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31 March 2020

Activity Details (ID# 33022)  

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Title Follow-up workshop on access to official documents (for public information officers and media professionals)  
Status Completed 
Date 30/07/2011 - 31/07/2011 
Location Terter, 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 1.2 - The implementation of the media-related regulatory framework and self-regulation are improved in line with 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# 33022) (Hide Synopsis)

Objective(s) The objective of the second workshop (first workshop was held on 9-10 July 2011 in Guba, Azerbaijan) was to train the public information officers working for the central government ministries and regional authorities as well as some journalists/editors of regional media outlets the modern techniques concerning the access to information and the media and general public’s access to official government documents. The legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic on access to information and case studies concerning work of the public Information officers were discussed with the participants. The information gathered from the participants of the first workshop enabled the agenda of the second workshop to take into account specifics of the Republic of Azerbaijan. About 30 percent of the participants in the second workshop had been present during the first workshop in Guba. 
Output/Results Various documents were distributed to the participants: a law of Azerbaijan Republic on “Access to Information”, Journalists Code of Ethics prepared by the Press Council of Azerbaijan and 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. The Press Council of Azerbaijan played a major part in publicizing the seminar.

Most of the participants, especially those from the central ministries were motivated and interested in the experts’ presentations. For most of the participants it was the first seminar on access to information that they had attended.

During one and half days the participants listened to speeches and presentations on the following topics: “Legal aspects of the law ‘Open Access to Information’ (Recent developments in The Netherlands and other countries), “How to make a campaign?”, “Developing a frame-work campaign on ‘Open access to information’, “Press releases and press conferences?”, case-study on “Crisis Communication”, “New developments: commercialization and new media”, discussion with participants on “Public Information and Mass Media”, and “Curriculum for journalists, in touch with Public Authorities”.
There was time allocated after each presentation for input by participants. Thus the second workshop became a logical continuation of the topics discussed at the first workshop.

Participants criticized their media and journalists; they indicated that most of the Azerbaijani media were not very professional and did not respect professional codes of ethics. In the meantime, local journalists and editors said that public information and press officers of the government bodies do not always cooperative with the media.
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 more journalists at such workshops who could input during the discussions. In the meantime foreign experts made their recommendations concerning the work with public and curriculum development for journalists education and training on the issue of access to information.

The participants expressed their wish to:

- participate in future trainings
- participate in seminars concerning European standards on access to information
Participants Public Information officers of the government bodies, journalists/editors of regional media outlets 
Consultants/Experts Mr. David van der HOUWEN, Deputy Head of the press, media and public relations department of the House of Representatives, Netherlands
Mr Fred GIJBELS, consultants, Netherlands
CoE Secretariat Shahin Abbasov, Project Manager, Baku, Azerbaijan 
Total No. Participants 23 
Last Modified


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