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Meydan TV

Meydan TV: Support for independent journalism in Azerbaijan 


The Problem
Meydan emerged as a response to the glaring absence of independent and unbiased media sources in Azerbaijan. The media landscape in the country was dominated by official narratives, lacking critical analysis, and often serving as a mouthpiece for the government. This dearth of impartial reporting hindered citizens' access to diverse perspectives and accurate information, severely curtailing freedom of expression. Censorship persists, critical journalists face imprisonment, and vital events like protests, opposition gatherings, and elections remain under stringent coverage restrictions. These challenges have led Reporters Without Borders to rank Azerbaijan 151st out of 180 countries in their 2023 Press Freedom Index. Moreover, the recent enactment of a new media law portends a further decline in media liberties in the foreseeable future. The closing months of 2023 and beginning of 2024 witnessed a distressing trend marked by the imprisonment of numerous independent journalists and activists. 

The Approach
Meydan TV stands as Azerbaijan's leading independent media outlet and premier digital news platform, boasting over 2 million social media followers. The platform seeks to offer an alternative space where individuals can freely express themselves and access credible information. Since its establishment in 2013 in Berlin, Meydan TV has played a pivotal role in bridging the information gap in a media landscape marred by state-controlled narratives and censorship.

Its multifaceted approach encompasses a wide range of activities, leveraging its network of freelancers to deliver diverse content, including news reports, analytical pieces, investigations, and opinion articles. Meydan TV emphasizes topics often marginalized by state media, such as corruption, political prisoners, and public safety concerns, and LGBTQI issues amplifying a diverse range of perspectives. Through high-quality video production tailored for social media platforms, it engages audiences, expanding readership and subscriber base. The "Your Voice" initiative empowers communities by addressing citizens' concerns and helping resolve issues ranging from pension discrepancies to social benefit entitlements and support for war veterans. 

The Impact

  • The "Your Voice" program has been instrumental in addressing citizens' grievances, leading to the resolution of over 100 problems, and achieving a success rate of almost 60% in 2023. 

  • Meydan TV holds the attention of one in six Facebook users in Azerbaijan. As the largest media outlet on Instagram in the Caucasus, its influence extends to nearly one million followers. 

  • With around ten articles produced daily and 90 impactful videos produced monthly, Meydan TV’s content garners over a million video views monthly and sparks policy discussions among citizens, prompting engagement from local authorities. 

The Future
In the future Meydan TV will launch a journalism library to empower local journalists, fostering impactful storytelling and advancing independent journalism in Azerbaijan. It will also continue to diversify revenue streams, optimizing their newsroom structure, and expanding audience reach through diverse content formats.