PUBLIC TV TURNS THREE

August 29th, 2008
Today three years has passed since the creation of Public TV. Public TV was launched on 29 August 2005 in connection with commitments of the Azerbaijani Government to the Council of Europe.

Although Public TV broadcasts information, entertainment, socio-economic and so on programs, its hasn’t become a genuine public’s TV station. Public TV brings programs like “Gerchyin ozu” (Reality Itself), “Yekun” (Result), “Ishguzar saat” (Business Hour), “Ortag mekhrec” (Common Denominator), “Charpaz bakhish“ (Cross View), “Jarchi” (Messenger), “Khalg sechir” (People choose) and so on to the screen, but the subjects of these programs have little today with realities of many Azerbaijanis. Serious critical experts are not invited to debates which are organized on socio-political subjects in the TV. According to independent analysts, Azerbaijani political opposition opinion and the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety’s monitoring, Public TV is mostly engaged in the propaganda of incumbent government and the TV channel is closed to opposition leaders and critics.  

Today an employee of IRFS appealed to the Head of Public TV Ismayil Omarov and other media representatives and asked this question: “How do you evaluate Public TV’s work during these three years?”

Head of Public TV Ismayil Omarov answered the question in this manner, “We were able to do work which most people wouldn’t have been able to do in such a short period of time.”   

Journalist Rovshan Hajili said that the TV channel hasn’t satisfied Azeri viewers during these three years. “Today Public TV functions in the same way as state TV. The government is propagated one-sidedly on this TV channel,” he added.  

Baku State University Journalism Faculty instructor Zeynal Mammadli simply doesn’t think that Public TV is the public’s TV. He said that the fact that “ITV” (as it is known locally) is really the public’s TV is not the TV channel’s problem but the problem of society. “This TV channel should have given to society what other TV channels didn’t and its main mission should have been to turn into the parliament of people,” he added.

National TV and Radio Council (NTRC) Chairman Nushiravan Maharramli positively assessed Public TV’s three years of activity from the standpoint of variety of topics; variety, programming ethics and programs which are relevant to Azerbaijani national mentality. N.Maharramli added that he appreciated the preparation of national, ethnic programs on this TV channel.  “Public TV became a better channel than we expected,” he emphasized.

We note that lots of funds from the government budget have been allocated for Public TV since it was created. In 2008 10,032,000 AZN, in 2007 7,524,000 AZN, and in 2006 11,000,000 AZN have been allocated for Public TV. This amount equals approximately 35.3 million USD in total.