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08 April 2020

Activity Details (ID# 33021)  

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Title Workshop on access to official documents (for public information officers and media professionals)  
Status Completed 
Date 09/07/2011 - 10/07/2011 
Location Guba, Azerbaijan
Countries CoE Members: Azerbaijan
  Joint Programme Activity - SC-MLD-MEDIA II
Joint Programme EC/CoE
JP SC-MLD-MEDIA II - Promoting freedom, professionalism and pluralism of the media in the South Caucasus and Moldova    (Logframe)  (Activities)
Project Purpose 1 - 2011/DG I/JP/2601   Promoting freedom, professionalism and pluralism of the media in the South Caucasus and Moldova
Expected Result 1.5 - Journalists have better understanding of their rights, respect ethical rules and are trained to exercise their work in a professional and responsible manner as recommended under the applicable Council of Europe standards;
Council of Europe Programme of Activities
I – Democracy
Line of Action ⇒ III.3 – Promoting Democratic Governance and Stability
Programme ☆ III.3.2  Good governance, Internet and Media

Working Method

Organisation of meetings - Workshop (excl. training) 
Directorate Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law 
CoE Contact ,   email
Last Modified 18/02/2013 

Activity Synopsis (ID# 33021) (Hide Synopsis)

Objective(s) The objective of the first workshop (second workshop is scheduled for 30-31 July 2011 in Terter, Azerbaijan) was to train public information officers working for the central government ministries and regional authorities, as well as some journalists/editors of regional media outlets in the modern techniques concerning access to information and the media and the general public’s access to official government documents. The legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan on access to information and case studies concerning work of the public information officers was discussed with the participants.
Output/Results Various documents were distributed to the participants: an Azerbaijan law on “Access to Information”, Code of ethics for journalists, prepared by the Press Council of Azerbaijan and some other documents in Azeri language.
The fact that many local and national print media and TV stations were present at the beginning of the seminar shows the interest of the Azerbaijani media as well as the public in subjects concerning access to information and to official documents. The seminar received wide coverage in local media including news wires, online publications, newspapers and TV reports.

Conclusions/Follow Up In general, the workshop can be considered a success. The general conclusion was that Azerbaijani legislation concerning the access to information is in line with European standards. However, its implementation is not always the case.

The participants stressed the importance of this kind of training for public information officers. They also proposed to have journalists attending such workshops who could input into the discussions.

They expressed their wish to:

- continue being trained
- participate in seminars concerning European standards on access to information
The second workshop for the information officers on the access to information and official documents will be organized on 30-31 July 2011 in Terter city. About half of the participants of the first workshop will participate in the second one.
Participants The participants were motivated and interested in the experts’ presentations. For most of the participants it was the first seminar that they had attended on access to information During one and half days the participants were presented speeches and presentations on the following topics: “Public information as a strategic policy instrument”, “The role and position of a public information officer”, “Interactive policymaking and interactive communication with mass media and citizens”, “Open access to government information and its consequences”, “Access to government information; some examples from other countries”, “Some legal aspects of open access to government information”, “The public information officer as an “in between” with government and civil society” and “How to proceed in crisis situations.”
There was time allocated after each presentation for the input by participants about the situation in Azerbaijan. During the second day of the workshops participants were divided into three smaller groups to discuss and make presentations on the case study prepared by the experts. During the discussions it was interesting to note that the participants criticised the media and journalists; they indicated that most of the Azerbaijani media were not very professional and did not respect professional codes of ethics. The participants also made some recommendations concerning desirable amendments to the law on “Access to information” which would make work of the Public information offices more efficient.
Consultants/Experts All presentations were made by experienced European consultants: David van der Houwen and Fred Gijbels. The input participants made about the situation with access to information in Azerbaijan will be considered by the experts in preparing the programme of the second workshop on 30-31 July 2011.

CoE Secretariat Shahin Abbasov, Project Manager, Baku 
Total No. Participants 28 
Last Modified


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