Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 4 / Trend A.Huseynbala /
Azerbaijan has successfully fought racketeering in the media, Azerbaijani Press Council Chairman Aflatun Amashov said today.
"Our monitoring shows that the council's struggle against racketeering in this area was met with public approval," Amashov told Trend today.
In 2009, the Azerbaijani Press Council publicized the names of 84 newspapers engaged in racketeering. Law enforcement agencies received complaints against some of these publications.
The complaints are bearing fruit and some editors are asking the council and courts to refrain from taking the cases any further, he added.
According Amashov, editors accused of racketeering recognized that once their publications hit the "blacklist," their employees began experiencing difficulties fulfilling their duties.
"They say their employees are already not allowed on the threshold. I think this is a great achievement," he said.
He said anti-racketeering measures in the media were deployed at the general public's request.
"In addition to violating professional ethics we also found evidence of journalists committing crimes. They have extorted money through threats and blackmailing. For example, some papers published articles about the activities of official or public enterprises, promising to follow up the stories in the next edition, but did not print the materials," Amashov he said.
According to the official, after simplifying registration rules for mass media, many business people in Azerbaijan have started to use racketeering journalism as a tool for revenge and solving their financial problems.
"There are even families that are founders of about 30 newspapers. Our fight against racketeering journalism will end this chaos," registration said.
More than 4,000 media outlets are registered in Azerbaijan. Currently 600 function. Nearly 400 newspapers and magazines are published and over 20 TV function. There are about 50 electronic media outlets, and 20 news agencies.