“PRESS CLUB” CYCLE: THE YEAR’S POLITICAL EVENTS AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON DEMOCRATIC REFORMS
On December 22, the last “Press Club” show of the year went on the air of “Yerkir Media” TV company. The cycle is produced under Yerevan Press Club project, supported by the Open Society Institute. The guests of the program host, YPC President Boris Navasardian were Stepan Grigorian, Head of Analytical Center for Globalization and Regional Cooperation, Ara Galoyan, Program Director of “Shoghakat” TV company, and Elina Chilingarian, correspondent of youth program “MaxLiberty” of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Armenian Service. The discussion centered on the main political events of the year and their influence on democratic reforms in Armenia.
“Press Club” cycle will be renewed on “Yerkir Media” in January 2010.
SEMINAR PARTICIPANTS DISCUSSED THE ISSUES OF BROADCAST SPHERE
On December 16-18 in Aghveran a seminar “The Broadcast Policy and the Armenian Legislation” was held. The event was organized by Yerevan Press Club with the assistance of Friedrich Ebert Foundation. The seminar was attended by heads of TV and radio companies, members of National Commission on Television and Radio, representatives of journalistic associations.
The report of Yerevan Press Club President Boris Navasardian dealt with the problems of refinement of the broadcast regulating legislation. President of Audio-Visual Reporters Association Arzuman Harutiunian raised the issues of optimization of the advertising legislation. Expert of Yerevan Press Club Heriknaz Harutiunian presented the results of monitoring the implementation of broadcast and advertising legislation by Armenian TV companies, administered by YPC in 2009. In the panel discussions on the fulfillment of broadcast legislation also took part Grigor Amalian, Chairman of National Commission on Television and Radio, and Aleksan Arakelian, Head of Financial Department of Public Television of Armenia. Movses Hakobian, lawyer of Center for Information Law and Policy, told about the legal basis of switching to digital broadcasting. Ashot Simonian, Director of “Television Network of Armenia” SCSJ spoke about the technical problems of digitalization.
SUIT VERSUS GAGIK SHAMSHIAN REVOKED
On December 18 court of general jurisdiction of Arabkir and Kanaker-Zeytun communities of Yerevan started the hearings on the suit of Criminal Executive Department of RA Ministry of Justice versus free lance journalist Gagik Shamshian. As it has been reported, on April 17, 2009 court of general jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash communities of Yerevan sentenced Gagik Shamshian to a fine of 350,000 AMD (about $ 950) for disrespect to court. On July 15, 2009 RA Criminal Court of Appeal pardoned the journalist. Gagik Shamshian considered the decision to be illegal and addressed to the RA Procuracy and to RA Court of Cassation. The Procuracy confirmed that the journalist should not have been pardoned on the abovementioned case, as an amnesty had already been applied on him by another case. On September 16, 2009 the Court of Cassation cancelled the decision on amnesty (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, September 11-17, 2009).
With regard to the delay in payment of fine the Criminal Executive Department of Ministry of Justice filed a suit demanding to replace the fine penalty applied towards Gagik Shamshian by public works.
At the session of December 18 court of primary jurisdiction revoked the suit, on the ground that Gagik Shamshian had already paid off the fine before the hearings started.
JUA “GOLDEN PEN”-2009 AWARDEES ANNOUNCED
On December 22 the ceremony of “Gold Pen” Award of the Journalists Union of Armenia was held. The Award is conferred every three years for best publicist stories.
The winners of “Golden Pen”-2009 are: Hakob Avedikian, Chief Editor of “Azg’” daily, and Rober Haddeler, Chief Editor of “Marmara” Armenian newspaper, issued in Istanbul.