The Press Council of Azerbaijan, as in all electoral processes, focused on media activities in the February 7 snap presidential election and the principle of the structure's activities in this regard mainly covered three directions - monitoring of media outlets in the pre-election period, hotline mode and observation at polling stations, AzVision.az reports, referring to the Press Council.
Meanwhile, on the eve of the election the monitoring group of the Press Council of Azerbaijan familiarized itself with the materials regularly published by the country's media. The monitoring results gave grounds to say that Azerbaijani journalism during the election campaign was sensitive to the formation of an atmosphere of fair competition, and ensured the realization of the right of society to receive objective information (there were no cases of "black PR").
The hotline mode set up in the Press Council on election day was at the disposal of journalists from the moment the voting started until its end. During the day there was only one appeal to the city and cell phone numbers of the Council working in this mode. The appeal came from a foreign media outlet. On this appeal, it was established that since this foreign media outlet had not been accredited in Azerbaijan, its coverage of the election process was impossible. The author of the appeal was informed about this and the requirements of Azerbaijani legislation were explained.
The members of the Press Council Board, registered as journalists and official observers, as well as individual representatives monitored the conditions created for journalists to cover the process at polling stations in the capital and various regions of the republic and established personal contacts with media representatives. The purpose of this observation, as well as the setting up of a hotline mode, was to promptly prevent misunderstandings and possible obstacles that could arise in connection with the activities of journalists on election day.
The analysis of the work carried out in both areas showed that journalists performed their professional duties on election day quite freely, without any obstacles. A significant point is that the Central Election Commission, the Media Development Agency, and some state bodies were sensitive to various manifestations of media activity arising from their authority. Their operational approaches became important in terms of preventing the formation of wrong public opinion.
"The Press Council finally concluded that the February 7 presidential election, both during the campaigning period and on election day, was conducted following all international standards and the requirements of Azerbaijani legislation in terms of covering the media process, ensuring its legitimate activities, media freedom in general, and the right of access to information.
In general, the information support for the election was at a high level. The most important thing is that the Azerbaijani media demonstrated high professionalism in presenting various aspects of the process. We express our gratitude to each of those who worked in the realization of this mission of crucial importance for our people and state. We wish the journalists success in their future activities," the Press Council said in a statement.