On April 11 the Media Diversity Institute-Armenia, Yerevan Press Club, Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression, “Internews” Media Support NGO, Vanadzor Press Club and “Asparez” Journalist’s Club of Gyumri addressed a letter to “Echo Research” British organization that produced in February this year a report “Media in Armenia 2008: Pre-Election Analysis”.
The letter of six journalistic associations noted the methodological mistakes made in Armenian media monitoring on which the “Echo Research” based its report. In the opinion of the authors of the letter, this resulted in the distortion of findings and in controversy with other similar researches, administered by international and local organizations.
The address to “Echo Research” was due to the concern of the journalistic associations with the possibility to manipulate the findings of such studies, if they are not based on the good knowledge of the subject and relevant methodology. This circumstance gains particular importance in the tense situation in place in Armenia before and after presidential elections in February. Besides, the analysis of media activities during the election period in many ways defines the prospects of free expression in the country and, therefore, must be accurate and scrupulous.
On the same day, April 11, twelve NGOs, including those listed above, addressed a letter on the same issue to the European Foundation for Democracy that had commissioned “Echo Research” study.