DISPUTE ON MINAS’ FRESCOES CONSIDERED IN “PRESS CLUB”
On January 27 another program of “Press Club” cycle, dealing with journalism ethics, was aired on “Yerkir Media” TV company. The talk show series are produced by Yerevan Press Club under the “Alternative Resources in Media” project, supported by USAID.
The topic of the talk show was the transfer from Gyumri to Yerevan of the two frescoes by famous Armenian painter Minas Avetisian. The respective governmental decision was passed on April 28, 2011 and induced a wide public protest and numerous actions in Gyumri. On June 11-16, 2011 the articles “Struck the Family Capital”, “Arman Avetisian Is Lying for Unknown Reasons”, “Some Things Cannot Be Forgiven” were placed on website of “Asparez” Journalists Club of Gyumri (www.asparez.am). The pieces contained critics about Arman Avetisian, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of “Minas Avetisian” Charitable Foundation, one of the sons of the painter. On August 4, 2011 Arman Avetisian filed a suit versus Levon Barseghian, Board Chairman of “Asparez”. The plaintiff demanded to oblige Levon Barseghian to present apologies, publish a refutation and the court ruling, compensate the damage for libel and insult in the amount of 2 million AMD (about $ 5,500), as well as the court expenses of 200,000 AMD (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, September 8-15, 2011).
In “Press Club” the conflict parties – Arman Avetisian and Levon Barseghian presented their positions. The experts of the program were Shushan Doydoyan, President of Freedom of Information Center, lawyer Ara Ghazarian, Nouneh Sarkissian, Managing Director of Internews Media Support NGO, media expert Mesrop Harutiunian. YPC President Boris Navasardian led the discourse. The aspects of the dispute, including expressions alleged as defamatory and insulting by the plaintiff, were observed at the TV show. The conflict party were suggested coming to an amicable agreement or set the dispute out of court.
The next “Press Club” talk show will be aired on “Yerkir Media” on Friday, February 3 at 18.35 (rerun – on Tuesday, February 7 at 14.15).
Watch “Press Club” of January 27, 2012 here
ARMENIAN AND AZERBAIJANI JOURNALISTS AGREED TO WRITE ON RULES
On January 30-31 in Tbilisi the seminar “Accurate and Unbiased Information Exchange between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Mountainous Karabagh” was held. The event kicked off the new regional journalistic project. Representatives of media, journalistic organizations from Baku, Yerevan and Stepanakert attended the Tbilisi meeting. The meeting discussed the opportunities of creating joint information products, including pieces on acute problems of Karabagh conflict and Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, as well as prospects for launching Internet sources containing these and other materials compliant to the project goals.
The seminar presented the situation in negotiation process on Karabagh conflict settlement, the issues of the information field in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Mountainous Karabagh, the results of media researches on revealing the hatespeech elements in Armenian and Azerbaijani media, conducted by Yerevan Press Club and “Yeni Nesil” Journalists Union of Azerbaijan. Journalists, involved in the project, considered the themes for team reporting, models of online resources to be used, agreed upon professional rules that will guide them during project implementation.
The US State Department supports YPC and “Yeni Nesil” in the project.
“E-CLUB” WRAPPED UP LAST YEAR’S RESULTS
On January 31 “E-Club” weekly cycle resumed 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 dealt with the most popular Internet news of 2011: start-ups of websites (particularly, apress.am, informing about cultural events in Yerevan), the video materials of top-news.am, important IT events. The “E-Club” news block told about the intentions of Apple to launch the production of sixth generation iPhones, about the $ 20 fundraising of Wikipedia necessary for its survival. The ratings of online sources and headlines of last year were presented by Suren Deherian, Editor of Jnews.am, Head of “Journalists for the Future” NGO. The web sources’ top list is headed by website of Radio “Free Europe”/Radio “Liberty” Armenian Service, www.azatutyun.am, while the 2011 most popular topic was the tragic incidents in Armenian army.
The next “E-Club” will be aired on “A1+” on Tuesday on February 7 at 15.50 (rerun – Thursday, February 9 at 18.20).
SUIT OF NIKOL PASHINIAN VERSUS HEAD OF “KOSH” PENITENTIARY REJECTED
On January 31 RA Administrative Court revoked the suit of Nikol Pashinian, Chief Editor of “Haykakan Zhamanak” daily, versus “Kosh” penitentiary, as ungrounded. The plaintiff demanded to lift the disciplinary penalty, imposed on him on November 16, 2010.
As it has been reported, on January 19, 2010 Nikol Pashinian was found guilty in mass riots of March 1, 2008 in Yerevan, and sentenced to seven years of imprisonment. On March 9, 2010 the RA Criminal Court of Appeal, by applying an amnesty on Nikol Pashinian, cut down his unexpired term of imprisonment by half. In the early morning of November 11, 2010 in the mass cell of “Kosh” penitentiary, where Nikol Pashinian was detained, two men in black and in masks attacked the journalist and started to beat him; when Nikol Pashinian called for help, the strangers left the ward. After the incident, on November 16, 2010, the Chief Editor of “Haykakan Zhamanak” was lead to the isolation ward, while in the end of November – to “Artik” penitentiary. The Criminal Executive Department of RA Ministry of Justice explained the transfer of Nikol Pashinian to “Artik” penitentiary by “his numerous violations of detention conditions”, as well as the conflicts with other prisoners. Nikol Pashinian contested the November 16, 2010 “Kosh” penitentiary’s decision on transferring him to the isolation ward. The court hearings started on May 6, 2011 (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, May 6-12, 2011). On May 27, 2011 Nikol Pashinian was pardoned and released (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, May 27 – June 2, 2011).
COURT REDUCED FINANCIAL CLAIMS OF “GLENDALE HILLS” VERSUS “ZHAMANAK” FOUNDER
On January 30 court of general jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash administrative districts of Yerevan released the ruling on the suit of the construction company “Glendale Hills” versus founder and publisher of “Zhamanak” daily, “Skizb Media Kentron” LLC. As it has been reported, the reason of the suit was the piece “‘Glendale Hills’ Offered 1000 Dollars for Silence”, published in “Zhamanak” on August 26, 2010. The article informed that in August 2010 there were collapses in a newly built house in Gyumri, and the building contractor, “Glendale Hills”, offered the tenants a financial compensation, promised to restore the damages, if only the media did not know about the incident. “Glendale Hills” demanded from “Zhamanak” founder to refute the information as contained in the piece that discredit its business reputation, compensate the damage caused by defamation of 2 million AMD (about $ 5,400) and cover the court expenses of 500,000 AMD. The suit was submitted to consideration on September 24, 2010; the preliminary hearings started on November 26, 2010 and ended on July 8, 2011 (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, July 8-14, 2011).
On January 30, the court partially secured the suit obliging “Zhamanak” daily publish a refutation, and its founder – pay off to “Glendale Hills” 510,000 AMD (about $ 1,400), from which 200,000 – damage award, 300,000 – court expenses, 10,000 – state duty for filling the court.
Attorney of “Zhamanak” founder Nikolay Baghdasarian informed YPC about the intention to appeal the court ruling.