Experts of the media sphere and journalists of Tajikistan note changes in the final press conferences, in particular, in comparison with previous years, they note some positive aspects.

In particular, according to journalists, it was noticeable that the officials were prepared, many answered the question in general terms, but unlike previous press conferences, they did not try to avoid most of the uncomfortable questions, although the answers were often incomplete and restrained.

Experts are concerned about the behavior of journalists themselves, which manifests itself in the sycophancy and frivolous attitude of some journalists to these meetings.

The current press conferences were held from July 26 to August 15 and began a few days after some journalists and media organizations sent a letter to the Executive Office of the President of Tajikistan and the Prosecutor General's Office of the country. The letter expressed concern about the mechanism of holding press conferences and the attitude of some officials to journalists.

It noted that the final press conferences have turned into useless formal meetings at which high-ranking officials talk only about dry facts and numbers. Most of the press conference - about 40 minutes - is spent on reading out the press release and journalists have only 10-15 minutes to ask the questions, the authors of the statement wrote.

The Prosecutor General's Office responded to this letter and, in short, refuted all the concerns expressed by the journalistic community, with the exception of some minor points. The executive Office of the President has not yet responded to the appeal.

However, the press conference was evidence that the concern of the journalistic community reached the officials. Because unlike previous press conferences, this time the atmosphere and relations of officials with journalists were somewhat different.

That is, there was no rude attitude on the part of officials, there was no strict time limit for holding press conferences, despite the regulations, in general, top officials of ministries and departments participated in the meetings.

Most officials came to the meetings prepared, many of them answered the question, albeit in general words, but unlike previous press conferences, they did not try to avoid uncomfortable questions, even if the answers were often incomplete and restrained.

However, in some structures there were no changes in holding meetings with journalists as before.

For example, at a press conference of the country's Foreign Ministry, as six months ago, journalists were told  to ask the minister only one question. Although, using their legal rights, the journalists received answers to their questions, however, the limitation in the number of questions shows that the country's Foreign Ministry still does not know the main purpose of the press conference.

A similar situation was observed in the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources. The minister himself asked the journalists to address only one question, but his request was ignored by the journalists.

At the same time, there was no concrete answer to a number of journalists' questions about the debt of the Afghan company “Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat”, about the renewal of the license of the “Sangtuda-1” hydroelectric power station, power outages in some regions.

The Minister of Culture also refrained from giving specific answers to some questions. In particular, she did not answer the repeated question about the timing of the construction of the new building of Mayakovsky Theater.

At the press conference "Tojikmatlubot" -and its head was not there at all, and the deputies present could not give satisfactory answers to some questions from journalists.

At the press conference of the Center for Strategic Studies, the Committee on Language and Terminology, the Ministry of Labor, Migration and Employment, the Committee on Construction and Architecture, general answers were given to most of the questions.

And as per tradition, in some departments, the heads did not participate in press conferences. For example, there was no head of the Communications Service, the Minister of Labor, Migration and Employment of Tajikistan, the Mayor of Dushanbe and the Chairman of the National Bank of Tajikistan.

This year, some departments introduced an innovation at press conferences - the media, with which they had "close cooperation", were presented with letters of thanks and gifts. In particular, the Committee on Architecture and Construction expressed gratitude and presented gifts to all media representatives present. Even those who were previously threatened with a lawsuit.

With the beginning of the semi-annual press conferences, the well-known journalist, head of the Center for Journalistic Studies of Tajikistan Khurshedi Atovullo wrote on his Facebook page: "Dear colleagues, refrain from accepting envelopes, honey, nuts, pistachios and drinking coffee at press conferences!".

We are talking about the undesirable and increasing trend of "giving gifts to journalists in exchange for silence" during press conferences.

Indeed, the behavior of some journalists and the level of training of most of them was one of the pressing issues that was discussed at press conferences more than ever before and caused concern to the media community.

A week after the start of the press conferences, the protest of the country's journalistic community was expressed.

For example, one of the journalists, having received an answer to his question from the Minister of Education, began to praise him and "sing odes". This caused heated discussions among journalists: is the minister obliged by law to answer questions at a press conference, or is it now necessary to sing praises to officials for answering the question?

Or at a press conference of the Ministry of Health, a journalist, instead of a substantive question, asked what the minister eats, that he has such a good memory?

In the same ministry, several journalists asked the minister to solve some of their personal problems: "my relative is ill, help with his treatment," or "I applied to this medical institution and I was treated inappropriately, punish them." Perhaps this is the only chance to meet with the minister and ask for help, but they take up the time of colleagues.

Some journalists allegedly conduct an "investigation" and inform the authorities about their results and say that this person (specifically) committed a crime! At a time when the court did not prove it. Such cases are more often observed at press conferences of law enforcement and investigative agencies.

Being present without serious preparation is another chronic problem. In particular, the head of the Committee on Television and Radio began the meeting not by reading the press release, but asked journalists to start asking questions. And journalists, with the exception of a couple of media representatives, were unable to ask specific questions, although there are many unresolved problems in this area.

The same pattern was observed at press conferences of the Ministry of Justice, the Committee on Local Development, the Committee on Food Security and the Main Department of Geology.

Since the journalists came unprepared, the press conference of the Supreme Economic Court lasted only 15 minutes: 8 minutes for reading the press release and 7 minutes for questions and answers...

For the first time, the order of the President of Tajikistan on holding quarterly press conferences was issued on March 4, 2005 in order to ensure transparency of the activities of ministries and departments, as well as media access to official sources of information. Since September 2011, according to the amendments to this order, the heads of ministries and departments of the country must meet with media representatives once every six months.