On July 26-30 a group of Armenian journalists visited Ankara. The visit was organized under a joint annual program of Yerevan Press Club and the Association of Diplomatic Correspondents of Turkey, implemented since January 2002 with the assistance of Center for Global Peace of American University (Washington, DC). This was the third meeting of Armenian and Turkish journalists under the project stipulating mutual visits of Armenian and Turkish journalists to learn about the lives of the two countries and the subsequent coverage in their media. The first two meetings were held in May in Istanbul and in January this year in Yerevan (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, May 4-10, 2002 and January 12-18, 2002).
On July 27-28 in the capital of Turkey a round table was held, where the Greek journalist George Terzis, currently the Media Program Director of the European Center for Common Ground (Brussels), made a presentation. George Terzis told about the rapprochement of Greece and Turkey and the role of media in this process. Proceeding from the example of Greece and Turkey the journalists discussed the Armenian-Turkish relations, having touched upon problems that impede the development of the dialogue between two countries.
During the visit the Armenian journalists met with Parliament deputies, scientists, representatives of the business world and the Armenian-tongued press of Turkey.Tweet
On July 26 the co-editors of the online weekly "ArmeniaWeek" Tony Halpin and John Hughes disseminated a press release, announcing their resignation and the start of publication of a new electronic weekly "ArmeniaNow". This followed a conversation with the Advisor of the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs Salpi Ghazarian, who is also a key person in publishing the English-language "Armenian International Magazine" (AIM) and "ArmeniaWeek" itself.
On July 23 Salpi Ghazarian informed Tony Halpin and John Hughes that the AIM and "ArmeniaWeek" founder "Forth Millennium Society" (Glendale, California) planned to appoint her to the position of Editorial Director and now all the pieces of "ArmeniaWeek" before their publication must be submitted for her review. The co-editors decided that the direct affiliation with a governmental agency would result in conflict of interests, loss of editorial independence and resigned their posts. 17 out 21 staff members of the weekly joined the editors.
"ArmeniaWeek" in English language appeared on the web in September 2001. Its Armenian version was launched in May 2002. From the very beginning the edition captured attention due to a number of publications on sensitive issues and good, professional journalism. Apparently, the attempt of "introducing censorship" directed at the weekly is to be explained by its pieces running contrary to the interests of very important persons, and considering the proximity of elections of different administrative structures its being "out of control" started to cause the alarm of certain circles.
On July 26 the former editorial staff of "ArmeniaWeek" launched the new electronic weekly "ArmeniaNow" which is identical to its predecessor in form and spirit. The publication is supported by private donors. "ArmeniaWeek", on its part, is now issued with a new Editor Hrair Sarkis Sarkissian and new staff.Tweet
On July 30-31 in Yerevan a seminar "Public Dialogue on TV Air: Opportunities, Achievements, Prospects" was held. The seminar was organized by the Association for the Development of Television and Radio under a project funded by Eurasia Foundation. The representatives of media and non-governmental organizations, local self-administration bodies of Armenia, RA National Assembly deputies discussed the necessity of having "public-government" dialogue on TV air to ensure the transparency of state administration. The results of a homonymous research, held under the project by the Association for the Development of Television and Radio and "Sociometer" independent sociological center, were presented at the seminar.Tweet
On July 29 the bureau of Central News Service of Iran State Television and Radio opened in Yerevan. At the opening ceremony the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of IRI in Armenia Mohammad Farhad Koleini said that the bureau will be the first step for establishing contacts between the media of Armenia and Iran. "I am sure the journalists of Armenia and Iran can use the possibilities at hand to enhance the friendly relations of the two countries", Mr. Ambassador noted.
The correspondent of the Central News Service in Armenia Alina Manukian informed that the bureau opened would enable maintaining links between the public of Armenia and Iran. "Not every one in Iran is well aware about Armenia, and the purpose of the bureau is to fill in this vacuum", she said. The political, economic and cultural links between Armenia and Iran are rather developed, yet their coverage remains insufficient, Manukian thinks.Tweet
On July 27-29 in Tsaghkadzor a seminar for journalists was held. The seminar was organized by the Armenian Apostolic Church and the World Council of Churches Round Table in Armenia. The seminar was aimed at telling the journalists about the church norms, rites, and the role of the church in the society. Similar events will be held once every two weeks for 4 months.Tweet
On July 23 at the court of primary jurisdiction of Center and Nork-Marash communities of Yerevan the proceedings on the suit of a number of citizens versus the National Commission on Television and Radio continued. The plaintiffs demanded to recognize the decisions of the National Commission of April 2, 2002 (as a result of which "A1+" and "Noyan Tapan" TV companies were not granted broadcast licenses) to be incompliant with the RA Law “On Television and Radio”, the RA Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The hearing of the case started on July 18 in the absence of the respondent (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, July 13-19, 2002). At the second session, still held in the absence of the respondent, the Chairman of the Public Council on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms Ashot Bleyan, the member of the Political Council of "Hanrapetutyun" party Artak Zeynalian, the Chairman of the Liberal Democratic party Vigen Khachatrian, representing the plaintiffs, filed a petition of challenging the judge Hrachia Hovhannissian. In the opinion of the consumers, during the trial the judge had violated a number of provisions of RA Civil Proceedings Code. On July 24 the petition was satisfied. Ruben Nersisian was appointed the judge on the case.Tweet
The RA President Robert Kocharian signed the RA Law "On Introducing Amendments and Additions to the RA Law 'On Advertising'", adopted by the National Assembly of Armenia on June 26. As it has been reported, according to the document, the advertising of strong alcoholic beverages (with the exception of cognac) and tobacco goods is banned in the electronic media completely, and in print media partially (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, June 22-28, 2002).
The Law will come into force from January 1, 2003.Tweet
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Editor of YPC Newsletter - Elina POGHOSBEKIAN