Azerbaijan, Baku, 15 January/corr. Trend S. Ilhamgizi/ There was no official decision and statement made about shutting down Russian language mass media in Azerbaijan. Therefore the proposal to shut them down is senseless. According to Trend this statement was made at a press conference by the leaders of the Russian language mass media.
There is no any legal way or authorized body that can shut down the Russian language mass media, Elchin Shikhli, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Zerkalo said. The gross income of all combined Azerbaijani papers does not exceed $2 mln. A quarter of this amount falls to Zerkalo and another quarter falls to the newspaper Echo, Shikhli added. Only the Azerbaijani language mass media could make such a proposal as they wish to get a hold of the advertising market by shutting down the Russian language mass media. "However every paper has its own readers. There are enough people in Azerbaijan who speak, read and think in Russian. Therefore I can't understand the people who wish to shut down the Russian language mass media," Shikhli said and added that there is no need to politicize the proposal to end Russian language mass media.
Ilgar Huseynov, Executive Director of Trend news agency said that this problem does not concern his agency since his agency spreads news in three languages and the agency plans to increase the number of languages in the future. The agency has special features and it is very important to inform the wide readership about the current development and success of Azerbaijan, Ilgar Huseynov said.
The mass media is also a business structure and therefore should not be closed. The Russian language mass media should not be stopped in order to maintain tolerance in the country and to not allow the Armenian community of Karabagh misuse it against Azerbaijan, Elnur Baimov, head of Day.az news website said.
According to Baimov, the Azerbaijani language mass media should improve their professionalism to compete with the Russian language mass media