A meeting was held Friday between the Azerbaijani parliamentary leadership and heads of some electronic and print media outlets.
The meeting was organized by the Press Council.
Addressing the meeting, Parliament Vice-Speaker Bahar Muradova highlighted the constant state care to media.
“The legislation related to the media is fully improved, the media is provided with comprehensive state support,” said the vice-speaker, hailing the important steps taken by national leader Heydar Aliyev and President Ilham Aliyev for the development of the media.
She noted that the Azerbaijani parliament attaches great importance to the work of the media.
“The parliament’s activity is always before the eyes of the media. The media plays an essential role in the coverage of the parliament’s activity,” she said.
Referring to the 25th anniversary of Khojaly genocide that will be marked in the next few days, the vice-speaker stressed the need for close parliament-media cooperation to convey to the international community the truth about the crimes committed against Azerbaijan.
Press Council Chairman Aflatun Amashov said for the first time so many heads of media outlets gathered in the parliament, noting that today’s meeting is aimed at ensuring closer involvement of the media in the parliament’s activity.
According to him, in Azerbaijan, about 40 daily and 250 weekly newspapers are issued and there is the same number of media portals.
Yeni Musavat editor-in-chief Rauf Arifoghlu proposed abolishing the VAT imposed on print media, noting that electronic media should be aided.
“The Azerbaijani president is providing extensive support to the print media, which continues to exist on account of the Fund of State Support for Mass Media Development. Such support should be given to electronic media, too, because it has the capability of crossing the Azerbaijani borders in a second. We can convey Azerbaijani realities in English, Russian, and Arabic in a timely manner,” he added.
The executive director of the Fund of State Support to the Development of Mass Media, Vugar Safarli, said most of local electronic media outlets copy one another and thus the government must not aid all of them.
“There is a plan to provide state support to electronic media. We hope this will come to happen in the near future. But there will be criteria for the amounts to be allocated for electronic media. They will not be given out arbitrarily. Financial aid will first be given to electronic media outlets that operate in foreign languages, the ones that convey to the world community Azerbaijan’s call for justice,” he noted.
Media representatives made their remarks, reminding that some MPs evade from reporters and make inadequate statements that raise anger among the population.
Safa Mirzayev, head of the Office of the Azerbaijani Parliament, said there is the lack of information in the country.
“This is not due to the fact that someone is hiding information. Azerbaijan is a small country, and sensational events don’t happen here every day. Therefore, in this case, some media outlets prefer to disseminate “fake news”, about which US President Donald Trump often complains,” he said.
Mirzayev expressed regret over the lack of e-media outlets that disseminate serious and through information.
He went on to say that the parliament’s leadership and office is willing to have friendly cooperation with media representatives.
Vice Speaker Muradova said in her response that the points not covered by the law “On mass media” can be recommended to a parliamentary plenary session after being discussed.
At the end of the meeting, the magazine dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide was presented.