More than 4 500 registered mass communication media, most of which are newspapers, and more than 80 are TV and radio broadcasting services. Government structures founded 15% of newspapers and magazines, and more than 65% of newspapers belong to opposition political and social organisations, private networks and legal entities. The Law on Anti-monopoly Activity (1993) prevents media concentration. There is no limitation in obtaining official information from government structures; it is the responsibility of the relevant press services to supply the public with official news.
The Azerbaijan Television and Radio Broadcasting Closed Joint-Stock Company established the Madaniyyat channel on February 14, 2011. One of the main goals of this “Culture” channel is to convey the human values of the rich Azerbaijani culture to the world and promote the pearls of world culture in the country to enhance the artistic aesthetic taste of the young generation. Besides this special arts and culture TV channel, other operating channels, depending on their broadcasting policy, also offer a variety of regular programme series with cultural and artistic content, ranging from popular pop shows to programmes on classical heritage.
The National Television and Radio Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan was established by Presidential Decree No. 794 of October 05, 2002. The primary purpose of the Council is regulation of the activities of television and radio broadcasters, protection of the interests of the public during broadcasting, monitoring compliance with the legislation on television and radio broadcasting. The Council consists of 9 members. Three of the Council’s members are appointed for two years, three for four years and three for six years. Members have the right to be re-appointed. The members of the Council elect the chairperson and deputy chairperson among themselves. The chairperson of the Council carries out the management of the Council. The council determines the technical and quality standards, grants special permission (license) for television broadcasting, conducts competitions for this purpose, and imposes administrative sanctions and other measures against television broadcasters in cases and the manner prescribed by the law.
The Press Council of Azerbaijan is a self-regulatory body. The Council was created during the First Conference of Azerbaijani journalists, in which 180 media organisations were present, on March 15, 2003. The Council is exercising public control to ensure that journalists act according to relevant legislation and professional principles requirements. In addition, it aims to improve government-media and public-media relations and contributes to the freedom of speech. To fulfil the objectives stated above, the Council considers the possibilities of pre-judicial solutions of conflicts arising from newspaper articles, examines complaints about the conduct of correspondents of various media outlets and makes decisions about complaints.
The Law on Public Television and Radio Broadcasting was adopted on September 28, 2004. The opening ceremony of the Public Television and Radio Broadcasting Company took place on 29 August 2005. When preparing programmes, the public broadcaster considers the political beliefs of society, religious views, various currents of public opinion, and the equality of citizens of the country. In addition, programmes of Public Television aim to reflect national and spiritual values, national customs and traditions, as well as all the diversity of culture and art. Public Television adheres to the laws of Azerbaijan and the basic principles of classical public broadcasting.
On 31 July 2008, The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan signed the Decree on Adopting the Conception on State Support to the Development of Mass Communication Media in the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Decree on Rendering One-time Financial Assistance to the Mass Communication Media of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The Ministry for Culture conducts enhancement of information provision of cultural policies by conducting methodological research and public opinion polls, holding specialised conferences, seminars, etc. In addition, it generates databases, drafts and implements relevant conceptions, programmes and projects presenting information about national arts and culture in national and international mass media and the Internet.