Today the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety contacted Press Council Chairman Aflatun Amashov to obtain a copy of the proposed "Government Support for Mass Media Conception," to make this document available for public discourse.
However Amashov told IRFS, "The document has been approved by the Press Council. Now some changes are being made to the document. As soon as it is ready we'll present it to APA. People who are interested in the document will be able to get the information from APA's web site."
Press Council Secretary Rahim Huseynzade stated that the document is ready and has been sent to the Presidential Administration. The secretary also noted that the document would be introduced to the population via APA.
IRFS contacted Media Rights Institute Director Rashid Hajili, "Turan" News Agency Director Mehman Aliyev, Chairman of the League of Democratic Journalists Yadigar Mammadli, "Zerkalo" Newspaper Chief Editor Elchin Shixli, "Azadlig" Newspaper Director Azer Ahmadov, "Yeni Musavat" Chief Editor Rauf Arifoglu and "Novaya Vremya" Newspaper Chief Editor Shakir Gabiloglu to learn their opinions about the proposed concept.
Rashid Hajili said that he was unaware of the conception and didn't participate in any discussion on it.
Mehman Aliyev noted that he participated in preparation of the conception. When asked whether the conception would be introduced for public debate and assessment, he said, "The discussion will happen when the plan of action is prepared. There are distribution problems and suggestions may play an important role in putting this in order. The role of economists and lawyers is crucial in the discussion of the action plan. International experience is necessary."
Elchin Shixli said, "I participated in discussion on the concept and I think the public is not interested in its discussion. But we'll inform the press."
Yadigar Mammadli stated that "This matter has been discussed by the Press Council's administrative staff since the summer of last year. And I think the conception may be put up for discussion only if there's a big need for it. The members of the staff are representatives of the public and they are all people with experience in the journalism field. Information on this is given periodically in the press and the public is aware of it."
Shakir Gabiloglu said he was familiar with the Concept for Government Support for the Mass Media, but didn't participate in the discussions.
Azer Ahmadov stressed that he only found out about the concept from the newspapers. And he mentioned that he didn't participate in any discussion about it.
Rauf Arifoglu said that he didn't participate in the discussion but he received information verbally about it.
IRFS has repeatedly asked the Press Council to give it the concept, however the organization haven't been able to obtain the document. Media Rights Institute, which is engaged in protecting journalists' rights, also does not have access to the document. IRFS believes that public discussion on this topic is important, and it is vital to consider and to add suggestions made by all organizations that operate in this field.