MEDIA: Backsliding in Kyrgyzslan

SHORTLY AFTER KYRGYZSTAN GAINED independence in August 1991, President Askar Akayev lifted controls on the media, attempting to cultivate an image as a reformer and democrat. However, the deteriorating economic situation and the shortage of equipment and materials forced media organizations to turn to the government for loans, and eventually most became heavily dependent for funding on the government and state banks.