The Commissioner of Azerbaijan pays special attention to strengthening co-operation with mass media and this is an integral part of her activities.
The Information and Public Affairs Unit of the Ombudsman Office facilitates to close co-operation of the Commissioner with the state bodies, non-governmental organizations, civil society institutions, communities, and broad public audience and plays great role in delivering press releases about the purpose and goals, new ideas and initiatives of the Office to the public, as well as in building a bridge between the civil society and the institution and in promotion of the Commissioner’s activity from the perspectives of transparency and visibility.
The Press service effectively co-operates with mass media, and it is responsible for delivering press releases about the main directions of the Commissioner’s activity and ongoing events, to media, including various newspapers and journals, TV and radio channels, information agencies, e-newspapers and online news portals; the Unit builds its work on co-operation with written and online mass media, National TV and Radio Council, press Council, responsible for self-control of the national press, and with the Fund of State Support for Development of Mass Media and journalist associations.
The Unit extends its activities and cooperation in urban and rural areas of the country through co-operation with leading regional newspapers, local, national TV and radio Channels, and with local mass media correspondents. This is a great way to make aware the population about the activity of the Commissioner.
In co-operation, the Ombudsman Office pays special attention to the issues of transparency, visibility and effective co-operation with journalists; press conferences and briefings on various topics are organized, through which the attention of media representatives is drawn back to the activity of the Commissioner in the field of protection and promotion of human rights and freedoms.
Various information Databases in relation to mass media were created, the writings about human rights issues are monitored and it has taken necessary measures accordingly.
From the very beginning, the Commissioner issues various Statements on 1990 Black January, Khojaly genocide, 31 March –Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis and other topics, which later forwarded to well-known international organizations Secretary-General of the United Nations, United Nations Security Council, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, European Commission, Council of Europe, Council of Europe, OSCE, International Ombudsman Institute, European Ombudsman Institute and Asian Ombudsman Association, International Peace Bureau, International Peace Federation, ombudspersons of foreign countries, embassies of the Republic of Azerbaijan abroad, as well as the foreign embassies in Azerbaijan, and organizations of the Azerbaijani Diaspora, and those Statements are published in international media as well.
Measures are taken for increasing legal knowledge of journalists; journalists writing on human rights issues are involved into the traditional competitions initiated by the Ombudsman, as well as the awareness raising seminars are organized for journalists throughout the country by the Ombudsman Office jointly with the various international institutions, including OHCHR country office.
The Commissioner and her staff members participated in various events and discussions related to media issues.
Furthermore, the Commissioner periodically reported on TV Channels on human rights issues, as well as series of programs are broadcasted about the activity of the Ombudsman Office.
Baku International Conferences on Ombudsperson’s, which is annually organized by the Ombudsman Office and followed with positive developments are also broadcasted through mass media, as well as the Commissioner and international participants, including foreign ombudspersons, international human rights experts, well-known lawyers give interviews to journalists.
Media representatives are invited to enlighten international events organized within the premises of the Ombudsman Office, who later published articles about Commissioner’s activity in the field of human rights protection and promotion in local press.
In order to more effectively making the Ombudsman’s activity available to the public, monthly information bulletins are prepared and placed into the official website of the Office. Simultaneously, in previous years those bulletins are published as a book.
During the official meetings with diplomats, law-enforcement bodies, and representatives of international missions conducted at the Ombudsman Office, the situation of media in Azerbaijan, the necessity of increasing professional capacity of journalists as well as alternative solution methods are discussed.
Overall, the protection of dignity and honor, and goodwill, respect for the right to freedom of speech and opinion, creating the favorable condition for constructive and reasonable criticism are one of the main responsibilities of every democratic State and such issues are reflected in the national Constitution of Azerbaijan.