On May 3 the National Press Club (NPC) once again announced the names of “enemies of press” in 2003. For the third year already the main media-enemy has been named to be the Armenian President Robert Kocharian. This time the title was conferred on him in particular for signing the RA Law “On Mass Communication” and not punishing those who obstructed the professional activities of journalists during the opposition rallies. Another “press enemy” was named to be the Chairwoman of the Parliament Committee on Science, Education, Culture and Youth Issues Hranush Hakobian that assisted the adoption of the Law “On Mass Communication”, by, as NPC thinks, concealing the conclusions of the international experts from the deputies and thus disorienting them.
Notably, another three of the nine candidates were nominated by NPC to this title because of the same Law “On Mass Communication” – the author of the draft law himself, the RA Deputy Minister of Justice Ashot Abovian, the Speaker of the RA National Assembly Artur Baghdasarian, who, as NPC alleges, held the voting on the draft with violations, and the President of Yerevan Press Club Boris Navasardian, who assisted the adoption of the law.
Meanwhile, Yerevan Press Club continues to think that the RA Law “On Mass Communication”, passed in December 2003, is generally progressive and complies with international standards. This opinion as well as the reasons for the unhealthy climate around the draft were given a detailed analysis and argumentation in the article of YPC President Boris Navasardian “Going towards Liberal Legislation through the Self-Elimination War“, published in the YPC Weekly Newsletter (see the issue of December 12-18, 2003).
As to the attitude of the National Press Club to this law, it is prompted by the fact that this organization on its behalf had proposed an alternative draft law on media, evaluated very negatively both by the Government and the NA, as well as by the media experts, and NPC cannot forgive everyone whose lawmaking proved to be more effective.