Radio

“Baku speaks!” were the first words emitted by the loudspeakers installed in the city’s streets and squares, when Azerbaijani radio was founded on 6 November, 1926. This influenced the political and cultural life of Azerbaijani people. Radio regulations were approved by the Azerbaijan People Commissars Soviet on 13 May, 1928. Radio Information Office and Baku Television Studio were united and the Radio and Television Broadcasting Committee under Azerbaijan SSR Soviet of Ministers was established in 1957.

In 2005, with the order of the President of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijan Television and Radio Broadcasting Closed Joint-Stock Company was established as the basis of the State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company. Mainstream news radios are under the strict control of the ruling elite. This holds true for both state-owned and private channels. In December of 2008, other media have come under withering attack. Several years after Radio Azadliq, the Azerbaijani bureau of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) was raided by the police in December 2014. Subsequently, the radio was stripped of its frequency and its website was blocked by court order in March 2017.

As of 2019, there are 13 radios in Baku. They are mainly divided into state, private, and public domain. These are Radio Antenn, Radio Media FM, Azad Azerbaijan, Radio Space, Avto FM, Araz FM, Asan Radio, Lider Radio, Day.az, Irado.az, Autolife.audio, Sharg.airtime.pro, Love Radio and Kepez Fm.

All channels mainly broadcast entertainment and educational programmes. Araz radio broadcasts programmes in different languages: in Russian every day, in Georgian three times a week and in Kurdish, Talish and Armenian twice a week.

Although there is a department of social and political programmes on Azerbaijani radio, there are actually no talk shows or debates. On the eve of the presidential and parliamentary elections candidates and their authorised representatives are allocated limited airtime only on the public radio.

An unsolved technical issue is that of connecting foreign radio frequencies to the local frequencies in the border regions of Azerbaijan. When additional transmitters are illegally installed in those areas, it has an impact on local channels which are technically hampered from functioning. The regions involved include Ujar, Beylagan, Barda, Imishli, Lankaran and Astara, where there are mainly Iranian channels. Therefore, the solution of the problem must be regulated by intergovernmental agreements.

The FM radio range is constantly monitored by broadcast radio stations of the State Radio Frequency Division. Information about this is regularly submitted to the Ministry of Transport, Communication and High Technologies and Radio Television Broadcasting and Satellite Communications Production Union (Teleradio PU). When anti-propaganda radio programmes are detected in the country, certain technical measures are taken by Teleradio PU in accordance with the instructions of the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies.