By Agha Iqrar Haroon
Do you need coffee while working restlessly and tirelessly for meeting deadlines fixed by your newsroom?
Do you need help to translate something you could not understand but was said by some important politician or official figure in Russian or Uzbek languages?
Do you need high speed internet to transfer photos and data files to your office while covering Presidential Elections in Uzbekistan while you are in Tashkent?
Do you wish to meet journalists from other countries who are in Tashkent for covering one of the most important elections of political history of Uzbekistan?
You can ask me a series of such questions related with your (our) journalistic and professional assignments out of our countries. You keep asking me questions but I will answer your all such questions by giving you only one reply. Yes only one answer to all your questions. My answer is—– Go to the “Press Club: Elections-2016” situated at Crystal Hall of the International Hotel Tashkent and you will find whatever a journalist needs while performing his professional duties in a foreign country.
This state of the art Press Club has become a “Media City” for national as well as International journalists who have already arrived from all over the world to cover Uzbek Presidential elections
This “Press Club: Elections-2016” has been working since November 30 and will remain operational till December 5 for providing any kind of professional help needed by media-men and journalists.
This multimedia platform offers conditions for domestic as well as foreign journalists to report Presidential Elections of Uzbekistan without going out to find help like coordinators, translators and fixers.
Two video walls fixed inside Press Club provide an excellent backdrop for piece to camera for television reports and you can even borrow video camera for a report if your camera has become erratic after a long journey.
This project is the public-private initiative of the National Association of Electronic Mass Media of Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan Today News Agency, Mning Yurtim, Zor TV, Uzreport TV, Sevimly Tv, Darakchi Inform Service, Uzbekistan Cable Television, Poytakht and Vodiy Sadosi radio stations.
“The idea behind this initiative was to create a favorable environment and infrastructure for professional activities of representatives of foreign and national media”, said one of the official working in the Press Club.
It may be mentioned that this media centre was inaugurated on December 30 and the opening ceremony was also attended by the Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Uzbekistan Mirzo-Ulughbek Abdusalomov, Chairman of the Committee for Foreign Affairs of the Senate of Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sodiq Safayev and Director of the National Center for Human Rights Akmal Saidov.
Press Club is equipped with 80 high speed computers with high speed Internet and the club has Wi Fi, virtual connection with 10 regional nongovernmental TV studios, NAEMM studio, as well as direct communication with the Press Center of the Central Election Commission, which also has an individual TV station.
All important press briefings and press conferences are being held in this Press Club while members of parliament and representatives of all four political parties can be found chatting and standing in and around this Press Club.
Press Club is also arranging and organizing interviews with prominent foreign observers, foreign journalists and representatives of international organizations.
“The program of the Press Club includes the organization of cultural events to familiarize the international observers and representatives of mass media with the traditional culture and art of Uzbekistan”, maintained a journalist when asked to comment upon cultural parts of this centre.