On September 2 at the RA National Assembly the first working meeting of the Public Information Council, recently formed at the NA Standing Committee on Science, Education, Culture and Youth Issues, was held. It should be noted that the Council was established on the initiative of the RA NA and is aimed at optimizing the legal framework that regulates the media and information sphere, jointly with journalistic associations and media (see the Special Issue of YPC Weekly Newsletter, July 18, 2003).
The main subject of the meeting of the members of the specialized Committee and the representatives of the professional associations and media was the RA Draft Law "On Mass Communication", the consideration of which must be continued during the autumn session of the Parliament. Yerevan Press Club, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression and the Journalists Union of Armenia presented their suggestions on the draft, the most important of which lies in the necessity to change the notion of "mass communication medium", which is given an extremely broad definition in the document (e.g., it covers the publications printed in 100 copies, regardless of their issuance periodicity). In the opinion of three organizations, if the definition remains the same, all the other amendments become pointless: the draft must only regulate the activities of the subjects, professionally engaged in collection and dissemination of information.
The National Press Club reiterated its attitude that the draft law should be removed from circulation, at the same time expressing its readiness to cooperate with the Committee on the development of a new draft.
The Chairwoman of the Committee Hranush Hakobian noted that all the proposals will be discussed at the session of the Committee on September 5.