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Azerbaijan kicks off media reforms, establishes new agency

13 January 2021 14:52 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan kicks off media reforms, establishes new agency

By Trend

The Azerbaijani Agency for Media Development, newly established by President Ilham Aliyev’s decree on deepening reforms in the media sphere, is the legal successor of the State Support Fund for Mass Media Development and will have all the rights of this structure, Trend reports on Jan.13.

According to the head of the local SES media group Bahruz Guliyev, the number of undesirable phenomena in the information space, which could lead to negative consequences, has recently grown.

"During the Second Karabakh war (44-day war from late Sept. through early Nov.2020), long-standing problems in the mass media have worsened. This is about information security, information pollution and provocations through the media,” Guliyev said. “In the period of any event of public or state significance, rumors and disinformation begin to appear, provocation attempts are made, some circles trying to create hype."

He noted that in this area there is a need for fundamental reforms to stimulate greater activity of the Azerbaijani mass media, their activities based on the principles of transparency and civic satisfaction and serving the objective and professional information of the public.

"Since the Azerbaijani law on mass media fails to meet the demands of the time, it requires to be revised, should be improved, and one of the main tasks of the new body is to develop a draft law ‘On media’ replacing the outdated law," he added.

The statutory fund of the agency making up 285,405 manat ($167,890) is formed via the state budget. The general management of the agency's activities and control over it will be carried out by the chairman and the Supervisory Board, consisting of six members, appointed and dismissed by the country's president.

Guliyev also noted that the new body will take measures to improve the professionalism of journalists. The agency also has the authority to take measures in accordance with the Code of Administrative Offenses in case of detecting signs of an administrative violation in the field of print and online media, and in case of detection of signs of a crime - to provide information to the appropriate authority.

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