Special Reports


Dangerous Assignments   |   Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Chile, Indonesia, Jordan, Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey

CPJ and the World

Executive Director William A. Orme, Jr., who was interviewed on CNN International, Fox News "In Depth," MSNBC "Online," and numerous radio shows about Attacks on the Press in 1997, traveled to California for the April 6 launch of the book at a program at the Freedom Forum in San Francisco. He also addressed the regional conference of the Society for Professional Journalists in Spokane, Washington.
July 2, 1998 8:17 PM ET


Dangerous Assignments   |   Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia

Azerbaijan's Media Navigate a Legal Maze

Editors of Baku's leading newspapers were thrown into turmoil in early November 1996. The Milli Medjlis had just amended the law on mass media to require licensing in addition to registration with the Ministry of Justice before newspapers could begin, or continue, operating. Fourteen chief editors of newspapers and news agencies gathered in December to demand clarification. "We hoped for some positive changes when we heard that parliament would consider amendments and modifications," the editors said in a statement to the Milli Medjlis. "But we got confused when we read the text..." The editors asked: What agency would issue the newly required licenses? What would be the criteria? Could the licenses be revoked?
March 2, 1998 8:17 PM ET


Dangerous Assignments   |   Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Dubai, Kuwait, Russia


Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Caucasian republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have declared their desire to model themselves after Western European societies, with free - market economies and democratic government. But their passage from communism to a new social order has been rife with contradictions. In the current transition period, leaders of both countries display authoritarian tendencies, resulting in an ambiguous and sometimes surreal climate for the media:
March 2, 1998 8:17 PM ET


Dangerous Assignments   |   Armenia, Azerbaijan, France

Uncertain Future for Armenians' Internet Access

Stepanian acknowledges that many television programs do not elicit the kind of interest he would like to see. "Our workers come with Soviet experience," he explains. "It is difficult for them to forget Glavlit [censorship] and self-censorship and to teach them freedom. Mostly the fault is with the journalists, rather than the government." There is talk among officials in Armenia about giving state television a semi-independent status. During his tenure as premier (November 1996-March 1997), Armen Sarkissian, a believer in an independent press, wanted to separate television from government, while retaining some editorial control over Channel 1. Presidential Press Secretary Levon Zourabian says Channels 1 and 2 might be privatized by auction, although there is concern about keeping them out of the hands of business interests who might ignore the public trust and use them to promote their own selfish, commercial interests.
March 2, 1998 8:17 PM ET

Dangerous Assignments   |   Armenia

Armenia's New Journalists

The collapse of Soviet-style journalism has brought a new type of writer to the fore-youthful, enthusiastic, but often without training or experience. A problem in Armenian journalism is the need to replace Soviet-era training with new methods. Ruben A. Satyan says he assigns new recruits at Vremya to senior editors for on-the-job training. Astghik Gevorkian, chair of the refashioned Soviet-era Union of Journalists, says journalism departments in state educational institutions have been unable to adjust to new conditions because their professors are holdovers from the Communist era.
March 2, 1998 8:17 PM ET

Dangerous Assignments   |   Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran

Key Media Officials in Azerbaijan

Minister of Press and Information: Siruz Khudat ogli Tabrizli, born 1942 in Tabriz, Iran. A writer, poet, former journalist. Holds democratic views but is a strong supporter of President Heidar Aliyev. Member of parliament and a leader of Aliyev's New Azerbaijan party. Serves as minister under the "List of 18" exception which allows 15 percent of deputies to hold executive posts concurrently with parliamentary duties. Address: Ministry of Press and Information, No. 12 A. Karayev St., Baku. Tel: (994 12) 92-67-47, 92-93-33.
March 2, 1998 8:17 PM ET

Dangerous Assignments   |   Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Turkey

Censorship While You Wait: An Azerbaijani Newspaper Struggles to Stay Alive

At 25, Gunduz M. Tairli is a chain - smoking, ink - stained journalist. His face is angular; his expression intense. He is also chief editor of Azadliq, one of Baku's most popular newspapers, and the organ of the opposition Popular Front party. Putting out Azadliq is a daily struggle for Tairli, who labors 12 hours a day, six days a week for the equivalent of $50 a month.
March 2, 1998 8:17 PM ET


Dangerous Assignments   |   Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia, Turkey

Cut It Out: Notes from An Azerbaijani Censor

A 1993 censor's log book, revealing the interplay between censors and the cuts they made, has been circulating among Baku editors. Some extracts from the purloined document:
³An article cut from Azadliq. It said that S. Husseinov demanded the resignation of President Aliyev at his press conference at Ganja. If you see such information in other newspapers, cut it out immediately.
March 2, 1998 8:17 PM ET


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