During the week the RA Deputy Minister of Justice Ashot Abovian met with the leaders of media and journalistic organizations to eliminate the controversies on the draft law “On Mass Communication”, developed by the RA Ministry of Justice and approved by the Government (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, January 26 – February 1, 2002 and February 2-8, 2002).
A part of journalistic community still adheres to the opinion that the draft law is to be completely removed from the circulation (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, February 16-22, 2002). Others are inclined to cooperate with the Ministry of Justice. Yet, it is not quite clear why were the journalistic NGOs, broadcasters, news agencies, newspaper editors invited to the Ministry in separate groups? It is not quite clear either what will be the basis for the further joint work on the draft law?
Meanwhile, the party activists, members of Parliament continue to support the journalistic profession and voice their criticism of the draft law “On Mass Communication”. Thus, the head of the Parliament faction of “Dashnaktsutyun” Party Aghvan Vardanian thinks that adopting the draft in its present edition is “definitely ineffective”, and “the security of the officials must not increase at the expense of media” (“Azg” daily, March 13, 2002). The leader of the National Democratic Union, deputy Vazgen Manukian called the authorities “to resist the temptation of interfering into the activities of media”. Having described the draft law as “very harmful” and non-incidental, Vazgen Manukian noted the probability of its being passed by the Parliament – at a certain point in time when the general alertness is benumbed ("Azg", March 15, 2002).