The 4th congress of the journalists of Azerbaijan scheduled to take place on 23 December will take mainly reporting character, the Chairman of the Press Council (PC) of Azerbaijan, Aflatun Amashov, stated in an exclusive interview with Trend.
According to him, during the congress, the PC Chairman and the Head of the Control and Inspection Commission will provide reports as a result of work done over the period since the previous congress. With regard to the current questions, it will be appointed by the auditory. Each question may be presented to the discussions on basis of the proposals of the congress participants. Two people will be invited to the congress from the journalist organizations, daily newspapers and news agencies, and 1 person from weekly and monthly publications. Guests and representatives of the State bodies will also be invited to the congress.
Amashov stressed that proposals regarding concrete programs to develop journalism which are definite possibilities, needs to be discussed. Such a document has been prepared by the PC Secretariat and is aimed at holding State Programs to self-financing of the media. Both financial and organizational parties are intended as a support. The primary task is to expand the advertisement market. For instance, it is intended to release the advertisement customers from paying VAT and to allocate State grants for the development of the media.
In brief, the primary goal is to achieve economical independence of the press. Amashov said.
Expressing his attitude towards complaints from the opposition press that freedom of speech has become worse and that free press is under pressure, Amashov said Personally I support the opinion that all problems are linked with politicized press. Evidently, the PC should, as in 2003-2004, bring together the political structures and their mass media, and begin discussions. If our initiative yields the necessary effect, then we will be able to decrease the tension in the political plane, and the press will not face serious problems.