The OSCE Office of Media Freedom Representative Miklos Haraszti released a press release on Friday, 15 May, in which it was noted that access to fair information about all participating parties is a prerequisite for free elections.
"When television, the main source of information, is monopolized by governments or by a tight group of owners, the print press or internet-based media cannot sufficiently perform the job elections require, namely ensuring that all viewpoints and political perspectives are presented to the electorate," Haraszti said. "External pluralism of the privately-owned media and guaranteed internal pluralism via public-service channels form the solid and indispensable basis of an informed electoral choice."
In Azerbaijan the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety monitored the 2008 presidential election and 2009 referendum, and found media coverage, particularly in the broadcast media sphere, to be lacking pluralism. IRFS’s reports from the monitoring initiatives are available at www.irfs.az.