The processes occurring in the world, the further expansion of digitalization space and information society accelerating day by day requires a new approach to the management of people. The new human model which we can conditionally call as an “internet man” requires reformist, flexible and smart thinking management.
The good news is that Azerbaijan didn’t stay on the sidelines of this global process. President Ilham Aliyev launched the second phase of the reforms in the second half of the year which he started as “the year of reforms”.
The measures are taken in the area of adoption of the social packages covering all strata of the population, large-scale nationwide reforms, growth of the number of infrastructure projects and approval of the document related to judicial and legal reforms have served as a good base for further changes i.e. the structural and staff reforms. The currently implemented structural and staff reforms can be called as “radical or cardinal changes”.
The changes which were started at the level of lower executive structures and were continued till the level of Presidential Administration and Azerbaijani Parliament are expected to be rolled out to judicial power as well.
Due to the consistency of the changes conducted by the President with patience and self-control, as well as with determination and confidence, the transition to a new formation is welcomed by the public’s support, loyalty and greetings.
The essence of the matter is that the sub-base for the reforms was prepared by President Ilham Aliyev many years ago, in the distant past, when the “reform” notion wasn’t yet included in our active dictionary as much as this year.
As early as from the initial year of his tenure, in the times when oil was a favorite commodity in the world market Ilham Aliyev started to prepare for a post-oil era. He allocated funds to the programs for education abroad under the famous motto “Let's turn the black gold into human capital”. He didn’t impede strengthening of the role of free internet and social media in the development of public opinion. He didn’t rule the country by single-vector policy, he supported and stimulated education abroad and return to the country of the youths with a new thinking approach who were ready for the contemporary phase of reforms in terms of their qualities and acquisition of experience by the youths who stayed in the country. He brought into the country the international events and the world-scale actions and created conditions for Azerbaijan’s benefiting from the advanced trends. He allocated funds for the promotion of tolerance and multicultural values and established ASAN service as a model of transparent management and effective service within the structure of the bureaucratic apparatus, and a new human resources base was developed at that service agency. He coordinated contemporary world trends with traditional community trends. He managed to appreciated and distinguish the committed, experienced members of his team who had certain merits. At the same time he never ignored the public opinion and the people’s support, and the “Independence and people’s support” had always been the main thesis of all his activities.
And all these measures had become an answer to the question “How a President can conduct reforms so smoothly and confidently?” during the times when even in the most developed countries of the world, the governments were cautious about cardinal reforms.
Thus, for many years, the President has prepared with patience, self-control, and wisdom the base, staff, and conditions necessary for the changes. Therefore, now he can implement the changes dynamically, rapidly and confidently...
Media in a new era
The changes implemented in various branches of the government can’t overlook the media as well which is conditionally called the “IV branch of the government”. In fact, the media was one of the sectors the problems of which were touched upon in the course of another phase of the changes launched by the President in September and at the same time one of the sectors from which President expected certain support regarding the changes. The head of the state noted the games played through media by the circles which wanted to impede the reforms and at the same time focused attention on the importance and significance of the public control. The availability of independent and sound media, as well as other public institutions, are among the important preconditions for the successful implementation of the reforms.
In this approach, the media is not only a company or a group of creative persons with a well-established structure. The media can be designated as the public’s system of visions, views, and approaches. The development of the “media of new era” or the availability of a new attitude to media within the public of a country where the cardinal changes are implemented are necessary.
Because I do not want to exhaust the readers who are not the expert in the field with terms, I will try to present my opinion more simple. The essence of the issue is: Back then when there were interactive media in terms of the internet, websites and online media, as well as smartphones, a person was only data carrier and a data receiver. And a person of the new era is also a data conductor.
Now, nobody is with one function in relation to information, each has the chance to create, hold and conduct the information. Additionally, social media tools create the opportunity to direct, to control, even to campaign the information. There can be a difference between professionals and ordinary information conductor in terms of impact capabilities. But this fact is not denied that everybody has the chance to be a producer of information, particularly, to be a coordinator.
Exactly this point - being a CONDUCTOR with the terms that the modern media allows is already changing the opinion and approach to information.
In other words, establishing a factory you can produce any product that you want. If you do not have the opportunity to market, to display and to sell it, the economic efficiency, loss or profitability of your product is not of interest to society or market players. It means that the main issue is not production; it is to conduct the products, to market.
When the traditional media existed everyone was an information holder. However the wide-ranging for conducting information that belonged to selected objects. Thus, the traditional media environment facilitated the presentation of information within the conjuncture. Determining the conjuncture point of view of any event or fact, popularizing it imperatively, it was possible to create an idea with a single thesis, even strengthen those ideas.
The interaction brought by the Internet, the reality of social media and advance technology made all information holders also the conductors. And this made the conjuctural information less important. It also took less time to falsify the fake news as the dissemination of conjuctural information. Being of a source of information also an alternative source of information has reduced confidence in the “conjuctural information" means, making them neglected. A a result, the traditional media was obliged to lose its readers and audience quickly to alternative information sources – new media, in other words, readers and audience.
If I wrote very openly, imperial and administrative media management has become useless, media only had the option of distinguishing itself with the dominance of informing function, agility and more interactivity. Continuing without being aware of the new situation, directing the imperative information has led to the problems at the current media policy.
What to do?
If we return to the realities of our country from theoretical analysis, currently, the solution is freedom of market players and is seen as creating opportunity making more visible of alternative content on traditional media.
In other words, if serious, reliable and trusted media organizations in the society can act with more free conditions in the market, then progress will occur.
At the same time, this can make it less important for those who carry out the "black pr" the campaign against the country under the name of "national content" from abroad.
Giving more importance to traditional media to alternative ideas, open discussion, and criticism would have ensured variety in a media environment.
The activity being conducted in amateurish methods on social media tools and resulting in serious side effects can be replaced with more professional work which is practical and dynamic, based on measurements. The manager’s activity in any area that plays a role in shaping public opinion, as well as in social media tools, can not be accepted negatively. On the contrary, if the state work strictly over social media, take advantage of modern applications, measure the tendencies, eliminate the reasons that cause a problem, changes the result, all society will make benefit from this.
The ensurance of variety and many-colouredness in traditional media, the answer to the question “What do we change? And why do we change?” will identify the future of the media.
Another precondition is to get rid of the aggregators which create “informational pollution” and the group of “websites with a staff consisting of three persons” which have been established for the purpose of blackmailing and denigration during implementation of this comprehensive process which seems easy theoretically, but is quite painful in practice under the present circumstances. Sometimes administrative decisions may be needed for this.
At the same time, the activities of government agencies on ensuring access to information can be systematically increased.
The support of various institutions, especially by traditional media on the adoption of social media behavior of the society may be among one of the priorities.
And at this point, I can not skip the main problem without writing about it.
The main point for the correct definition of all these formulas is media management. Unfortunately, at the present moment, this is one of the main problems in the media.
There is a need for adequate media management, that has a broad and conceptual media view can form media policy of the body, led by it, and understands universal values, the humanitarian mission of media for society, besides informative mission, as well as information security obligations of a state, which is the inseparable part of national security.
In this case, a negative point of the issue is the lack of such media management. New media type is to form a media institute and media figure, that has a conceptual approach, can coordinate interests of media and society, as well as that is able to determine borders of dark PR and criticism, and can implement public control function by being away from “all is bad” or “all is good” tandems. This work does not mean to increase measurements with fake counters, to do social media engineering, and write news, that has “tens of thousands of views”, but does not have a role in information policy, in contrary, poses problems with society. It also does not mean just to know the modern world and trends. Modern media management is to be able to well understand desires, even stereotypes of the traditional society, besides its adequacy, and new thought and to be adequate to these stereotypes.
It is a process. Open societies can accept failures, like success, mistakes in rights in all changes naturally. It is glad that the reform process has started, society is enthusiastic for renovation, the media, expressing its opinion, also has desire and determination for renovation…