I. Introduction This master’s thesis represents study of female newspaper and magazine editors in Azerbaijan based on Western and Soviet definitions of journalism with explanation of local national features of this p



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II. Research project


II.1 Research purpose and research questions

Proposed research project is the second part of an academic effort to classify Azerbaijani editors and pinpoint their stances towards journalistic ethics. In our 200825 research we have stated that by that time no serious academic effort was directed to study the journalist community in Azerbaijan.26 Even though the following four years brought some efforts, most notably by Russian scholars to encompass Azerbaijani media in the larger frame of post-Soviet area’s transitional development the question still remains open. Most notable is the deficit of reliable data from the region since as Richter points out Azerbaijan does not have even one serious organization that can be trusted with its survey results, including the data presented by such renown international organizations as Freedom House. On the other hand such organizations as Yeni Nesil journalists association or Turan news agency that are considered the best sources on current journalism situation in Azerbaijan limit their polls to only selected experts or improperly done street questionnaires (Richter 2007).


Today, after the two decades spent in transition Azerbaijani media community is still searching for its new identity and fights with deprofessionalization and political parallelism of its members (Valiyev 2008). The media scene is divided on government or pro-government, oppositional or pro-oppositional and independent or semi-independent press. However, since all private media live in a cobweb of patronage deals, proxy arrangements and management cronyism there is small space for media independency and for journalists to keep their external independence.
Our initial research aimed at exploring ethical attitudes of the elite of Azerbaijani journalists – editors of the 12 largest nation-wide newspapers gave us classification of editors in regard to their ethical stances as well as allowed us to state that Azerbaijani media currently suffers from instrumentalization and proletarization of journalists. What our research has omitted was the female editorial community and its stances in application of ethical values in their routine.

The purpose of this research is to come up with data that will allow us to generate typology mapping Azeri females who work or until recently worked as editors-in-chief, deputy editors or department editors in newspapers and magazines and research their ethical and value orientations in order to answer the main question of this research. The researcher will focus on stances of the abovementioned individuals regarding professional ethics and ethical self-regulation in media as well as will cover the question of how female journalists solve ethically problematic situations and evaluate their own influence in Azeri society. The structure of the research that copies the one of 2008 will allow us to map stances of female editorial community and then compare them with the stances of their male colleagues In addition, we will try to answer a question of how emancipated are female editors in Azerbaijan.


Main research question

What types of female editors in regard to professional standards exist in Azeri printed newspapers and magazines?


Secondary questions:


  • How do the female editors perceive ethical self-regulation in journalism?




  • What are the stances of female editors towards journalistic professional organizations?




  • Do female editors use ethical codes to solve ethical dilemmas?




  • How female editors perceive their influence in Azerbaijani society?




  • Is there difference between ethical approaches of female and male editors in Azerbaijan?




  • Do female editors in Azerbaijan experience any differences between them and their male colleagues?


II.2 Basic Concepts
Each of the dimensions will be represented in loosely tied batteries of questions during the in-depth interview.
Dimensions Qualities

Structural dimension:

Stances on importance of education in journalism and received education


Self-regulation in media

--- knowledge of norms

--- interest in them

--- application of norms in practice

Stances on membership in professional organizations and their role in media

--- dilemma solving



Attitude dimension --- job satisfaction

--- job motivation

--- assessment of personal

influence in the society


Social progress dimension --- participation in social networks

--- surpassing social taboos: female driving,



smoking, initiation of a divorce

II.3 Research population

The following research targeted female professionals that worked in the position an editor-in-chief, secretary editor or at some point of their journalistic career were occupying following positions in newspapers and magazines published in Azerbaijan.


In terms of sampling – the method remained unchanged and the purposive sampling technique was used to select research population. Despite, official statistics that states existence of more than 350027 media outlets in Azerbaijan, the number of really functioning media outlets is significantly lower and keeps beneath 300. More importantly, according to leaflet “Gender issue in Azerbaijani media” published in 2011 by the International Federation of Journalists together with the Azerbaijan Journalist Union and the “Coalition for Freedom of Speech and Journalist Professionalism” currently only 30-35% of women are employed in nationally distributed newspapers and 20-25% in regional newspapers.
Moreover, the publication states that “only 10 women of all the editorial-offices surveyed were represented at the decision making level. (JuHi 2011) Thus, when we were able to secure 14 female editors that participated in our in-depth interviews we reached coverage of 99 % of all female editors that work in newspapers or magazines with circulation number of at least 1500 copies.Editors in our research worked at 7 daily, 1 weekly, 2 biweekly newspapers, 3 monthly magazines and 2 were ex-editors and worked as freelancers.
Table 5. Newspapers and magazines participating in the research
Tittle Circulation28 Affiliation

Newspapers

  • 3 Noqte 2,800 independent

  • Vyshka 1,500 semi-independent, affiliated with SOCAR29

  • Azerbaijan 8,500 state, Parliament of Azerbaijan Republic

  • Tibb 22,000 state, Ministry of Health

  • Gencebasar 2,000 independent

  • Gencenin sesi 5,000 state, executive power of Ganja city

  • Xalq cebhesi 7,000 semi-independent, affiliated with BAXCP30

  • Baki Xeber 3,000 independent

  • Hefte ici 3,000 independent

  • Edalet 2,000 independent


Magazines


Table 6. Selected characteristics of female editors

Editor

Years of experience

Position

Newspaper/Magazine

A.S

31

editor

Xalq Cebhesi daily

A.X.

21

editor

Tibb biweekly

F.X

40

department editor

Azerbaijan daily

F.X

20

editor

Yol magazine monthly

N.Y.

17

ex-editor

freelancer

I.T.

33

editor

Edalet daily

M.H.

39

editor

Vyshka daily

N.M.

31

editor

Hurdcun, monthly mag.

N.X.

41

editor

Gancabasar weekly

R.S.

41

editor

Gancanin sesi biweekly

S.A.

1531

editor

Baki Xeber daily

S.S,

19

editor

Hefte ici, daily

T.B.

14

editor

Yenilesen Azerbaycan weekly

U.X

12

editor

Milli Maclis mag. bimonthly

X.B.

16

editor

Uc noqte daily


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