To representatives of the Azerbaijani media

Dear representatives of the media!

Dear journalists!

I sincerely congratulate you on the anniversary of the establishment of the national press of Azerbaijan.

For the first time in the years of our independence, Azerbaijani journalists are celebrating their professional holiday in Shusha – the cultural capital of our country, the crown jewel of Karabakh which has made a special contribution to the development of the national media – after its liberation from nearly 30 years of Armenian occupation. The first event being held in Shusha on the occasion of the National Press Day will be a significant milestone in the history of the Azerbaijani media.

The Azerbaijani press, following the principles declared by “Akinchi”, a newspaper published in the Azerbaijani language by outstanding intellectual, publicist and naturalist Hasan Bey Zardabi on 22 July 1875, has covered an impressive path of development. Numerous publications released after the second half of the 19th century have been a mirror of our history and made an invaluable contribution to educating the people, forming national consciousness, realizing the freedom dreams of our people and protecting our moral values.

The democratic reforms implemented under the leadership of national leader Heydar Aliyev in Azerbaijan, a country that regained its independence at the end of the 20th century, paved the way for fundamental changes in the development of national information resources. As a result of the systematic measures taken in the direction of freedom of speech and information, developing a progressive legal framework and strengthening the independence of editorial offices, the Azerbaijani media entered the stage of rapid development.

Strengthening the potential of our national information resources and their position in the global information network has been one of the main tasks in the current era, when communication tools are undergoing a transformation phase, digital platforms and social media tools are expanding their scope. Reforms carried out in recent years have included improving the legal framework pertaining to media activity, strengthening their economic foundations, improving the social security of journalists, implementing the state’s communication policy in accordance with the requirements of the modern era, increasing flexibility and professionalism of journalism, eliminating negative manifestations disturbing society, expanding the international relations of the media and creating joint platforms with friendly countries. And significant progress has been achieved in these areas.

The Republic of Azerbaijan is a modern and strong state with an independent policy and a worthy place in the system of international relations. This is why attempts to undermine the international reputation of our country and influence its internal life in the global information space show no sign of abating. During the Patriotic War, the Azerbaijani media fought on the information front and played a major role in preventing disinformation attacks by providing prompt and correct information to our society. Our media resources tirelessly continue their activities to convey the truths of Azerbaijan, including the unprecedented atrocities and vandalism committed by Armenians on our historical lands during the occupation, to the international community.

Azerbaijani journalists who have made a worthy contribution to the mobilization of our society for the sake of patriotism, national consciousness and higher goals have to demonstrate their loyalty to these principles, upheld the interests of Azerbaijan’s statehood at a time when campaigns based on fake and false information have intensified at the global level, and protect the right of our citizens to obtain complete and correct information. Journalists should continue to work with all their might for the progress of our society.

I am sure that Azerbaijani journalists will continue to spare no efforts for the development of the achieved successes, continuous progress of our society and happy future of our people.

Once again, I congratulate you on your professional holiday and wish each of you good health and the best of luck in your work.

Ilham Aliyev

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Baku, 22 July 2022