YPC Weekly Newsletter

2011


DISCUSSIONS ON AMENDMENTS TO BROADCAST LAW HELD AT SPECIALIZED PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE

On December 15 discussions on the amendments to RA Law “On Television and Radio” were held at the RA National Assembly Standing Committee on Science, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. The working meeting was attended by representatives of state bodies, international organizations, journalistic associations, including Yerevan Press Club and Internews Media Support public organization.

As it has been reported, the draft law “On Introducing Amendments and Supplements to RA Law ‘On Television and Radio’” was developed by the working group on reforming the broadcast legislation, regulating the process of switching from analogue to digital broadcast in Armenia, formed by the RA Human Rights Defender in 2010. On May 31, 2011 the document was submitted to the parliament, and the working group stopped its activities. On June 15 the Heads of the three media NGO-members of the group, Nouneh Sarkissian, Managing Director of Internews, YPC President Boris Navasardian and Arzuman Harutiunian, President of Audio-Visual Reporters Association, released a statement. The latter noted that the version of the draft, presented to the parliament, is imperfect, and the shutdown of the WG activities is premature: “The draft contains a number of important clauses that were not properly addressed and still require a thorough discussion and analysis. Suggestions and recommendations provided by the experts, including the feedback from the Council of Europe and OSCE, were not considered in full and completely. Such a situation questions the initial key objective of our activities, which is to contribute to the adoption of a perfectly worked out law by the RA National Assembly.” The statement authors emphasized that they will continue their activities over the improvement of the draft and they would submit it to the RA National Assembly in a separate package. Given this fact, the Heads of the three journalistic organizations requested the parliamentary specialized Committee to postpone any possible discussion on the draft (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, June 10-16, 2011).

On November 4 the revised amendments to the broadcast legislation were presented to the RA NA Standing Committee on Science, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.

At the meeting of December 15 the Committee Chairman Artak Davtian stressed that the suggestions voiced during the discussion will be taken into account, and in five business days the draft law will be put into circulation at the National Assembly.