“FACE OF THE COUNTRY” – PRE-ELECTION DEBATES BETWEEN ANC AND “ORINATS YERKIR”
On April 5 the “Yerkri Demky” (“Face of the Country”) cycle of pre-election debates went on the evening air of “Yerkir Media” TV company. The cycle is produced by Yerevan Press Club under “Alternative Resources in Media” project, supported by USAID.
The guests of talk show host YPC President Boris Navasardian were Bagrat Andreasian, representative of Armenian National Congress, Board Member of Armenian National Movement, and Mher Shahgeldian, Deputy Chairman of “Orinats Yerkir” party. The discussion focused on the key points of the parties’ platforms, their fight against electoral frauds, the parties’ candidates for public offices, in case they win at the elections to RA National Assembly, as well as the activities of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly of Eastern Partnership.
The next “Face of the Country” will be aired on “Yerkir Media” on Thursday, April 12 at 18.15 (rerun – on Monday, April 16 at 16.15).
Watch the “Face of the Country” of April 5, 2012 here
“E-CLUB” CYCLE: INTERNET AND REGION
On April 3 another program of “E-Club” weekly cycle went on the online broadcast of “A1+” TV company (www.a1plus.am). The “E-Club” is produced by Yerevan Press Club in cooperation with “A1+” TV under “Alternative Resources in Media” project, supported by USAID.
The program was devoted to the advance of Internet in the region, virtual communication between Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran. Particularly, the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, information wars between bloggers and hackers from the two countries were discussed. The news bloc of “E-Club” presented the Google self driving cars for visually impaired people, the launch of LG plastic screens for phones and computers. The ratings of online sources and headlines of last week were presented by Ara Khanumian, Head of “European Movement” NGO. The web sources’ top list was headed by orakarg.am, the economic publication of “Civilitas” Foundation, while the most popular topic was the announcement of the ballot day of Mountainous Karabagh presidential elections – July 19, 2012.
The next “E-Club” will be aired on “A1+” on Tuesday, April 10 at 15.50 (rerun – on Thursday, April 12 at 18.20).
“PRESS CLUB+” ON AIR OF “TAVUSH” TV
In the evening of March 30 another talk show of “Press Club+” cycle went live on “Tavush” TV company. The program participants considered the Mountainous Karabagh conflict resolution, the incidents at the line of contact of Armenian and Azerbaijani army forces, presence of MK issue in new media and parties’ platforms. The “Press Club+” is produced by Yerevan Press Club in cooperation with regional TV companies under “Alternative Resources in Media” project, supported by USAID. The Karabagh issue and incidents at the borderline were also discussed at the meeting with journalistic community, NGO, political party representatives and intellectuals, held on the same day in Noyemberian.
Watch “Press Club+” of March 30, 2012 here
MEDIA AND POLITICAL PARTIES DISCUSSED COVERAGE OF ELECTORAL PROCESSES
On March 31- April 1 in Aghveran, Kotayk region, a seminar “Coverage of Electoral Processes in Armenia” was held. The event was organized by Yerevan Press Club under “Alternative Resources in Media” project, supported by USAID. The seminar was attended by representatives of political parties, media and journalistic organizations.
The report of media expert Mesrop Harutiunian regarded the Armenian and international legislative regulation of covering electoral processes.
Armen Mkrtchian, member of the National Commission on Television and Radio, presented the methodology on monitoring the ensuring by Armenian TV and radio companies of equal conditions for candidates and parties/blocs running in the elections to RA National Assembly. NCTR will implement the monitoring during the pre-election promotion (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, March 16-22, 2012).
Gegham Baghdasarian, expert of Yerevan Press Club, introduced to the results of monitoring the Armenian broadcast media ahead of parliamentary elections (see YPC interim reports).
YPC President Boris Navasardian spoke about the international practice of introducing self-regulatory mechanisms and the ethics of media coverage of electoral processes.
In the end of the seminar the complaints addressed to the Media Ethics Observatory in 2012 were considered.
CEC ADOPTED PROCEDURE AND TIMELINE FOR AIR PROVISION TO PARTIES BY PUBLIC BROADCASTERS
On April 2 the RA Central Electoral Commission made a resolution on the procedure and the timeline for public TV and radio to provide air for pre-election promotion to parties/bloc, running for seats in RA National Assembly by proportional representation system (the elections will take place on May 6, 2012).
The succession of the parties/bloc to be given air by public broadcasters was determined by a timeline made after sortition and approved by CEC. The air for pre-election promotion is given to parties/bloc daily, since April 8 till May 4.
The political advertising is aired by the First Channel of the Public Television of Armenia and on Public Radio of Armenia – by the frequency 69.7 MHz and by the republican FM network (in Yerevan – by the frequency 107.7 MHz). At the same time, the public broadcasters will ensure the simultaneous broadcasting on the air of “Shirak” (which is a part of the Public TV and Radio company).
The broadcast of pre-election promotion of parties/bloc on the Public Television starts at 18.00, and on Public Radio – at 13.30 and at 21.40. In case of a technical need, the broadcasters may shift the timeframes, specified by 30 minutes at most.
Each party/bloc is given 60 minutes of free and 120 minutes of paid airtime on the Public Television. The duration of pre-election promotion for each party/bloc is determined as follows: a) on April 8-22 – 2 minutes of free and 4 minutes of paid airtime; b) on April 23-28 – 2 free minutes and 5 paid minutes; c) on April 29 – May 4 – 3 free minutes and 5 paid minutes.
Each party/bloc on Public Radio receives 120 minutes of free and 180 minutes of paid airtime. The pre-election promotion of each party/bloc is broadcast twice a day (in the morning and evening airtime), while its duration will be as follows: a) on April 8-25 – 4 minutes of free airtime (2 minutes in the morning and evening, each) and 6 minutes of paid airtime (3 minutes in the morning and evening, each); b) April 26-28 – 4 free minutes (2 minutes in the morning and evening, each) and 8 paid minutes (4 minutes in the morning and evening, each); c) April 29 – May 4 – 6 free minutes (3 minutes in the morning and evening, each) and 8 paid minutes (4 minutes in the morning and evening, each).
If a party/bloc has not used the time allocated in accordance with the timeline, it does not receive make-up airtime. The airtime, allocated to one party/bloc, cannot be used by another party/bloc. The public broadcasters allot live air to parties/blocs, in case of their request – also a program host, or broadcast video and audio materials, provided by the party/bloc.
“A1+” TV COMPANY: 10 YEARS IN STRUGGLE FOR AIR
On April 2, ten years have passed since “A1+” TV company was deprived of the right to air. On December 16, 2010 the National Commission on Television and Radio refused “A1+” a broadcast license for the thirteenth time. “A1+” appealed the NCTR decision at court, again. On October 3, 2011 RA Administrative Court revoked the suit of “A1+” founder, “Meltex” LLC, versus NCTR, once more. On February 9, 2012 RA Administrative Court of Appeal upheld the ruling of the court of first jurisdiction (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, February 10-16, 2012). On March 23 “A1+” founder contested this decision at the RA Court of Cassation.
2011 REPORT OF RA HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER RELEASED
RA Human Rights Defender Karen Andreasian released the Annual Report on the Activities of the Defender and the Violations of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in Armenia in 2011. In more than 20 chapters, the document assesses the activities of the ministries and other administrative and regulatory bodies, including that of the National Commission on Television and Radio.
The Annual Report of the RA Human Rights Defender is available at www.ombuds.am.
“ALTERNATIVE RESOURCES IN MEDIA” ONLINE NEWSLETTER
On April 5 another issue of the online newsletter of “Alternative Resources in Media” project was released. The program is jointly implemented by Internews Network (USA), Eurasia Partnership Foundation, Yerevan Press Club and Internews Media Support public organization with the assistance of USAID. Launched in 2010, the four-year project aims at enhancing and improving access to pluralistic and unbiased information in Armenia through traditional and alternative media using new information technologies.
The seventh issue of the newsletter introduces to the activities administered within the “Alternative Resources in Media” project.