YPC Weekly Newsletter


“The Current State and Perspectives of Media Self-Regulation in Armenia”


On December 20 the year’s last program from “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 company under “Alternative Resources in Media” project, supported by USAID.

The program was devoted to E-banking: opportunities for making transactions through Internet, advantages and disadvantages of E-Dram pay system (www.idram.am), etc. The news bloc of “E-Club” told about the Hackathon Yerevan Innovation Programs’ Festival, which was created for developing innovative solutions for Armenia’s capital and was held on December 17-18, 2011, for the first time. The other news dealt with the “Let It Snow” Christmas application of Google and the special iPen for iPad. The ratings of online sources and headlines of last week were presented by blogger Isabella Abgarian. The web sources’ top list was headed by Gmail, while the most popular topic was the alleged information on the shut down of Facebook.


In the evening of December 21 the season’s last talk-show of “Press Club+” cycle went on the air of “Last” TV company of Goris. The program participants – journalists, media experts, NGO representatives – discussed the role of new media in disclosure and prevention of electoral and other frauds. The “Press Club+” is produced by Yerevan Press Club in cooperation with regional TV companies under “Alternative Resources in Media” project, supported by USAID.

Watch “Press Club+” of December 21, 2011   here


On December 23-25 in Aghveran, a seminar “The Current State and Perspectives of Media Self-Regulation in Armenia” will be held. The event is organized by Yerevan Press Club under “Alternative Resources in Media” project, supported by USAID. The seminar will be attended by Media Ethics Observatory members, heads, representatives of media and journalistic organizations, including the ones who support the YPC initiative on establishing a self-regulation system in Armenia. During the seminar the following themes will be considered: the application practice of the RA defamation legislation, the public awareness on the Armenian media self-regulation mechanisms, the complaints addressed to the Media Ethics Observatory, as well as organizational issues.

As it has been reported, Media Ethics Observatory (MEO) was formed on March 10, 2007 (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, March 9-15, 2007). The MEO mission consists in considering the complaints-appeals regarding the violation of the Code of Conduct of Media Representatives and rendering judgments on them. Currently the Code of Conduct and its addendum, the Declaration on Election and Referendum Coverage Principles, are signed by 41 entities, representing 44 media; the initiative is supported by 9 journalistic associations.


On December 15 court of general jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash administrative districts of Yerevan continued hearing the suit of “Armavia” company versus the “Chorrord Inknishkhanutiun” daily founder, “Trespassers W.” LLC. As it has been reported, the reason for the suit was the editorial “Did ‘Armavia’ Supply Weapons?”, published in the newspaper on September 15, 2011. The article, particularly, quoted General Yuri Dominik, Commander of Moldovan National Army, who told that the airplane “IL-76”, which had arrived from Libya to Moldova for a new set of weapons, belongs to “the Armenian civic air company”. The piece was reprinted in “Chorrord Inknishkhanutiun” from www.Epress.am, which had published it on September 14, 2011 under the title “Did the Armenian Air Company Supply Libya with Weapons?”, referring to the Russian “Echo of Moscow” radio station and “Interfax” Russian news agency. The plaintiff demanded to refute the information as contained in the “Chorrord Inknishkhanutiun” piece and discrediting its business reputation, and pay off a compensation of moral loss damage of 2 mln AMD (about $ 5,400). The court hearings started on November 1 (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, October 28 – November 3, 2011).

At the session of December 15 the parties negotiated an amicable agreement, the text of which was published in “Chorrord Inknishkhanutiun” on December 16. The agreement particularly stresses that the plaintiff abandons his financial claims towards the newspaper founder, while “Chorrord Inknishkhanutiun” commits publishing the refutation within a month since the court ruling comes into effect.

The amicable agreement is to be approved on the December 28 court session.


On December 15 RA Civil Court of Appeal upheld the ruling of the court of general jurisdiction on the suit of protecting the honor and dignity of Pr. Tatul Manaserian, former Advisor to RA National Assembly Chairman, Doctor of Economics, versus the founder of “Zhamanak” daily, “Skizb Media Kentron” LLC. As it has been reported, the dispute matter became the piece, “Criminal Proceedings versus the Advisor to NA Chairman?”, which was published in “Zhamanak” on September 29, 2010 and alleged that criminal proceedings were instituted versus Tatul Manaserian on a charge of usury. On the same day, Tatul Manaserian called to the daily’s editorial office demanding to refute the information discrediting him. The next day, on September 30, “Zhamanak” published an article “Mr. Manaserian Haven’t You Lent $40,000 at Interest?”, which explained that criminal proceedings were instituted not versus Tatul Manaserian, but on the case of usury. On October 29, 2010 Tatul Manaserian addressed the court of general jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash administrative districts of Yerevan, demanding to bind the newspaper with publishing a refutation, paying off 2,5 million AMD (about $ 6,800), from which 2 million – as a compensation for the damage caused by defamation, while the 500,000 – court expenses. On September 20, 2011 the court secured the suit partially, obliging the founder of “Zhamanak” to publish a refutation and pay off the plaintiff 510,000 AMD: 300,000 – compensation for moral loss, 200,000 – court expenses, and 10,000 – state duty for filing the court (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, September 16-22, 2011).

On October 24, 2011 the founder of “Zhamanak” appealed the aforesaid ruling, demanding to abolish it and render the case for a new consideration by the court of first instance. The hearings at the Civil Court of Appeal were held on December 7.

The December 15 decision of the Civil Court of Appeal grounded the revocation of the complaint particularly by the fact that “Zhamanak” had not duly refute the information discrediting the plaintiff.


On December 23 at “Congress” hotel in Yerevan “Asparez” Journalists Club of Gyumri will present the results of another stage (July, October 2011) of the monitoring of advertising volume and its distribution on the air of First Channel of Public Television of Armenia. The study covers a year-long period (since March 2011) and is conducted under a project of “Asparez” supported by Open Society Foundations-Armenia and Counterpart International Armenia. The monitoring data are available on www.asparez.am.


On December 16 at the Journalists Union of Armenia “Azdarar” 2011 Award ceremony was held. The Award was established in 2004 by the Journalists Union of Armenia and JUA “Gold Pen” Awardee Club on the Day of Armenian Press.

“Azdarar” 2011 was conferred to: “168 Zham” newspaper, program cycle “Hayots Harts” (“Armenian Issue”) of First Channel of Public Television of Armenia (author and host – Artur Bakhtamian); freelance journalist Hrachik Matevosian; Vahram Atanesian, correspondent of “Azg” daily in Mountainous Karabagh; “Alik”, Armenian language newspaper published in Iran.