(U//FOUO) Open Source Center Kyrgyzstan Media Survey Report


  • Audience Analysis & Market Profile
  • 56 pages
  • For Official Use Only
  • November-December 2008


• The relatively wide media freedom experienced in Kyrgyzstan since the 2005 Tulip revolution narrowed this year. This coincided with local elections and associated internal political turmoil. Laws restricting free and independent media remain in force from previous years.

• Television continues to dominate the media landscape, with 97 percent of Kyrgyz speakers reporting they use the medium on a weekly basis for news and information. Friends and family are the next-most-used source, with 89 percent of Kyrgyz speakers relying on them weekly for news and information.

• The use of radio for news and information dropped (from 46 percent in 2006 and 2007 to 40 percent in 2008). Newspapers are now used as often as radio (41 percent of Kyrgyz speakers surveyed reporting using this platform on a weekly basis).

• Internet use inched up among Kyrgyz speakers from 5 percent in 2006 to 6 percent in 2008. Although the change in internet use is not statistically significant, the use of SMS for news and information about current events is something to watch: whereas just over one-quarter (27 percent) of respondents reported using SMS as an information source weekly in 2007, that figure increased to one-third (34 percent) of Kyrgyz speakers in 2008.

• One significant development that has taken place since the 2005 Tulip Revolution is the growth of the blogger community in Kyrgyzstan which continues to be active.

• In 2008, the media in Kyrgyzstan began to report increasing dissatisfaction with prices for essential goods, severe energy shortages, and dissatisfaction with the government’s ability to manage these difficulties. Satisfaction with the economic situation in Kyrgyzstan has descended to approximately the same levels as the year of the Tulip Revolution, with only 30 percent indicting they are “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with the economic situation in Kyrgyzstan.

• The regional differences here are very strong: in the north, 45 percent are very or somewhat satisfied compared with only 11 percent in the south. This may be due to disparities in wealth between the two regions.

• The latest press freedom ranking from Reporters Without Borders places Kyrgyzstan 111th out of 173 countries.

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