On 21 July, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev took part in the celebrations ceremony on the occasion of the Azerbaijani journalismвЂ™s 130-th anniversary. Addressing the ceremony, the head of the state noted, that the Azerbaijani journalism today is in a new stage, Trend reports. В"The necessity in the independent media exists today in the countryвЂќ, he pointed out.
According to him, freedom of speech exists today in Azerbaijan, since 1998 the censorship has been cancelled and much has been done towards the independent media and the freedom of expression. В"Attention to and care of the media is the responsibility of each high-ranking officialвЂќ, according to the view of the head of the state. Aliyev has also called on to be more tolerant to the critics in the mass media.
The assassination of the well-known journalist Elmar Huseynov, according to the head of the state, is the blow on the democratic development in Azerbaijan. The authorities are interested in the quickest disclosure of the murder, and the main thing is to identify the orderers. Aliyev noted, that the work of law-enforcement bodies in this direction is going on and there are preliminary results.
A special attention has been also paid by the President to the propagandist function to be carried by the mass media. He noted, that the Armenian lobby holds a single-minded and purposeful anti-campaign against Azerbaijan. В"Рђrmenia is inferior in all positions to Azerbaijan, especially in economic development, taking into account the future prospects in this respectвЂќ, he said.
He also underlined the great role of the Internet in propaganda of the socio-political situation in Azerbaijan in English and other languages.
In conclusion the head of the state noted, that he would proceed with assisting to the Azerbaijani mass media, both the oppositionist and the state and independent press.
Addressing the ceremony, head of the Press Council (PC) Aflatun Amashov voiced confidence that the law вЂњOn freedom of speechвЂќ will be adopted in the country shortly. He noted, that the censorship is not available in the country, the media are exempt from the VAT and the customs dues for the paper import.
В"However, a number of problems are observed in the media in Azerbaijan. The major problem is the absence of the Azerbaijani press economic independence. As the result, they get politicized and lose their independenceвЂќ, Amashov noted.
He also said about the necessity to adopt the program under which the material and the technical basis of the media in Azerbaijan would improve, the same with the situation in getting the license for TV, granting long-term loans and growth of the journalistsвЂ™ professional skills.