YPC Weekly Newsletter

2009


“Perspectives of Media Self-Regulation in Armenia”

“PRESS CLUB” CYCLE: ELECTIONS OF NCTR MEMBERS

On December 15, another “Press Club” show 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 Artak Davtian, Chairman of the RA National Assembly Standing Commission on Science, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Issues, and Anna Israelian, observer of “Aravot” daily. The discussion centered on the elections of members of National Commission on Television and Radio by the Armenian parliament on December 9. The discussion centered on the elections of members of National Commission on Television and Radio by the Armenian parliament on December 9 (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, December 4-10, 2009).

The next “Press Club” show will be aired on “Yerkir Media” on December 22, at 21.15.

SECOND SEMINAR ON PERSPECTIVES OF MEDIA SELF-REGULATION IN ARMENIA

On December 12-13 in Aghveran the second seminar on “The Perspectives of Media Self-Regulation in Armenia” was held. The event was organized by Yerevan Press Club under a project supported by the Office of OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (the first seminar took place in the end of October – see YPC Weekly Newsletter, October 23-29, 2009).

The event was attended by the members of Media Ethics Observatory (MEO), heads, representatives of media and professional associations, who supported the YPC initiative of establishing a media self-regulation system in Armenia. As it has been reported, the MEO was found on March 10, 2007 (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, March 9-15, 2007). The mission of MEO consists in considering the complaints-appeals regarding the violation of the Code of Conduct of Media Representatives and rendering judgments on them. Lately, the initiative was joined by “Yerkir”, “Spitaki Lusardzak” (Spitak), “Tufashkhari Arorian” (Artik) newspapers and “Syuni” TV company (Sisian). Thus, as of today, the Code of Conduct and its addendum, the Declaration on Election and Referendum Coverage Principles, are signed by 41 entities, representing 44 Armenian media. The initiative is supported by 8 journalistic associations.

At the second seminar in Aghveran the initiative members approved the Regulations of MEO, considered the principles of rotation of MEO members. Among other issues, the event centered on the discussion of international trends of media self-regulation systems; the acute problems of journalism ethics in Armenia; the protection of children’s rights in the scope of professional guidelines; the issue of public awareness on media self-regulation mechanisms.

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REQUESTS ELUCIDATION FROM PARLIAMENT

On December 15 RA Constitutional Court started the hearings on the application of “A1+” TV company founder, “Meltex” LLC, regarding the compliance of Point 1 of Article 204’28 of the RA Civil Procedure Code (“The Competences of the Court in Case of Revision”) with the Main Law. As it has been reported, in the application, lodged on August 19, 2009, “A1+” founder stated that the abovementioned Point enables the court to confirm the previous judgment on a case without securing the filed suit on reconsideration on the ground of new circumstances (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, September 3-10, 2009). Namely this provision made a basis for the RA Court of Cassation to decline on February 19, 2009 the demand of “A1+” founder to reconsider the two rulings of the Court of Cassation (of February 27 and April 23, 2004) on suits of “Meltex” LLC versus National Commission on Television and Radio under new circumstances in the case. A new circumstance became the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights of June 17, 2008, recognizing the refusals to grant ”A1+” a broadcast license to be a violation of Article 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, i.e., of the right of the applicant to freely impart information and ideas.

RA National Assembly provided the Constitutional Court with a written response which was not secured. At the session of December 15 the Constitutional Court stated that in September 2009, in another case, Point 1 of Article 204’28 of the RA Civil Procedure Code was recognized contradicting to the Main Law. The Court granted the National Assembly with some time for preparing an elucidation why the provision incompliant with the Constitution is still prescribed by the Code.

The next session will take place on February 23, 2010.