TRIBUTE TO A COLLEAGUE AND A FRIEND
September 19 is the anniversary of the early decease of the well-known journalist and publicist, one of the Yerevan Press Club founders, our colleague and friend Valeriy Aydinian. His devotion to the profession, the brilliant articles and speeches, the never-ceasing optimism, the extraordinary humor, the lust to live to create, the lust to learn to teach, to accumulate the new ideas to share them with others… He imparted energy to us. We will always remember you, Valera.
THE SECOND WORKING MEETING UNDER THE JOINT PROJECT OF YEREVAN AND BAKU PRESS CLUBS OVER
On September 13-17 in Gudauri (Georgia) the second working meeting under the bilateral project “Armenian-Azerbaijani/Azerbaijani-Armenian Information Center” was held. The project is implemented by Yerevan and Baku Press Clubs and is supported by the Network Media Program of the Open Society Institute. Similarly to the first meeting (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, March 30 – April 5, 2002), the main subject for the discussion was the complex research conducted on the issue of “Karabagh Conflict and the Prospects for Its Resolution” by a single methodology. The meeting participants representing YPC, BPC, Stepanakert Press Club, the media of Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as the project consultant, sociologist Tom Carson reviewed the results of the five-month monitoring of the MK issue coverage by the media of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Mountainous Karabagh as well as the results of the sociological research among various categories of the Armenian, Azerbaijani and MK population. The discussions in 28 focus groups (comprised of 8-12 people each) were to reveal the opinions on five major questions: do the respondents allow for the possibility of a military resolution to the Karabagh conflict and why; are the parties ready to engage in a war; are the respondents themselves ready to take part in a new war or have their family members participate in it; what do the notions of “compromise”, “mutual concessions” signify for the respondents; what is their opinion on the role played by the mediators (the international organizations, other countries) in the conflict resolution?
The findings of this research are to be published as a separate brochure in the English and Russian languages. The most interesting data will also be presented in one of the issues of the YPC Weekly Newsletter.
”ABOVIAN’ TV RESUMED ITS BROADCASTS
On September 18 “Abovian” TV company that had been in the focus of public attention during the past several weeks resumed its broadcasts. As it has been reported, on August 24 the founder of the TV company Artashes Mehrabian and the Executive Director Azniv Chizmechian were beaten by groups of strangers. On August 30 at a press conference in Yerevan Azniv Chizmechian placed the responsibility for the incident on the Mayor of Abovian city Karo Israelian, strongly criticized by the TV company. The pressure on the TV and its management continued, and on September 6 Artashes Mehrabian decided to suspend the broadcasts (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, September 7-13, 2002 and August 3 – September 6, 2002).
On September 19 in Abovian the representatives of media and journalistic associations met the management of the TV company and Mayor Karo Israelian. The conflict between “Abovian” TV and the city authorities as well as the necessity to ensure the freedom of speech in general were discussed. In the evening of the same day the head of the city administration appeared live on the air of “Abovian”.
Meanwhile, the Prosecutor’s Office of Avan and Nor-Nork communities of Yerevan continues the investigation of the assault on “Abovian” management.
ASHTARAK TV CABLE COMPANY HAS RECEIVED A BROADCAST LICENSE
On September 16 by a decision of the National Commission on Television and Radio Ashtarak TV cable company has received a license to broadcast in Ashtarak city (Aragatsotn region).
As it has been reported, since autumn last year the air of the TV company (broadcasting since June 1987) was occasionally interrupted due to the absence of license (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, September 8-14, 2001).
“AIJM” NEWSPAPER RE-LAUNCHED
On September 13 the publication of “Aijm” newspaper was resumed. The print organ of the National Democratic Union had discontinued the issuance about four years ago (in December 1998). According to the editorial, published in the first issue, as the elections draw near in Armenia, ” ‘Aijm’ newspaper will help the establishment of new democratic, national, liberals values”.
“Aijm” is published on Tuesdays and Fridays. The volume of the edition is 12/A3 pp. The circulation is 1,500 copies priced at 90 drams (about 16 US cents). The Chief Editor of the newspaper is Narine Mkrtchian.
THE SUIT OF THE FORMER COACH OF “ARARAT” TEAM VERSUS THE EDITOR OF “FOOTBALL PLUS” TO PROTECT HONOR AND DIGNITY
On September 12 at the court of primary jurisdiction of Center and Nork-Marash communities of Yerevan the hearing on the suit of the former coach of “Ararat” football team Arkady Andreasian versus the sports observer and the Chief Editor of “Football Plus” newspaper Suren Baghdasarian. The cause of the court proceedings instituted in late August were the number of publications of “Football Plus” that, as the former “Ararat” coach believes, were insulting to his dignity. As a compensation for the damage incurred the plaintiff demands the newspaper to publish a refutation and to suspend the issuance of the publication for three months. The next session on the case is scheduled for September 25.