A group of newspapers, internet media and NGO leaders signed a statement against the State Fund to Assist in Development of Mass Media in Azerbaijan.
It is said in the statement that transparency and publicity principles were violated when the State Fund to Assist in Development of Mass Media unveiled the results of the contest in connection with financing of the projects from Mass Media and journalist organizations.
The authors of the statement objected to the failure to unveil the amount of the grants allocated and the names of the projects.
“According to the third item of the contest rules, the newspapers which have been published regularly for the last year, not less than once a week and have circulation not fewer than 1000 copies can participate in the contest,” It is said in the statement. “The circulation of some newspapers that received grant is 500 and even fewer than 500. Some newspapers’ are not published or do not have readers auditorium. Several NGOs that won in the contest bear no relation to the Mass Media. These NGOs that exist only on the paper are under supervision of some officials and “experts.”
It is said in the end of the statement signed by “Reytinq” Newspaper Editor-in-chief Afig Mirzabayli, “Khural” Newspaper Editor-in-chief Avaz Zeynallı, Reporter Information Agency Head Zulfugar Kheyirkhabar, Independent Information Agency Editor Zaur Ahmad, “Eks-sada” International Journalist Investigations Center Public Union Chairperson Sevinc Karimova and “Yeni khabar” Newspaper Editor-in-chief Ilgar Salmanov that they hope the head of the country will interfere in this process and will create conditions to objectively investigate appeals against the Fund. Although the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety called the State Fund to Assist in Development of Mass Media President Vuqar Safarli several times today in connection with this problem, he was said to be busy.
112 projects were submitted in the contest that was announced on 1 June this year. 25 projects were not included in the contest because they were not composed correctly. 87 projects were introduced to 12 experts to be evaluated and 55 projects won in the contest; 30 (thirty) newspapers, 13 (thirteen) information agencies, 6 (six) journalist organizations and 6 (six) other related organizations