Details added (first version posted on 13:39)
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 29
By Ilhame Isabalayeva - Trend:
Azerbaijani journalists can give an adequate response to biased articles, said Ali Hasanov, the Azerbaijani president's aide for public and political affairs.
He made the remarks June 29 at the Baku State University (BSU) addressing a scientific-practical conference titled "National press of Azerbaijan - 140: 'Ekinchi' traditions and modern journalism", dedicated to the 140th anniversary of the national press of Azerbaijan.
"Ekinchi" ("The Cultivator") was an Azerbaijani-language newspaper, published in Baku between 1875 and 1877. July 22, the day of the first publication of Akinchi, was declared in 2010 as the National Press Day in Azerbaijan.
Hasanov spoke about the importance of a decree signed by Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev in connection with the 140th anniversary of the national press.
He said the BSU has been chosen not by chance to host the mentioned event.
Hasanov said the BSU has always stood out for its contribution to the press, and has invaluable merits in studying the history of the press and training of journalists.
He also noted that in line with the presidential decree, the anniversary events will take place in June, July and August.
"The capital and regions will mark the 140th anniversary of the national press for three months," said the presidential aide. "During this period of time, we will remember the development of the press, the famous intellectuals and individuals who played an important role in the development of the press."
Hasanov said a national strategy and platform will be formed as well.
"Significant success should be achieved in the development of the press, and in accordance with this, a strategy reflecting the current state of journalism should be developed," he further said.
"The elite should know what place we are holding in modern geopolitics, who are our neighbors, and where does the internal and external pressure come from," he said.
Hasanov said Azerbaijan's great leader Heydar Aliyev is the person who actually founded the independent Azerbaijani media.
"A good example of that is the abolition of censorship in Azerbaijan," he said.
"Hasan bey Zardabi is the founder of the national media. After the fall of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the media of the independent Azerbaijan began to develop gradually," said Hasanov.
He added that in the first years of Azerbaijan's independence, the media sphere experienced certain crisis.
"At that time, some political forces, having created a press authority under a specific name, came out against our state within certain political forces. But they withdrew after quite a bit of time," said Hasanov.
"Important steps have been taken from 1998 up to the present day in the legislative sphere. A provision on freedom of speech, expression and the press has found its place in the Constitution, adopted in 1995," said Hasanov.
The presidential aide also recalled that in 2000, the Press Council was established, which adopts normative and legal documents related to journalism.
Hasanov said it is necessary to especially note that wide opportunities have been created to improve the material and technical basis of the press.
"The granting of concessional loans to the media and their exemption from certain taxes were among the important factors," he further said. "The state support to the media started to be carried out in a transparent form in 2008, as despite that certain work was carried out in this area, they weren't so transparent."
The presidential aide said that today Azerbaijani journalism fully meets the population's right to receive information.
He also said if the work of the Azerbaijani media angers many countries, it means that everything is going in the right direction.
The BSU rector, academician Abel Maharramov, who also addressed the conference, spoke about the successful holding of the Baku 2015 European Games.
He said the proper media coverage of the great achievements made over the past 17 days, has become another success of the Azerbaijani press.
"It is pleasing that we have with dignity handled this as well," said the rector.
He noted that Azerbaijan has been able to excellently showcase itself.
He said the decrees and orders of Azerbaijan's national leader Heydar Aliyev further strengthened the material and technical base and the economic independence of the Azerbaijani press, and the favorable conditions were created for the free activity of journalists.