May 3: Gentlemen, the battle is lost
2017 May 03 ( Tuesday ) 07:42:26
Azerbaijan will meet the World Freedom Press Day on May 3 traditionally in tough way. In prison, the blogger Galandarov died the day before, and in the court the government presses the decision to block a number of Azerbaijani sites - tough opponents of the regime.
Both these symbolic cases include the number of arrests, beatings, intimidation, various punishments of the critical media and the blogosphere of Azerbaijan that has increased over the past year. This was the response of official Baku to the theme of World Press Day-2016: "Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms: this is your right!", and a greeting the current UN call: "Critical approaches at critical moments: the role of the media in promoting a peaceful, just and inclusive society".
Over the past year the number of such rights have lessened. The government has never demonstrated itself so aggressively with regard to the information space, as it has happened over the past period, including restrictive changes in legislation and ending with imprisonment.
The trial of media resources shows the continuing importance of the media in the age of eliminating the boundaries between professional and popular journalism, which can be classified as bloggers and ordinary users of the network - users who express their thoughts, as they want and as they see fit.
But we must admit that the Freedom of the Press festival, established in 1993 by the part of the United Nations, has already become obsolete in terms of fact, and, regardless of the will of officials, has expanded the boundaries to the level of a global information space. Today the media has become part of the information space under the name of the Mass Media, where they are still setting the tone and at the same time are increasingly forced to take into account and recognize the role of social information resources and information loners.
The Azerbaijani authorities, like their authoritarian regimes, made gross mistakes in their policy regarding the media and communication means. All this policy of relations was built on the achievement of complete control over the information space. To this end, the following neutralization methods were used: destruction of economic independence, prosecution, arrests, intimidation, murder, bribery, creation and financing of loyal media. However, as the information space and the trend of its development show, this policy proved to be a failure and in the future threatens to completely destroy the forces involved in the process of destroying the free information community.
In 2005, which was marked by the murder of Elmar Huseynov, the editor-in-chief of Monitor magazine, and the beginning of the rising press repression, the total daily circulation of all printed opposition and independent media was about 50,000. This is approximately 150,000 readers. The Internet only came into fashion and was still inferior to the influence of print. Today, only the audience of such independent from the power media goes beyond a million users, and not less than a million active participants in social networks.
Technically, the authorities are also losing the champions of freedom of information - the regime will increasingly experience difficulties in blocking websites and tracking independent votes. And the trend of development of such technologies shows that it will be more difficult to continue.
In fact, as a result, we are under a situation where the institution of independent media has been destroyed, and along with it, professional and ethical principles and moral traditions are destroyed. Really, we are entering the age of information permissiveness, where rules and principles are poorly expressed. Participants of social networks that are prevalent today in the information space are not burdened, unlike journalists, with legislative, professional and ethical norms and for them there is no border between slander and criticism, humiliation and reproof. Not because they want it so much - they are just amateurs, not professionals of self-expression.
All this stalemate of suppression of freedom of expression was presented as a necessity arising from the interests of state security. However, in reality, the motives were different: to protect the promotion of personal selfish interests of the bureaucratic apparatus from media control and, subsequently, communication.
This period of the weakening the media is characterized by an incredible increase in corruption, bribery, monopolies, and the degradation of power, which naturally resulted in an economic crisis that exposed the crisis of the state management system.
Government-controlled media of all kinds, in quantitative terms, occupy almost the entire information space, but in terms of quality and influence have a very low efficiency. The latest lawsuit against critical media shows that this army of corrupt journalists is able to master, but is not able to work out the multimillion sums thrown by them.
Why is this happening? The answer is simple. The reader needs an information alternative to the information presented by the government. This is the nature and essence of desire in the freedom of the individual. And in this sense, the policy of repression and destruction is losing, especially in the age of information.
The situation for authoritarian power today is much more dramatic than in the Soviet years. There was a closed space, an iron curtain, a billion daily circulation of all the media controlled by the Communist Party - there were no others. And an alternative to this were just three radio stations broadcasting on short, and very few available waves - radio stations: Freedom, Air Force, Voice of America. But that was enough to destroy the closed system. This was the result not so much of the work of these sources of information, but rather the result of a huge and natural desire of man to know the truth.