RA President Serzh Sargsian advanced an initiative of forming a working group to improve the legislation, regulating the process of switching from analogue to digital broadcasting in Armenia. It is proposed that the group heads RA Human Rights Defender Armen Harutiunian, informed RA President’s Press Secretary Armen Arzumanian on September 18. This initiative is stipulated by the vivid discussions around the RA Law “On Television and Radio”, opinions, expressed by politicians and NGOs. The RA President’s Press Secretary voiced a hope that the involvement of interested organizations and persons in the working group may assist in solving the crucial problems of the broadcast sphere.
As it has been reported, in July 2010 the National Commission on Television and Radio announced 25 competitions of TV broadcast licensing on the digital network (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, August 26 – September 2, 2010 and July 16-22, 2010). Such competitions are held in Armenia for the first time and are determined by the switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting. For the same reason a two-year moratorium on holding broadcast licensing competitions was introduced in September 2008. The term of the moratorium expired on July 20, 2010. On June 10, 2010 RA National Assembly adopted the amendments to the RA Law “On Television and Radio”, which were also justified by the need for preparing for digital transition. All the legislative changes were strictly criticized by journalistic and international organizations, which persistently noted that the measures taken do not solve the key issues of the broadcast sphere and do not ensure pluralism of the TV air.