YPC Weekly Newsletter

2007


STATEMENT OF “ARTICLE 19” ON AMENDMENTS TO THE BROADCASTING LEGISLATION

On May 30 “Article 19” international human rights organization released a statement
on the amendments to the RA Law “On Television and Radio” and “Regulations of
the RA National Commission on Television and Radio”, adopted by the National
Assembly of Armenia on February 26, 2007 and signed by the President of the
country on March 20, 2007.

Noting that the amendments in general improve legislation, “Article 19” at
the same time finds they are “not satisfactory and fail to guarantee the autonomy
and independence” of the regulatory body, the National Commission on Television
and Radio (NCTR). This concern is especially pressing when the parliamentary
majority and the President have the same political affiliation, as is the case
in Armenia, the statement of “Article 19” stresses.

“Article 19” called on the parliament of Armenia to further review
the broadcasting legislation to implement the following recommendations, in
particular:

– the appointment of the NCTR members should be based on public interest considerations.
To ensure this, nominations of candidates by public should be allowed and advertisements
announcing the process should be placed in leading media outlets;

– the selection of candidates for membership in NCTR should be held in public
and in a manner that allows for input from any interested party;

– the NCTR composition as a whole should reflect the diverse makeup of Armenian
society.

As it has been reported, the adopted amendments to the broadcasting legislation
caused serious concern of a number of journalistic associations of Armenia,
including Yerevan Press Club (see the YPC statement of February 28, 2007 in
YPC Weekly Newsletter, February
23 – March 1, 2007
).