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Satire Hit '250+' Awarded In Azerbaijan


"250+", the hit satirical show produced by RFE’s Azerbaijani Service, has been recognized for "innovation in new media" at this year's "Blogosfer" convention in Azerbaijan.

The show's host, Vusula Alibayli, received the award at this year's convention, the second in what has become an annual gathering of independent bloggers, new media specialists, and activists in Nabran, Azerbaijan.

"250s+" has been compared to Jon Stewart’s "The Daily Show," and Alibayli admits to similarities between the shows, but adds, "I still have a lot of work to do to become as skillful as Jon Stewart!"

Alibayli believes the show’s success lays in the use of satire which helps people to understand and accept events.

"To an extent, I think the show 'chews' issues, making them easier to swallow," she explains.

The reaction to the show has been positive and Alibayli is most encouraged when viewers tell her they need this type of news casting. Through this show, RFE’s Azerbaijani Service, known locally as Radio Azadliq, is challenging people to think differently by analyzing events and news in a lighter, more humorous way, a first in Azerbaijani news media.

One episode opens with Alibayli paying homage to the space blogging has come to occupy in the media environment in Azerbaijan: "Today if you want to bury someone politically the next day he emerges alive with his own blog."

At this year's "Blogosfer", bloggers and activists discussed problems of Internet quality and professionalism in new media. At the end, a packet of proposals on development of new media was formulated and submitted to the Ministry of Communications and Information, Ministry of Education, Central Bank and other state and private institutions.

-- Deana Kjuka
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