Baku, Azerbaijan, July 23
By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:
A ceremony of awarding the winners of the competition for the best journalistic article conducted by the State Fund for the Support of Mass Media Development under the President of Azerbaijan was held on July 22 in connection with the 144th anniversary of the creation of the National Press of Azerbaijan, Trend reports.
The event was attended by assistant to the President of Azerbaijan on political issues, head of the department Ali Hasanov, Executive Director of the State Fund for the Support of Mass Media Development under the President of Azerbaijan Vugar Safarli, chairman of the Azerbaijan Press Council, MP Aflatun Amashov , MPs, government representatives, heads of media and other guests.
Ali Hasanov noted that this year marks the 144th anniversary of the Azerbaijani press.
“The creation of our press history for the last 27 years has been taking place with your participation,” he said. “The development of Azerbaijani media is fully consistent with today's economic, social, political, cultural development of Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, there are opponents of Azerbaijani journalism who are trying to deny our current development. But the fact that for a 27-year historical period of time, the Azerbaijani media have gained strength to represent Azerbaijan not only in the country, but throughout the world, is a reality.”
Hasanov noted that on July 22, on the Press Day, it is everyone’s duty to honor the memory of national leader Heydar Aliyev, who has outstanding achievements in the history of Azerbaijani independent press. Hasanov reminded that by decree of the great leader in 1998, censorship over the Azerbaijani media controlling the press, as well as the Ministry of Press and Information were abolished, and conditions were created for the public regulation of the Azerbaijani press.
“Created by the journalists themselves, the Press Council is studying creative issues, including socio-economic ones, presenting various initiatives to the state,” said Ali Hasanov. “The state provides support to the most advanced of them.”
Hasanov noted that if Hasan bey Zardabi (Azerbaijani journalist and intellectual) laid the foundation of the Azerbaijani national press, national leader Heydar Aliyev went down in history as the founder of free media in Azerbaijan, who canceled regulatory mechanisms and censorship of the press.
“Thus, he created all the necessary conditions for the formation of free press,” Hasanov noted. “The press policy of the national leader has been steadily consistently and fundamentally pursued by President Ilham Aliyev since 2003. President Ilham Aliyev has a special share and merit in today’s press development.”
Ali Hasanov added that in 2008, by the decree of President Ilham Aliyev, the Concept of support for the Azerbaijani press was adopted.
“The State Fund for the Support of Mass Media Development under the President of Azerbaijan was established, which implements this Concept,” Hasanov said. “During this period, the Azerbaijani press received assistance in the amount of about 50 million manats in one form or another. The debts of newspapers accumulated over a long period of time were repaid by the state.”
Hasanov noted that the Azerbaijani state believes that today the press should be under the care of the state.
“The press is a part of culture,” he added. “The development of the Azerbaijani press is fully adequate to the development of the Azerbaijani state. Today, no one can say that theater, art, science, education and other spheres are more developed than press in Azerbaijan. The press is developing just like other cultural spheres. The Azerbaijani state provides housing for cultural workers, athletes, theater workers and journalists. They are taking the appropriate steps to improve the social status. Therefore, the formation of jealousy or any differing thought regarding this isn’t an example of sound logic, sound thinking.”
Speaking at the event, Executive Director of the State Fund for the Support of Mass Media Development under the President of Azerbaijan Vugar Safarli noted that the competition was held July 8-12 in 19 areas, reflected in the Concept for State Support for Azerbaijani Media, adding that 142 articles from 56 media outlets were submitted for the competition.
Safarli said that according to the conditions of the competition, the winners were announced in 19 areas, and it was decided to award 111 journalists.