THE ROLE OF MEDIA IN ANTI-ARMENIAN INFORMATION SYSTEM OF AZERBAIJAN

Ruben Elamiryan

International Relations Specialist






Media (both traditional and new) is one of the main instruments to lead information-psychological warfare and to impact effectively on mass-consciences. Taking this into consideration, the Azerbaijan Republic (AR) officials exercise multivector policy to widespread its presence in world information space. Thus they try to bring anti-Armenian propaganda to international community, to Armenian and their own societies.

Anti-Armenian media system of Azerbaijani contains the following dimensions. The division is provisional, as all the components are the units of well-established and interconnected network.

- Domestic media, particularly, electronic ones;

- Cooperation with Turkish and other foreign publishers, publication in popular foreign Media;

- Traditional Media, in particular, development of cable-TV on regional and international languages;

- Azerbaijani periodicals abroad;

- Active use of new Media, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.

The AR spends huge amounts of oil-dollars to overflow internet with its own information sources in its intension to overcome the RA, particularly, in information filed. One of most popular among them is www.day.az in Russian, which contains separate division "News for Armenia”. Meantime this resource includes two more projects http://www.milli.az/ (in Azerbaijani) and www.today.az (in English). Simultaneously it`s important to emphasize such resources as www.vesti.az (in Russian), www.zerkalo.az (in Russian), www.apa.az (in Azerbaijani, English, Russian, French and Arab languages). There are plenty of such kinds of websites and most of them have separate division about Armenia and Armenians.

In addition there are lots of resources spreading falsifications about tragic Khojalu events, which Azerbaijan call «genocide», e.g. http://teas.eu/khojaly (THE EUROPEAN AZERBAIJAN SOCIETY). The web site is in English and there is heartbreaking photo of a girl and a woman on front page, where allegedly Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan is sited with words, that after Khojalu events he started believing that Armenians could use violence against civil population. Another similar project is www.khojaly.org. In this regard it`s necessary to mention that while searching in Google with key word "khojaly”, most results are anti-Armenian.

Simultaneously Azerbaijan cooperates tightly with foreign Media. Leading role here belongs to Turkish resources, which purposefully support their Azerbaijani partners. Meantime cooperation in this field is not restricted to Turkish factor. For example, the agreement, signed between Azerbaijani information agency Trend and Italian information service "Adnkronos International” (AKI) in 2009, supposes information and analytics exchange as well as preparation of exclusive materials. AKI is one of eleven organizations, which form "The GMC Group”, which cooperates closely with "Reuters International”, "Scripps Howard News Service”, "Los Angeles Times”, "Washington Post News Service”, "Deutsche Presse Agentur”, "The New China News Agency”. Ukrainian governmental agency «Ukrinfo» is among the new partners of Trend. The AR as well orders articles in leading foreign recourses, where the authors call Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, call the events in Khojalu as «genocide», etc. Such kind of articles in rather large amount can be found, particularly, in Aljazeera, BBC, etc.

Azerbaijan increases its presence in international satellite broadcasting in Armenian, Russian, English, Persian and other languages. Azerbaijani officials directly speak about propagandistic character and aims of their resources. For example, Khalig Mamedov, the deputy president of public association "SOCAR Media" on the presentation of satellite TV-channel "CBC" (Caspian Broadcasting Company) stated, that their aim is to create a TV-channel, which would become the leader in the region. According to him the programs will run in different languages and only 10 percent in Azerbaijanian, as broadcasting in various languages will allow promoting Azerbaijani policy. Center for Armenian researches headed by Gafar Chagmagli is also involved in the preparation of materials for the CBC.

Additionally the AR creates and uses its own periodicals abroad. On one hand, they function to unify Azerbaijani communities in exact countries, on the other – to perform pro-Azerbaijani propaganda. For example, the organization "Azerbaijani house” founded in Brussels in 2000 starting from 2004 has been publishing "Euroxeber” newspaper. It`s been delivering to Azerbaijani communities of EU, as well as to officials in the EU, CE, OSCE etc. There is also online version of this newspaper. Situation with social, or new, media is not better, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, which are also used widely by Azerbaijani propaganda. For example, Facebook page with title "Justice for Khojaly Campaign”, which is actively been promoting the "fact of genocide” of Azerbaijanis has more then 37 thousand likes and these fingers gradually increase. By the way, there are three pages with this title on Facebook, although the popularity of the others is not so high. Search "#khojaly” on Twitter shows numerous quantities of pro-Azerbaijani materials. Many discussions are organized on various forums. New media also serves to bring materials from «traditional» media to wider audience.

At the same time it is important to mention that anti-Armenian propaganda of Azerbaijan has also domestic meaning and runs in a few directions:

1). Forming the atmosphere of hate towards the Republic of Armenia, NKR and all the Armenians. Creating tension and feeling that "enemy (in face of Armenians) never sleeps” and always ready to invade Azerbaijan. Thus Azerbaijani elite tries to solve the problem of public consolidation and keep the Aliev`s rejime in power;

2). Simultaneously they implant the idea, that NKR is native Azerbaijani land;

3). The other direction of domestic propaganda is promoting the idea of prosperity and development in their country and myth of poverty and regress in Armenia and NKR. This policy of course is directed against both their own and Armenian people. Azerbaijani authorities by these measures try to persuade their own population that enemy will fail soon.

Thus, the strategy of Azerbaijani or pro-Azerbaijani media works on the following scenarios:

1). Directed against Armenians: threatening (permanent threats to resume war, demonstration of own power – political, economic, military), as well as demonstration of those advantages Armenia can gain in case if Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is resolved in their favor. For this reason they create special information channels in Armenian (e.g. www.armenia.az);

2). Anti-Armenian propaganda in the world, creation of negative image of the RA and all the Armenians;

3). PR of Azerbaijan in the world, promoting of their own position;

4). Demagogy for own people, PR of authorities, promoting of hate policy towards Armenians.
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617 reads | 14.02.2014
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