JOURNALIST’S DISMISSAL BECAUSE OF A FACEBOOK POST DISCUSSED ON “PRESS CLUB”
On June 17, the season’s final talk show of “Press Club” cycle, dealing with journalistic ethics, went on “Yerkir Media” TV channel. The weekly TV cycle was produced by Yerevan Press Club with the support of Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
The “Press Club” participants talked about the employers’ (media chiefs) attitude towards journalists and their activities in social network. The topic was mainly considered in the context of the much-debated recent dismissal of Armen Dulian, observer of “Shant” TV company. One of the leading journalists of this TV channel got fired for his Facebook post, assessed by the administration of “Shant” as insulting. Armen Dulian appeared in the “Press Club” as one of the discussants, and his opponent was Gagik Makarian, Chairman of the Republican Union of Employers of Armenia. “Shant” refused to take part in the talk show, but it provided a TV story, which was aired on the channel and reflected its position on the issue. “Press Club” also broadcasted the story. The program experts were Harutyun Mansurian, Production and Training Director at Internews Media Support NGO, David Hakobian, Executive Director of “Yerkir Media” TV company, Lusineh Vasilian, observer of Public Radio of Armenia, and lawyer Ara Ghazarian. YPC President Boris Navasardian hosted the talk show.
Watch “Press Club” of June 17, 2013 here
SEMINAR DEALING WITH GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY PARTNERSHIP IN FRAMES OF EAP
On June 16-18, in Gyumri Yerevan Press Club held a seminar on “Building Partnership between the CSOs and Government in Frames of the EaP CSF”. The event was organized with the assistance of Friedrich Ebert Foundation and was attended by representatives of government agencies and NGOs, membering the Armenian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF).
Hrant Kostanian, Associate Research Fellow of the Brussels-based Centre for European Policy Studies, talked about the recent developments of the Eastern Partnership policy. The economic component of the EaP Roadmap was presented by Argam Aramian, Head of EU Division of the EU Cooperation Department of the RA Ministry of Economy. In her report, Sophia Simonian, EU Desk Officer of Europe Department of the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs, considered the building of structural dialogue and cooperation between government-CSOs in frames of the EaP Roadmap monitoring. Arevhat Grigorian, Expert of Yerevan Press Club, presented the EU Integration Index for the EaP Countries. The speech of Mikayel Hovhannisian, Europe Program Manager of Eurasia Partnership Foundation, dealt with the tools of cooperation between civil society and governmental sector under the EaP Roadmap actions. Armineh Tukhikian, Chairperson of Urban Foundation for Sustainable Development, told about the EaP Roadmap actions in fields of public administration and local self-government. YPC President Boris Navasardian, who is equally the Co-Chairman of the EaP CSF Steering Committee and the Armenian National Facilitator, presented the methodology of the monitoring and evaluation of fulfillment of the Eastern Partnership Roadmap.
SIX MONTHS DELAY OF TERMINATION OF ANALOGUE BROADCASTING
On June 19, at the extraordinary session of the RA National Assembly the draft law on amending the RA Law “On Television and Radio” was adopted in second hearings and finally. The document passed the first hearings on the same day of its adoption.
The amendments to the Broadcast Law were elaborated by the RA Government and provide for a 6-months delay of the termination of analogue broadcasting in the country, i.e. until July 1, 2015 (earlier it was on January 1, 2015). In this respect, the broadcast licenses of regional TV companies, the validity of which expires on January 1, 2015, shall be also prolonged for six months (until July 1, 2015). The broadcast licenses of the radio companies, expiring on July 20,2013, will be valid for another three years, till July 20, 2016.
The Government justified the need for such amendments by “essential technical, material and financial difficulties”, which occurred during the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting.
NATIONS IN TRANSIT: DEMOCRATIC PROGRESS OF ARMENIA IS DUE TO AN IMPROVED MEDIA ENVIRONMENT
On June 18, international human rights organization Freedom House released the annual study Nations in Transit. The comparative research on democratic development in 29 countries from Central Europe to Eurasia covers the period from January 1 through December 31, 2012. Freedom House measured progress according to the following indicators: electoral process, civil society, independent media, national democratic governance, local democratic governance, judicial framework and independence, and corruption.
According to the study, Armenia is among the six countries, which received a score improvement in their democratic progress. The amelioration in 2012 “was due to an improved media environment in the run-up to the parliamentary vote and a significant decline in the number of defamation suits”, Freedom House emphasized.