YPC Weekly Newsletter
July 15-21

On July 18 at the Komitas Chamber Music House Yerevan Press Club celebrated the tenth anniversary since its foundation. Along with the jubilee the Yerevan Press Club Annual Award Ceremony was held. The Award was established and conferred since 1998 to the best journalists, media and media organizations of Armenia. This year the ceremony was held by Yerevan Press Club with the assistance of the OSCE Office in Yerevan and the United Nations Development Program.

The jury, determining the awardees, was represented by: Edik Baghdasarian (Chairman of “Investigative Journalists” NGO); Levon Barseghian (Chairman of the Board of “Asparez” Journalist’s Club of Gyumri); Avet Demurian (Chairman of “TEAM” Research Center); Astghik Gevorgian (Chairwoman of the Journalists Union of Armenia); Ashot Melikian (Chairman of the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression), Nouneh Sarkissian (Managing Director of Internews Armenia public organization).

Traditionally, the awardees received special prizes from missions of international organizations and public organizations of Armenia.

The YPC Annual Awardees are:

Haik Gevorgian, correspondent of “Haikakan Zhamanak” daily - for the assistance to the transparency of the economic sphere. The special prize to Haik Gevorgian from the World Bank Office in Armenia was granted by the Office Director Roger G. Robinson.

“Yerkir-Media” TV company - for the political analysis programs. The special prize to “Yerkir-Media” from the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression was granted by the Committee Chairman Ashot Melikian.

Tatul Hakobian - for the coverage of regional issues in “Azg” daily. The special prize to Tatul Hakobian from the USAID Office in Armenia was conferred by the USAID press attache Elizabeth Zentos.

“Hayrenik” TV company - for the programs addressed to children and adolescents. The special prize to “Hayrenik” from the Journalists Union of Armenia was conferred by the Chairwoman of the JUA Astghik Gevorgian.

German Avagian, photojournalist - for the photograph series “Deadly Toys”. The special prize to German Avagian from the London-based Media Diversity Institute was granted by the MDI Coordinator in Armenia Artur Papian.

“Radiolur” news and analysis program of Public Radio of Armenia - for ensuring up-to-date and diverse information. Special prize to “Radiolur” from OSCE Office in Yerevan was conferred by the Office Head, Ambassador Vladimir Pryakhin.

“Shoghakat” TV Company - for the esthetics of the TV air. The special prize to “Shoghakat” from Internews Armenia was conferred by the Managing Director of the public organization Nouneh Sarkissian.

Vazgen Manukian, Chairman of National Democratic Union party, RA National Assembly deputy - for the commitment to public policy culture. The special prize to Vazgen Manukian from the “Partnership for Open Society” initiative was granted by Jemma Hasratian, the Chairwoman of “Women with University Education” NGO.

On the Yerevan Press Club jubilee two commemorative Awards of the YPC Board were established in remembrance of the untimely deceased founders of the organization, prominent journalists Valeriy Aydinian and Tigran Naghdalian.

The Commemorative Awards of Yerevan Press Club were granted to:

Tigran Paskevichian - received the Valeriy Aydinian Award for publicist articles published in “168 Zham” weekly. The Award to Tigran Paskevichian was given by Valeriy Aydinian’s widow Karineh Babajanian.

Artak Alexanian, observer of the Public Television of Armenia - was granted the Tigran Naghdalian Award for the creative pursuit. The Award to Artak Alexanian was given by Tigran Naghdalian’s sister Karineh Naghdalian.

The results of two competitions, announced in May by UN Office in Armenia and the UNDP in cooperation with YPC, were disclosed, too.

The contest of UN Office in Armenia “No One is Left Behind” for print and electronic media journalists was arranged in the framework of the UN 60th anniversary and the World Summit on the progress of “Millennium Development Goals” program implementation, which will take place in September in New York.

The Representative of the UN Department of Public Information Valeriy Tkatchouk awarded the winners of the contest of UN Office in Armenia:

Arpineh Harutiunian, “Investigative Journalists” NGO - received the first prize (a trip to UN headquarters in Geneva) for publications in “Hetq” and “ArmeniaNow” online newspapers;

Sara Petrosian, “Investigative Journalists” NGO - received the second (monetary) prize for the publications in “Hetq” online newspaper.

Susanna Shakhnazarian, Chairwoman of Goris Press Club - received the third (monetary) prize for the publications in “Ban u Gorts” newspaper.

The Acting Permanent Representative of UNDP Alexander Avanesov granted monetary prizes to the UNDP contest winners for the best publications on corruption in health care and education: Hasmik Budaghian, “Aravot” daily observer, received the first prize; Vahan Ishkhanian, “ArmeniaNow” online weekly - the second.

On the 10th anniversary of Yerevan Press Club gold signs and diplomas, for the lengthy effective cooperation and contribution to the YPC jubilee events, were granted to the Head of OSCE Office in Yerevan, Ambassador Vladimir Pryakhin, and the heads of the three partner organizations: Astghik Gevorgian (Journalists Union of Armenia), Nouneh Sarkissian (Internews Armenia) and Levon Barseghian (“Asparez” Journalist’s Club).

YPC President Boris Navasardian was awarded a memorable medal of OSCE Office in Yerevan. When awarding the media, the Head of the Office, Ambassador Vladimir Pryakhin said, in particular, that “the 10th anniversary of the Yerevan Press Club also coincides with the 10th anniversary of the OSCE becoming a full fledged organization with its institutions and filed missions”. Vladimir Pryakhin also read out the congratulatory address from the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Miklos Haraszti. Noting the contribution of YPC in the development of professional media in Armenia, Miklos Haraszti, in particular, thanked for the informative Yerevan Press Club newsletter: “My office has been using your newsletter regularly, and we consider it to be an important and reliable source for information on the Armenian media situation.”

Congratulations to YPC were made by the Chairwoman of the RA National Assembly Standing Committee on Science, Education, Culture and Youth Issues Hranush Hakobian, Rector of Yerevan State Linguistic University named after Brusov Suren Zolian, RA Human Rights Defender Larisa Alaverdian, Chief Editor of “Azg” daily Hagop Avedikian, Managing Director of Internews Armenia Nouneh Sarkissian, MDI Coordinator in Armenia Artur Papyan, who presented YPC with an authentic copy of the Times daily, published on July 18, 1995 - the YPC foundation day. Congratulatory addresses were also received from the News Service of Holy Echmiadzin, Ambassador of Russia and former Co-Chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group Vladimir Kazimirov, Stepanakert Press Club, “Yeni Nesil” Journalists Union of Azerbaijan and a number of other local and foreign organizations.

Previously within the celebration of the jubilee YPC arranged several events for journalists (see below). On July 18 the best players of the soccer game and the chess simul received memorable prizes.


On July 17 at the stadium of “Pyunik” soccer club (Yerevan) a match between “Journalist” and “Diplomat” teams was held, to mark the 10th anniversary of Yerevan Press Club. Assistance in the organization of the match was provided by Football Federation of Armenia and the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

The friendly game between the representatives of media and employees of the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs, diplomatic missions, accredited in Armenia, was a tense struggle and ended in a draw - 3:3. Goals in “Diplomat” team were stricken by Mher Badalian, Alexander Nalbandian and Nelson Adamian. Of the journalists Eduard Kalantarian (sports commenter of the Public Television of Armenia) scored two goals and another one was scored by Samvel Harutiunian (“Hay Zinvor” newspaper).

The female jury determined two best players from each team. These were Eduard Kalantarian and “Diplomat” captain Armen Gevorgian (RA MFA), that were awarded YPC special prizes and diplomas.

Memorable prizes and diplomas for contribution in YPC jubilee events were granted to the press-secretary of the Football Federation of Armenia Ara Manukian and the captain of the team of journalists, the Editor of “Armenian-Russian Business Journal” Tigran Hovhannisian.


On July 16 at the House of Chess named after Tigran Petrosian a simul with journalists was given by one of the strongest Armenian chess players, international Grand Master Artashes Minasian. The simul was organized with the assistance of the Chess Federation of Armenia within the celebration of the 10th anniversary since foundation of Yerevan Press Club.

15 media representatives came to face the last USSR chess Champion, the five-time Armenia Champion, the winner of a number of major international tournaments Artashes Minasian. Four journalists ended their games in a draw: Ruben Margarian (political observer of “Golos Armenii” newspaper), Ara Nalbandian (employee of “Literaturnaya Armenia” magazine), Ara Movsisian (deputy director of “Artakarg tert” newspaper) and Razmik Avagian (sports observer of “Noyan Tapan” news agency).

By the decision of Grand Master Minasian the best player was Ruben Margarian, awarded a YPC special prize and a diploma.

Artashes Minasian himself and the international arbiter Armen Nikoghosian, judging the game, received memorable prizes and diplomas for the contribution in the YPC jubilee events. The special prize to Armen Nikoghosian from “Deutsche Welle” radio station was granted by the Correspondent of the Russian Service of “Deutsche Welle” in Armenia Ashot Gazazian.


On July 15 at the Journalists Union of Armenia the new books in Armenian language, published by Yerevan Press Club in “Journalist’s Library” series, were presented. These are: “Basics of Media Writing” (translation of a homonymous textbook by Columbia University professor Melvin Mencher); “Self-Regulation. International Experience and Prospects in Armenia” (collection of articles, remarks, researches on media self-regulation); “Conversations on Psychology of Journalism” (textbook for journalism departments by Roza Eghiazarian). Assistance to the publication of these books was provided by the Open Society Institute, OSCE Office in Yerevan and Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Besides, the second volume of “Curricula” for the departments of journalism, developed by Yerevan Press Club and Journalism Department of Yerevan State University under “Developing Resources For Free and Quality Media” YPC project supported by Open Society Institute, was introduced. (The first volume of the “Curricula” for undergraduate and graduate schools of journalism was published in 2002).

At the JUA meeting the London-based Media Diversity Institute (MDI) presented manuals, published by MDI in Armenian, Russian and English languages with the support of the European Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands: “Reporting Diversity Manual” (author - David Tuller); “A Media Relations Handbook for Non-Governmental Organizations” (author - Sarah Silver); “Media Relations: Tips from Leading Armenian Experts” and “Diversity - the Legal Framework for Armenian Media”. Assistance in the development of these books was provided by MDI regional partners, also Yerevan Press Club.


On July 20 the RA National Science Academy demanded that “A1+” TV company vacate the premises it uses in one of the building in Yerevan within a week. This was stated to YPC by the Director of “A1+” Mesrop Movsisian. As it has been reported, on April 11 the RA Economic Court secured the corresponding suit of the RA National Science Academy versus the founder of “A1+”, “Meltex” LLC, and on May 26 the RA Court of Cassation left the decision on the eviction unchanged (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, May 27 - June 2, 2005).

On the same day, July 20, the head of “A1+” addressed a letter to the RA Prime Minister Andranik Margarian. “Due to the governmental resolution on the transfer of the premises that we use to the National Science Academy (at 15, Grigor Lusavorich str.) and the court rulings that ensued, the work of “Ayb-Feh” weekly, “A1+” web-site, higher courses of TV journalism and “Hamaspyur” network is suspended”, the letter says in particular. Further on Mesrop Movsisian pays attention to the circumstance that no such demands are posed to other organizations renting offices in the same building; that “A1+” was accurate in paying the rent, made investment in the capital renovation of the building, and the dismantling of the equipment, server and satellites calls for great expenditures. “A1+” head asked the Prime Minister to contribute to the prolongation of the agreement on the rental with the National Science Academy - so that at least temporarily six rooms on the first floor remain in the use of the editorial office to seat 40 employees. Should this request be met, Mesrop Movsisian expressed his readiness to vacate the rooms on the fourth floor of the building within two days. “We do not doubt that you are ready to demonstrate your assistance to the development of independent press”, the address to the Prime Minister stressed.


On July 15 the RA Human Rights Defender Larisa Alaverdian addressed the RA General Prosecutor Aghvan Hovsepian with a request to consider the issue of how appropriate the custody of Teresa Asatrian, the employee of the Armenian Writers Union press-center, member of the Journalists Union of Armenia, is. As it has been reported, according to the press-release of the Public Relations and Information Departments of the RA General Prosecutor’s Office, Theresa Asatrian was detained on the charge of attempted cheating (cl. 2 p. 2 Art. 34-178 of RA Criminal Code) and involvement in bribery (cl. 1 p. 3 Art. 38-312 of RA Criminal Code). As reported in the press-release of the General Prosecutor’s Office, on May 17, 2005 Theresa Asatrian provoked the notary of Vanadzor notary region Arusiak Azarian to give a bribe of $ 3,500 to prevent the submission to the court of the materials against the notary gathered by the RA National Security Service, and the publication of a revelatory article written by the journalist herself. On June 4 the court of primary jurisdiction of Center and Nork-Marash communities of Yerevan assigned arrest to be the preventive punishment of Theresa Asatrian (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, June 3-9, 2005).

According to the appeal of Theresa Asatrian to the Ombudsman, in the preventive punishment selection her health condition and her two minor children were not taken into account. The grounds for Ombudsman’s addressing the General Prosecutor were also the report on the visit of the Fast Response Group of the Human Rights Defender’s Office to Theresa Asatrian, detained at the Criminal Execution Institution “Yerevan-Kentron” of the RA Ministry of Justice. This was stated on July 20 by the Department of Information and Public Relations of the RA Human Rights Defender’s Office.

Previously Theresa Asatrian addressed Journalists Union of Armenia and Helsinki Committee of Armenia requesting to make a motion of changing her preventive punishment. JUA and HCA on their behalf sent corresponding letters to the General Prosecutor.


On July 14 at the court of primary jurisdiction of Center and Nork-Marash communities of Yerevan hearings on the suit of the Chairwoman of “Femida” NGO Julietta Amirkhanian to protect honor and dignity versus Liya Revazian started. As it has been reported, Julietta Amirkhanian demanded to refute the invalid and discrediting information, as contained in the letter of Liya Revazian sent to senior officials of the country, media editorial offices and missions of some international organizations. The letter contained, in particular, insulting remarks against “Datakan Aliq” (“Judicial Channel”) TV program, hosted by Julietta Amirkhanian on the Second Armenian TV Channel (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, June 24-30, 2005)

At the session of July 14 the representative of the respondent started to quote proofs of the information contained in the letter above.

The next court session is scheduled for July 22.


On July 14 at the session of the RA Government the program on ensuring the broadcasts of Public Radio of Armenia on the territory of the whole country was approved. The program, costing 149.5 million AMD (about $ 340 thousand), stipulates that this expansion of the PRA broadcast zone be made by late 2006.

N.B. Dear readers, please note that YPC Weekly Newsletter will next be issued in early September, 2005.

When reprinting or using the information above, reference to the Yerevan Press Club is required.

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Editor of YPC Newsletter - Elina POGHOSBEKIAN

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