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Zhoghovurd Newspaper

Statement on breaking into “Zhoghovurd” daily’s newsroom

On the night of December 19, 2019 unknown persons broke into the editorial office of “Zhoghovurd” daily and, according to the reporters of the newspaper, ransacked the property, opened the drawers, entered the editor’s office, scattered newspapers and papers, most likely trying to find something. According to preliminary information, no computer equipment or other things have been stolen, but the intrusion itself is evidence of an attempt to exert brutal pressure on the media.

We, the undersigned journalistic organizations, strongly condemn the attack against the editorial office, express our support to our colleagues, and demand that law enforcement agencies take all necessary measures to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

YEREVAN PRESS CLUB

MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER

“ASPAREZ” JOURNALISTS’ CLUB

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER

MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE-ARMENIA

PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB

“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE”

“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS”

GORIS PRESS CLUB

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Digital Broadcasting TV

Statement on granting the Public Television a right to broadcast advertisements

On 11 December the RA Ministry of Justice officially posted on the website www.e-draft.am the draft Law on the Amendments to the RA Law on Television and Radio, which envisages inter alia a right for the Public Television to broadcast advertisements for up to 5 minutes within one broadcast hour.

We, the undersigned organisations, hereby state that this is an entirely unjustified step. The issue of whether the Public Television and Radio Company sponsored from the state budget must have access to the adviertising market had always been resolved by the former authorities arbitrarily depending on the political expediency and very concrete business group interests rather than credible calculations and serious arguments. There is no ground to assume that the current initiative is driven by the public demand while the draft itself raises a number of issues with the relevant expert structures.

We note that this is not the first case that the revolutionary government neglects the need to consult the expert community before adopting important decisions and developing draft legislation.

Considering the justifications attached to the draft law as unacceptable and biased, we demand that:

  • The Ministry of Justice removes the document in question from circulation and holds an open discussion on the issue of advertising by the Public Television;
  • The Television and Radio Commission expresses a public position on whether in addition to budgetary allocations the public broadcaster needs to have access to the advertising market;
  • The Board of the Public Television and Radio Company puts forward additional and more convincing explanations on insufficient budgetary allocations and urgency of broadcasting advertisements, as well as provides clarifications as to why these issues and legislative amendments are being agreed exclusively with the authorities in blatant neglect of the opinions of other stakeholders.

 

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
JOURNALISTS’ CLUB “ASPAREZ”
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE – ARMENIA
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
“JOURNALISTS FOR FUTURE” NGO
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS” NGO
GORIS PRESS CLUB

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Armenian Media Microphones

Statement on Discrimination Against Mass Media by the AIISA

Today, on 29 October, the Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs prohibited the participation of a number of media organisations to its event entitled “20 Years after the October 27th: A Glance in Retrospect, Lessons and Thoughts.” The day before Styopa Safaryan, founder and head of AIISA, made a note on a Facebook page for mass media, indicating in particular that there would be no entry for the online media outlets “News.am”, “Hayeli.am”, “168.am”, “Yerevan Today”, “7or.am”, “Livenews.am” and the television companies “5th Channel” and «Yerkir Media.”

We, the undersigned organisations, assess this approach as a discrimination in respect of the mass media, which is impermissible and dangerous for the right to freedom of speech. A non-governmental organisation has to be open and be interested in wide coverage of its activities.

Although the reality in the Armenian media landscape is that media outlets serve different political interests, nevertheless non-governmental organisations must not engage in discrimination and be guided by their likes and dislikes.

In view of the aforesaid, we call on the AIISA to review its approach with regard to the media outlets, demonstrate tolerance and exclude discrimination in respect of the media in the future.

 

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER

MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE – ARMENIA
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
“JOURNALISTS FOR FUTURE” NGO
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS” NGO
GORIS PRESS CLUB

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Tomos Monitoring Graph

Beyond Religion: What media outlets in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine say about the autocephaly of Ukrainian Orthodoxy

The establishment of the independent Orthodox Church in Ukraine brings a fundamental change to Russian influence and soft power structure in post-Soviet countries.

It revises the status of Moscow as the leading ecclesiastical center of the Orthodox Church,which remained almost intact for more than 300 years.

This fundamental change is affecting all target countries, making it important to be aware of the latest developments of Russian propaganda in order to stay resilient in the face of hybrid threats.

Our analysts conducted cross-border monitoringof Russian propaganda messages in the local media outlets of Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in their reporting on the establishment of the independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Media monitoring methodology consisted of two parts: quantitative andqualitative.

Quantitative media monitoring identifies numerical measures or indicators that can be counted and analyzed.

Qualitative media monitoring is used to assess the performance of the media against benchmarks, such as ethical or professional standards that cannot be easily quantified.Experts in each country selected 2 TV channelsand 2 online media outlets, which are among the most influential onesin covering international news and politics and have ratings figures.

Our approach was also to balancepro-Europeanand Eurosceptic, pro-governmentand pro-oppositionmedia outlets for each country.

Here is the lineup of media outlets we studied in Armenia:

TV: 1st channel (Public Television of Armenia), Kentron TV

Online media: news.am, lragir.am

Download the English version of the report in PDF format here.

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"Hayeli" Press Club door after the attack | hayeli.am

Statement on the attack against “Hayeli.am”

On October 5, 2019 a group of young people went to “Hayeli” Press Club and to the editorial office of “Hayeli.am” situated in the same premises, threw eggs and hang “condemning” posters on the wall of the media and the closed office door. They stated that if the editorial office were open, they would have done the same inside. According to the young persons, the motive of this step is the article titled “Aliyev’s belated but powerful response to Pashinyan” published on “Hayeli.am” (later the word “powerful” was replaced by the word “strong” in quotation marks).

Avoiding giving a professional assessment to the title of the publication, we, the undersigned organizations, state that it is an opinion, a judgment, which everyone in a democratic society has the right to express, regardless of whether some people like it or not. Thus, the steps that may undermine or violate that right are unacceptable and condemnable.

At the same time we note that the polarization of the media based on political and financial camps has resulted in a situation when a significant part of the media has become a propaganda tool, primarily serving the interests of their owners and sponsors. All methods of “brainwashing” have been put into practice, including fake news, deliberately distorted facts, biased, misleading comments, etc. This causes outrage among the public, which in some cases is manifested by unacceptable actions.

Based on the above-mentioned, we demand from:

  • the authorities and opposition political parties to make statements and call on their supporters and followers to demonstrate restraint and tolerance towards those, who express different views and opinions;

  • law-enforcement bodies to investigate the incident at Hayeli.am editorial office and, if there are grounds, to apply liability measures;

  • the media serving the interests of different political camps to return to the professional field, to abstain from manipulation, to avoid spreading misinformation, to abide by the norms of journalistic ethics, to respect and represent the diversity of opinions in society.

 

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER

MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE-ARMENIA

“ASPAREZ” JOURNALISTS’ CLUB

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER

PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB

“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE” NGO

GORIS PRESS CLUB

“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS” NGO

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MDI_Armenia_Launches_Cyber_Project

MDI Armenia launches its IT helpdesk project

Media Diversity Institute – Armenia has established an IT helpdesk, which  will provide assistance to human rights defenders, activists, journalists and the independent media.

The support team involves Armenian digital security specialists: Samvel Martirosyan, Vartan Arzumanyan, Antranig Vartanian, Artur Papyan.

We provide assistance and advice on digital security incidents and we guarantee the anonymity of those applying for help.

We also collect anonomised data on digital security incidents and attacks against the Armenian civil society and analyse such incidents, with the objective of developing more efficient ways to protect from such incidents as well as for sharing it with the international IT security community.

You can contact us via email at: [email protected] or by opening a support ticket on our portal: https://cyberhub.am.

Feel free to use the following PGP key to write to contact us securely.
Key ID: F9D923A8
Key Fingerprint: D63C EC9C D3AD 51BE EFCB 683F F2B8 6042 F9D9 23A8

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