Еженедельный Бюллетень ЕПК



During this week an Italian expert group, which is supposed to assist Armenia in switchover to digital broadcasting, was in Yerevan upon the invitation of the RA Ministry of Economy. According to preliminary agreements on a governmental level, Italy will assist Armenia to solve the technical, legal and economic issues related to digitalization and will consult the national experts on a number of problems dealing with the process. In particular, the urgent problem of holding broadcast licensing competitions (suspended for two years) is to be settled. As it has been reported, the moratorium on holding broadcast competitions in Armenia was namely introduced on the plea of elaborating the concept for digitalization (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, September 5-11, 2008).

For one and a half years the Interdepartmental Commission on TV and Radio Digitalization in Armenia, established for the elaboration of the concept, managed to prepare a document not responding to any of the key questions related to this complex process, including the organization of competitions, which are supposed to be announced on July 20, 2010 (see YPC Weekly Newsletters, October 16-22, 2009 and October 23-29, 2009). Now, within the remaining few months, the Italian experts will try to help the Interdepartmental Commission and the Ministry of Economy to make up for the lost time. It should be noted that one of the main problems of digitalization in Armenia is ensuring the pluralism of the content and of the ownership in broadcast sphere. This is emphasized in a number of international documents, including the ones that assess the situation with television and radio in Armenia (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, October 30 – November 5, 2009). Meanwhile Italy is considered to be a problematic country in Europe in terms of ownership concentration and political control on broadcast media. Hopefully, the Italian experts will contribute not to the replication of the situation in their country, but to the avoidance of negative process in this sphere, taking into account their own experience. The first results of the consultations will appear soon, when the amendments package to the broadcast legislation, drafted in cooperation with the Italians, is presented. Many things will become clear then…