BAKU: Azeri officials more critical than media of BBC’s Karabakhcove

Azeri officials more critical than media of BBC’s Karabakh coverage

Ekho, Baku
28 May 04

The BBC has broadcast a documentary named “One Day of War” about the
situation in the Nagornyy Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. The ruling
New Azerbaijan Party [NAP] and the pro-government parties are warning
the BBC that its broadcasts in Azerbaijan can be suspended. Meanwhile,
the experts suggest waiting until the film is shown.

“Neil Harvey is in the mainly ethnic Armenian enclave of
Azerbaijan… It’s visually extremely good. Looks like World War One
trenches. The front line is just beyond the city,” this is what is
reported about the film on the BBC’s official web site.

The film was broadcast yesterday by the BBC Two TV channel. The web
site carries information about the course of work by journalist Neil
Harvey, who visited Xankandi between 15 and 22 March 2004.

[Passage omitted: Quotes from the BBC web site]

“They allowed me to film the valley, but were against me filming
Agdam,” Harvey reports. Next comes an enthusiastic report about the
bandit formations of the separatist regime who were “marching like

[Passage omitted: Threats by Azerbaijani officials against the BBC]

The pro-government circles are increasingly vocal in blaming the BBC
Russian Service for “bias”. However, experts suggest looking into
each case separately and not jumping to conclusions.

“The way the film about Xankandi has been made does not give enough
grounds to judge whether it is ethically correct. It all depends on the
content: on whether the views of both sides are presented and so on,”
the chairman of the Yeni Nasil Union of Journalists, Arif Aliyev, says.

“The preparation and broadcasting of the film means imparting
information to TV viewers, which is a journalist’s responsibility,” the
director of the Institute for Media Rights, Rasid Hacili, says. There
may be claims about “bias” if a journalist has violated the principles
of objectivity and balanced reporting by failing to present the views
of both sides.

The radio station can be deprived of its frequency only by a court