Vusala Mahirgizi: The development of mass media in Azerbaijan is inversely proportional to the development of the country’s economy

Vusala Mahirgizi: The development of mass media in Azerbaijan is inversely proportional to the development of the country’s economy
# 02 March 2011 13:33 (UTC +04:00)
Chairman of the Press Council Aflatun Amashov made a speech on the theme “View of Azerbaijani media: current situation, new challenges”. He said that various agencies and persons sent about 700 complaints to the Press Council about the media reports. The majority of the complaints were considered right. Most of the complaints were about the insult of honor and dignity. Noting the rapid development of internet resources Amashov said about 250 000 people in Azerbaijan are Facebook users. 200 internet blogs were launched in the country in 2009, while this figure surpassed 1000 in 2010. Moreover, there are more than 10 internet radio and televisions in Azerbaijan,” he said.

Editor-in-chief of information agency Gabil Abbasoglu made a speech on the theme “New challenges in media – development of internet media in Azerbaijan”. Underlining the importance of preparing legislative basis in the field of internet media, Gabil Abbasoglu said they refer to the laws on mass media.
“But speaking about the internet media the question is the immediate release of the news. This makes it necessary to create new standards,” he said.

Editor-in-chief of the Paralel newspaper Tapdig Abbas, editor-in-chief of the Azerbayjan newspaper Bakhtiyar Sadigov, lawyer of IREX-Azerbaijan organization Alasgar Mammadli, editor-in-chief of the Yeni Azerbayjan newspaper Hikmat Babaoglu also addressed the event. Discussions began after this. Assistant General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists Oliver Money-Kyrle, Deputy Director of Media Rights Institute Khalid Agaliyev and others addressed the discussions.

The second session on the theme “Government-media relationship in the context of transparency” began after the break. Director General of Azeri-Press Agency (APA) Vusala Mahirgizi delivered the major speech. She said Azerbaijani media needs exchange of views in various contexts. Vusala Mahirgizi said the development of mass media in Azerbaijan is inversely proportional to the development of the country’s economy. Director General also touched on the current problems of media to get advertising: “When we get interested with the circulation of the newspapers which want to place advertising there isn’t given any information on the newspaper’s sales performance”. The rating issue on the television is disputed. The situation on the websites is clearer. But the greatest argument is concerned on the sales performance of the newspapers. Those who place advertising are interested in the result but not in the circulation”.

Mahirgizi highly assessed the establishment of State Media Support Fund under the President of Azerbaijan and said that it was the government’s step in government-media relations. She also assessed the government’s help to the written media: “But it is impossible to say that the state of our compatriots in the TV channels is good”.

According to Mahirgizi, media must turn into independent business structure in Azerbaijan: “The financial aid allocated by the state can only have a character of certain help”.
APA’s chief said that there were still problems in obtaining of information from the first source. But she noted that compared to previous years, much progress had been achieved in this sphere, state bodies provided information transparency by using modern information technologies. Mahirgizi attached importance of establishment of “Public relations” specialty at journalism faculties of universities.

Director of the Azerbaijani State Support for Media Development Fund under the Azerbaijani President Vugar Safarli reminded that the fund allocated to print media AZN 1.3 mln in 2009 and AZN 2 mln in 2010. Touching upon several contests held between journalists, Safarli said that those contests also served the improvement of social conditions of journalists: “The fund was established for the purpose of support the development of freedom of press. We do not show discrimination between the government and opposition”.

Executive Director of “Transparency Azerbaijan” Rana Safaraliyeva, Director of Trend Information Agency Ilgar Huseynov, Director General of “Baki-Xeber” newspaper Aydin Guliyev delivered speeches on the issue as well.

The international conference will be finished on March 3.