The Council of State Support to Non-Governmental Organizations under the Auspices of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan held a conference on "NGO-Media Relations: New Demands and Cooperation Models" in Guba. The conference was attended by heads of influential non-governmental organizations and mass media of the country.Executive Director of the Secretariat, Farasat Gurbanov, said that NGOs, as the most active layer of the society, play an important role in solving social problems and promoting civic initiatives. F.Gurbanov emphasized the importance of developing mutually beneficial relationship with the mass media and increasing the effectiveness of the work carried out by the NGOs within the framework of the implemented projects
The executive director said the establishment of mutually beneficial relationships between the two mentioned important institutions of the civil society had great contributions in addressing public issues. Farasat Gurbanov noted that the measures implemented by the Council for further development of NGO-media relations will continue.
An authorized employee of the Presidential Administration, Deputy Chairman of the Council Vusal Guliyev spoke about the importance of consistent steps taken by the state to develop the NGO sector after Azerbaijan restored its independence. V.Guliyev noted the significance of the "Concept of State Support to Non-Governmental Organizations of the Republic of Azerbaijan" and "Concept of State Support for the Development of Mass Media in the Republic of Azerbaijan" adopted by the President Ilham Aliyev's order and, as a logical continuation of these documents, the Council of State Support to Non-Governmental Organizations and the State Fund for Support of Mass Media Development under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. He underlined that these steps, which formalized the state support for both NGOs and the media, and strengthened their position in the political system of Azerbaijan, gave a powerful impetus to the strengthening of civil society.
Deputy Chairman of the Council said that the public should be fully informed about the programs and projects implemented by the NGOs, as well as jointly investigating problems at the local level and presenting them to the state bodies, the interaction with the media in conducting inquiries and monitoring.
Elmaddin Behbud, Head of the Press and Public Relations Section of the Council, made a presentation on "Development trends and new demands in NGO-media relations". E. Behbud, speaking about media outlets created to inform the public about the activities of NGOs more intensively, to cover practical and theoretical issues, noted that Civil Society magazine is being published once a month from October 2008. The site, which has become a tribune for NGOs, has been operating since July 2009. Elmaddin Behbud said that the continuing activities of the Council to increase the knowledge and skills of NGOs helped the public associations to communicate more effectively and professionally with mass media. As a result, significant improvements in qualitative and quantitative indicators of media coverage of NGO activities are observed. Pointing out the links between NGOs and the media, Behbud said: "NGOs should be able to turn their actions into events, with escaping sensationalism. Media organizations will be more interested in collaborating with organizations that focus on ideas and initiatives that are of public relevance".