Azerbaijan marks National Press Day

Politics Materials 22 July 2009 00:00 (UTC +04:00)
Azerbaijan marks National Press Day

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 22 / Trend /

Azerbaijan marks the National Press Day.

It is timed to the day of the first publication of the Akinchi newspaper 134 years ago by Hasanbay Zardabi. Since 1980s, the national press has borne the mission of creating a free and democratic press, respect for people's ideas and expressions, efficiently informing the people through the updated reports, as well as promoting pluralism and tolerance.

Today, the press, often described as the fourth power, contributes to the transparency of many processes in Azerbaijan and improving fulfillment of activities of the three "classical" branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial). So far, the country has registered thousands of media, some of which are regularly published.
Azerbaijan has joined the global information system. As many democratic countries, Azerbaijan established the Press Council and adopted a law on Mass Media, as well. A special program has been developed and submitted to the country's president to develop a free press, to provide economic independence, to eliminate certain shortages on the advertising market, as well as to improve the social situation. In Azerbaijan, the existence of human rights, political pluralism and civil society was testified with the activities of independent mass media, formed as a democratic institution, legal provisions, created for their development.

The Article 50 of the Azerbaijani Constitution, adopted in November 1995 by popular vote, secures the freedom of expression, information gathering, freedom of expression and other freedoms. Freedoms fixed in other legislation - the right of the country's citizens to legally find, acquire, produce, transmit and distribute information, relies on the governmental guarantee. The Republic of Azerbaijan joined several international conventions and agreements in the field of human rights and freedoms. Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev's decree on "Measures to provide the Republic of Azerbaijan with freedom of expression, thought and information", dated on Aug. 16,1998, abolished censorship over the media in the country.

Along with the fact that the decree gave a serious impetus to accelerate the development of media, it also identified the main directions of the general public programs to improve their rationality.

Another important factor contributing to the development of the press in Azerbaijan became Azerbaijan's joining the authoritative international organization the Council of Europe. After joining the organization, democratic reforms conducted in the country created conditions for more widespread establishment of freedom of speech and press.

In late March 2009, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree to establish the State Support Fund for Mass Media at the President. The establishment of the fund aims to improve conditions for freedoms of thought, speech and information in Azerbaijan, as well as to provide the mass media with a governmental support.