Açiq məmbələrdən foto.

Açiq məmbələrdən foto.

Baku / 08.05.20 / Turan: Thirty-three journalistic organizations of the countries of the Eastern Partnership program (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine) appealed to the leadership of the European Union, European Commission, Council of Europe and the OSCE. The collective letter expresses “deep concern” due to insufficient state and international support for independent media and journalists in the region against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and "the policies of national governments that restrict media freedom."

In 2020, the celebration of World Press Freedom Day on May 3 was overshadowed by the global crisis COVID-19, which caused a severe financial blow to the economy and media freedom in the Eastern Partnership countries and in the neighboring regions in the north and south, the statement said. “Small independent media, which are forced to compete with pro-Russian media that distribute fake news, including about Covid-19, were most affected.” National governments have used the COVID-19 crisis as a pretext for further restricting media freedom. In Armenia, Moldova and Georgia they restricted access to public information, in Azerbaijan and Belarus, they openly harass journalists and civic activists, and in Ukraine, they do not protect the rights of journalists.

“We urge you not to limit your support to political dialogue, but to step up measures to develop the media in the following areas:

- Allocate additional funding to cover the losses caused by the pandemic crisis. Make available foreign grant support for independent media, achieve the lifting of the ban on receiving foreign grants in countries where this is prohibited;

- to provide funding and support for researching the needs of the audience and conducting the media business;

- Expand support for regional initiatives to increase media literacy, fight against misinformation and stimulation of critical thinking of the population.

The appeal from Azerbaijan was signed by: Baku Press Club, Najaf Najafov Foundation; Broadcast Monitoring Center; Internews-Azerbaijan; Union of Journalists of Azerbaijan, Yeni Nesil. -02В-


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