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Media freedom online topic of OSCE event in Turkmenistan

Freedom of the media and the legal regulation of the Internet was the focus of an OSCE-organized roundtable discussion that concluded in Ashgabat today.

The two-day meeting brought together twenty-five representatives of the Mejlis (Parliament), ministries and institutions dealing with media and Internet issues, as well as representatives of research and educational establishments and national print and electronic media.

Organized by the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat, the meeting aimed to facilitate discussion on international and national practices on media freedom and freedom of expression online.

Referring to the conclusions of the 14th Central Asia Media Conference in Ashgabat held in July 2012, Ambassador Ivo Petrov, Head of the OSCE Centre, said in a message to the participants: "National laws should facilitate openness and transparency of the Internet, including online media."

"We are ready to continue our support for Turkmenistan's efforts to modernize its legislation on media and the Internet, providing expert advice to ensure compliance of the relevant legislative acts with international standards," he added.

The event focused on international standards and OSCE commitments in the area of the freedom of online media and best practices of their implementation in national legislation. An international expert from Ukraine discussed with participants the legal regulation of mass information on the Internet and the use of general and special legal norms in the regulation of online media.

The participants also looked at the role of the Internet in contemporary society as well as functions of online media and their differences from traditional media.

Source: OSCE