YPC Weekly Newsletter

2004


RESEARCH ON KARABAGH PROBLEM AND REGIONAL RELATIONS PRESENTED

On May 10 at the Journalists Union of Armenia Yerevan Press Club held the presentation
of “The Karabagh Conflict and Prospects for Settling It” book published under
the project “Possible Resolutions to the Karabagh Conflict: Expert Evaluations
and Media Coverage”. The project was implemented by Yerevan and Baku Press
Clubs with the support of OSI Network Media Program. Stepanakert Press Club
was also involved in the project.

The book presents the findings of the sociological surveys and media monitoring,
administered in 2001-2003 in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Mountainous Karabagh. “The
surveys of the population and decision-makers in 2001 as well as focus-group
discussions in 2002 allowed to reveal the sentiment and the major priorities
in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Mountainous Karabagh on the conflict-related issues”,
the Armenia project coordinator Ashot Melikyan said. “The Delphi research of
the experts in 2003 showed that despite the significant discrepancies between
the Armenian and Azerbaijani parties, there is a certain potential for rapprochement
which can be used during political decision-making in the conflict resolution
process.”

The media monitoring coordinator in Armenia and Mountainous Karabagh Elina
Poghosbekian pointed out the main distinctions of the coverage of Karabagh problem
by the media. The findings of the monitoring studies of Armenian, Azerbaijani
and Karabagh media, held by unified methodology and in practically identical
timeframes, showed that in 2001-2003 the most actively discussed issues were
those of peaceful or military solutions to the conflict. At the same time the
majority of publications was devoted to the need for peaceful resolution. Unlike
the Karabagh media that for three years has been displaying generally steady
attitude and a greater interest to the subject in question, its coverage in
the media of Armenia and Azerbaijan significantly reduced in 2003. The “frozen”
interest to Karabagh issue is explained by the stagnation in the negotiations
process, but it is primarily due to the elections last year that kept the media
attention focused in the two countries. Thus, during presidential and parliamentary
election campaigns in Armenia the “Karabagh factor” was either not used or little
used (along with other economic, social and other issues) in the pre- and post-election
political debate. Year 2003 was marked by presidential elections and the problems
of power succession for Azerbaijan and its media as well.

At the presentation Yerevan Press Club also publicized the monitoring data
on the coverage of the relations of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey by the media
of the three countries. This research has been conducted by Yerevan Press Club
and “Yeni Nesil” Journalists Union of Azerbaijan since 2002. The “election
fever” of 2003 also told on the attention of Armenian and Azerbaijani media
to the relations within Armenia-Azerbaijan-Turkey triangle. A characteristic
feature of the Armenian media coverage in 2002-2003 are the Armenian-Turkish
(with an emphasis on the 1915 issue) and Armenian-Azerbaijani (with an emphasis
on the Mountainous Karabagh problem) relations. The relations of Azerbaijan
and Turkey are the least popular subject. In Azerbaijani media three priorities
can be steadily traced: Azerbaijani-Turkish and Azerbaijani-Armenian relations
as well as the Karabagh problem. The bilateral relations of Armenia and Turkey
receive very little attention. As to Turkish media, they display permanently
low interest to Turkish-Armenian and Turkish-Azerbaijani subjects, focusing
on other foreign policy aspects.

The findings of the researches mentioned can be viewed in detail on YPC web
site: www.ypc.am