Public Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (ITV)

İctimai Television (meaning “Public Television” in Azerbaijani language) was launched in 2005. Based in the capital city of Baku, the station is known in the country as ITV.

Media assets

Television: Ictimai Television

Radio: Public Radio

State Media Matrix Typology: State-Controlled (SC)

Ownership and governance

ITV was created by the Azeri government to comply with a requirement that allowed the country to join the Council of Europe. The broadcaster was created through the Law on Public Broadcasting, which states that the ITV Broadcasting Council, the main governing body at the station, should appoint the general director of ITV. However, it is the government that in reality decides who fills that position as the nine members of the council are appointed by the Azeri President.

Source of funding and budget

Although the law that created ITV foresaw that the station would be financed through a license fee paid by Azeri households, that legal provision has not been implemented to date. ITV funds itself mostly through state funds, completing its budget with revenue from ad sales. In 2017, ITV received a total of AZN 11.5m (US$ 6.7m) from the government budget. Since then, the station has not released annual or budget reports.

Editorial independence

ITV is known among journalists covering Azerbaijan as a government-controlled media outlet. It mostly airs one-sided news about events in the country and is openly used as a state propaganda channel. Most of the news output is focused on the president. A 2017 report from a local NGO (saved on the materials on the drive) stated that, “since its formation in 2005, ITV has primarily served the needs of the state, largely being used as a propaganda tool of the government with little or no independent reporting.” Much of the content on ITV is taken from the state broadcaster AzTV. Very often, the logo on broadcasts taken from AzTV is replaced by ITV’s logo and the program is presented as an ITV own show.

No domestic statute or independent assessment mechanism to validate the editorial independence of ITV have been identified.

September 2023