Ali Hassonov, the Chief of the Social and Political department of the Azerbaijan Presidential Administration has exclusively informed Trend that state-controlled newspapers will not cost more.
He emphasized that the concept state-controlled newspapers was a conditional one, and the publications function at the expense of their subscribers and advertisements, not financed from the State BudgetРµ. However, despite of these facts, the financial situation with the newspapers leaves much to be desired, said Mr. Hassanov.
The Chief of the Presidential Administration Department did not rule out that the advance in costs on the private newspapers might then cause the disappearance of the private newspaper sector in Azerbaijan. Mr. Hassanov considers that the costs of newspapers must comply with what the reader can afford, and that the papers, in their part, should give a stimulus to sell their products. He said that the financial situation with the papers should be improved at the expense of advertisement receipts, not through advancing the costs, and added that in comparison with the last year, there has been a serious advance in Azerbaijan advertisement market. Mr. Hassanov said that the advertisement budget increased by 60% and that the newspapers should .think how to get this profit.
Commenting the fact that the demand on newspapers had reduced in the country, Mr. Hassanov said that it is the fault of the newspapers not anyone else. Unfortunately, newspapers have not played a role of information bearers. Articles, pieces of information, comments published are of a subjective and unbiased nature. The newspapers are engaged in policy, not business. Most of the newspapers are bearers of ideas of certain political groups. People learn the truth only from electronic media sources, not from prints. Therefore, newspapers should do all their best to restore their authority, said Mr. Hassanov.
Speaking about the possibility of rendering aid to the papers, Mr. Hassanov said that the State had already rendered its possible aid to them and they have been exempted from VAT, obtained offices and editorials on lax conditions, the State had annulled their debts to Azerbaijan Publishing House, granted loans, etc, he said.