspapers and magazines in the country, but only three of them are daily newspapers, all published in Bishkek. Largest is the Russian-language daily newspaper Vetsjernij Bishkek (Evening Bishkek, founded in 1974, circulation about 20,000, Fridays 50,000). The government-owned Kyrgyz Tuusu (Flag of Kyrgyzstan, founded in 1924, circulation 17,000) and Slovo Kyrgyzstana (Kyrgyzstan’s word, founded in 1925) are published in Kyrgyz and Russian respectively. There is also an English-language weekly newspaper, The Times of Central Asia (founded in 1995), which is also distributed in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The state broadcasting company, founded in 1931, has radio broadcasts on, among other things. Kyrgyz, Russian, Uzbek, German and English. There are two state radio channels and 18 private ones. There have been television broadcasts since 1958. There are eight state television stations and about 20 private, these companies divide the broadcast time into three channels. In addition to the official news agency Kabar (founded in 1936 as Kirtag), the country has five independent news agencies.


Mass media in Tajikistan

Approximately approx. 200 newspapers in the country, some of them state-controlled, many linked to political parties and organizations, none of which are daily newspapers. Although freedom of the press is guaranteed in the Constitution, this freedom is little respected in practice. The dominant broadcasting company is state and under political control. Next to the state-controlled radio, there are a few private radio stations. Dushanbe’s first private radio was launched in 2002. In addition to the state television company, there are approx. 30 private regional and local TV stations.


Mass media in Turkmenistan

Turkmen media is owned and controlled by the government. It decides what to publish, owns printing presses, and censors domestic and foreign TV broadcasts and Internet sites. Two daily newspapers, both of which have been published since the 1920’s, are organs of government and parliament. In addition to these, a number of weekly newspapers and magazines are published, several of them with government institutions as publishers. Turkmenistan’s national television and radio company has local radio broadcasts and distributes censored broadcasts from Russia in Russian and Turkmen.


Mass media in Uzbekistan

According to public statistics, in 1997, 495 newspapers were published in Uzbekistan, and the total daily circulation was approx. 1.8 million, of which 3/4 in Uzbek. 113 periodicals were published, 90 of which were in Uzbek. Several newspapers are published by the Uzbek authorities, among them the largest, Khaik Suzi (People’s Word) with a circulation of approx. 41,000 in Uzbek and 12,000 in Russian. In addition to Uzbek and Russian, newspapers are published in Kazakh, Tajik, Korean, Arabic, English and Karakal Pak.

The state Uzbek broadcaster (Uzteleradio) has radio broadcasts in Uzbek and a number of other languages, including Russian, English, Urdu, Hindi, Farsi, Turkish, Arabic and Chinese. The company operates four local television broadcasts and distributes broadcasts, among other things. from Russia. Kamalak Television is a collaborative project between the Uzbek broadcaster and an American company; it redistributes satellite broadcasts from France, Germany, India, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.


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