Azerbaijani Press Council: Some “racketeering publications” are backed by government officials

Azerbaijani Press Council: Some “racketeering publications” are backed by government officials
# 18 February 2010 10:45 (UTC +04:00)
The statement says that the Press Council does not ignore the negative cases damaging the objective views, good name, moral of journalists and press.

“We regret that “racketeering journalism” continues to damage the image of our media, its good name.”

The Press Council is struggling against racketeering publications. Hundreds of famous media representatives, who participated in the 5th congress of the journalists, made their offers concerning this. The Council set up a Commission to Combat “Racketeering journalism”. “Black list” of press has been complied to increase the force of the public reprimand against the media ignoring the professional principles. Newspapers and magazines violating the Professional Behavior Rules of Azerbaijani Journalists, the country’s legislation are being included into the list. Their number is 94.”

The Press Council says that those included into this list threaten the council. The statement says that there are heads of newspapers who continue their actions under new names.
“Particularly, the Gundalik Baki, Tezadlar newspaper, Mozalan magazine threaten the members of the Council’s Management Board.”

The statement said: “The Press Council considers it unacceptable that some “racketeer publications” are supported and funded by secret sponsors and involved in realization of crafty orders. The Press Council has enough weighty evidences about that. Unfortunately there are some government officials among the secret sponsors. It is not logic that they support different speculators who are acting against the policy of the government of Azerbaijan, which sensitively approaches the issues related to the freedoms of speech and press”.

The Council said all pressures n the organization was meaningless.

The Council strongly condemns supporters and sponsors of the “racketeer newspapers” and valued it as contradictory actions against systemized and successive activity in the field of media and intentions to create atmosphere of civil journalism.

The Press Council called on intellectuals, real journalists and public community to closely support the Council in its struggle against those who dishonor journalism and use the press for their dirty goals.

It also called on the government agencies, law-enforcement, tax, financial and other institutions to be careful in approaching investigation conducted on the basis of materials published in “racketeer newspapers”.

The Press Council said readers and other citizens respected and supported the Council’s decisions and the organization would continue its struggle for whiteness of media.