Baku. 16 July. REPORT.AZ/ 140 years have passed since the establishment of the Azerbaijani National Press. We would like to take a brief look at the path of our press up to now. The establishment and development of its history can be divided into 4 phases or we can estimate it as 4 steps taken for the freedom of speech and democracy.
The first phase starts from the third half of the nineteenth century - "Əkinçi" ("Ploughman") newspaper. It can be considered as the first step. We can also call this period as "Fight stage of Azerbaijan for a modern state and society". At that time, most of the writings in "Əkinçi " aimed at it. Enlightenment and fighting against ignorance and injustice were its target.
Following "Əkinçi", "Füyuzat" and "Molla Nəsrəddin" ("Fyuzat " and "Molla Nasraddin" magazines) seem like they bore a load of two lines. "Füyuzat" preferred the enlightenment for modern nation and society, while "Molla Nəsrəddin" preferred the way to criticize the shortcomings of the nation and society in a satirical language. Representatives of this phase played an indispensable role in the establishment of modern Azerbaijani literature and music.
The second phase is on the period of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. Within 23 months, the foundations of saying free idea and democratic atmosphere, as well as, a new view of events and free press were laid down. Because, the state was not set at that time in Azerbaijan. As a number of problems were solved after the establishment of the state, media's view and approach on events were different.
Unfortunately, freedom of the press did not last long. Azerbaijani media lost the connection with the modern world of that time. Bolshevism appeared and began to interfere free idea. Bolshevism's invasion prevented the development of democratic media in Azerbaijan.
The third period covers the period after the occupation of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic by the Bolsheviks. 70 years of 140-year-old media were spent on the communist dictatorship period.
However, Azerbaijani media tried to act as a defender of freedom of speech in the early years of sovietization.
That period had its own characteristics. As all instructions were given by one center from Moscow, the main duty of media was to follow those instructions.
The duty included to spread and promote leninism ideas and defend the political and ideological policy of the USSR. In those years, media covered the happenings in the social and cultural life of USSR and was engaged to praise USSR.
At that time, Azerbaijani media wrote the existing problems allusively. Because, press was the mouthpiece of USSR's policy and ideology and to think or write differently was banned.
Press was forced to write about te collective-farm, the socialist revolutions in the world, complete and final victory of socialism, the Soviet power, the correctness of USSR in the II World War, "during the Cold War".
The fourth phase begins in the second half of the 1980s. Though Azerbaijan was a part of the Soviet Union, a number of newspapers published in the country began to promote the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic that existed in 1918-1920 and was forced to forget by the Soviet regime, freedom of democracy, speech and press.
At the beginning and near the end of the twentieth century, newspapers wrote about Azerbaijani territory and historical lands. The policy pursued by Tsarist Russia at the beginning of the twentieth century, was continued by Moscow near the end of the twentieth century. The press wrote constantly that this policy was against Azerbaijan.
It was also the phase of Azerbaijani statehood, a democratic state-building. Today, information facilities (in a written and electronic form) exchange experiences with their counterparts in the democratic world, assess the history of their formation process and apply in their activities.
In this respect, Azerbaijani media is part of the democratic world. Historical struggles clearly proved it. Azerbaijani media was established with the struggle against colonialism and national assimilation due to democracy.
At present, Azerbaijani press does not depend on the political ideology. As in all over the world, the press that meets the demands of political-social environment, is available in Azerbaijan.
As in democratic countries, the main target of 140-year-old press is to protect the state security, territorial integrity and the formation of a democratic society. Azerbaijani media propagandizes against all kinds of terrorism.
No doubt, a violation of the territorial integrity, political balance in our region and other factors hinder the development of democracy and the media in Azerbaijan. However, Azerbaijani media is committed to the principle of writing and protecting the truth as it was 140 years ago.
In this direction, it cooperates with its colleagues in the democratic society and builds relationship.
Thus, Azerbaijani press does not only prefer freedom of speech and idea, but also continues to operate on the basis of the interests of its own state and society as in all democratic countries.