In the view of the coming autumn session of the National Assembly of Armenia the question of whether the amendments to the RA Law “On Television and Radio”, submitted by the independent TV and radio companies, will be finally considered has become an issue of particular interest for the local journalistic community. As it has already been reported, the draft of these amendments was introduced to the NA Standing Committee on Science, Education, Culture and Youth Issues as far as in late January, 2001 (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, January 27 – February 2, 2001).
In mid-August the leaders of 20 private TV and radio companies addressed the Speaker of the Armenian Parliament Armen Khachatrian, voicing their concern over the procrastination in including the draft amendments into the agenda, their discussion and adoption. Meanwhile, the absence of the expected amendments may lead to a situation where the National Commission on Television and Radio proceeding from the existing Law will be passing decisions impeding the activities and the development of independent electronic media.
According to the information held by Yerevan Press Club, as of August 30, 2001, no official response from the Parliament has been received to the letter of the leaders of TV and radio companies. At the same time, as YPC was informed by the NA Committee on Science, Education, Culture and Youth Issues, this letter with an appropriate sanction of the Speaker was transferred to the Chairman of the Committee Shavarsh Kocharian. The latter, on his behalf, on August 27 wrote a letter to Armen Khachatrian, noting that he shares the concern of the leaders of electronic media and asks to speed up the consideration of the issue. Apparently, as the specialized Parliament Committee assures, the amendment draft will be included into the agenda of the autumn session and might be discussed at one of the coming three-day sessions.