Judgments/Decisions 2011

MEO Expert Judgment of December 25, 2011 on the article “To Know Pharaoh” published in “Chorrord Inknishkhanutiun” daily

Background of the Issue: On November 2, 2011 the founder of “Chorrord Inknishkhanutiun” daily, “Trespassers W.” LLC, addressed to MEO for receiving an expert judgment on the article “To Know Pharaoh”, published in “Chorrord Inknishkhanutiun” on April 9, 2011. The piece was contested at court and contained critical expressions by the artist Sergey Gasparian about the Director of the Armenia National Art Gallery Paravon (Pharaoh) Mirzoyan. Paravon Mirzoyan filed the court of general jurisdiction with a suit on protection of honor and dignity versus the founder of “Chorrord Inknishkhanutiun” daily and Sergey Gasparian, demanding to refute the information discrediting his reputation, compensate the moral damage of 3 million AMD (about $ 7,900), as well as to pay off the court expenses of 360,000 AMD (about $ 950).

On December 25, 2011 the Media Ethics Observatory rendered the expert judgment on article “To Know Pharaoh”. Even though pointing out some shortcomings of the piece, the MEO particularly noted that a number of expressions contested by the Art Gallery Director are not facts but value judgments. Hence, their validity is unprovable. MEO concluded that the conflict between Paravon Mirzoyan and the daily is a matter of journalistic ethics and may be settled through publication in “Chorrord Inknishkhanutiun” of the refutation or reply text provided by Paravon Mirzoyan, or publication of the MEO judgment in the daily (Դիտորդ մարմնի 2011թ. դեկտեմբերի 25-ի փորձագիտական եզրակացությունը).

MEO Expert Judgment of December 25, 2011 on the complaint of Hayk Demoyan, Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, on a number of media pieces.

MEO Decision of June 1, 2011 on the complaint of civic activist Armen Hovhannisian against Petros Ghazarian, author and host of “Urvagits” program of Kentron” TV company

Background of the Issue: Activist of the civil movement “We Are against the Reopening of Foreign Language Schools” Armen Hovhannisian addressed MEO with a complaint against Petros Ghazarian, author and host of “Urvagits” program of Kentron” TV company. In his letter, Armen Hovhannisian stated that at the discussion of the issue on foreign language schools’ reopening, Petros Ghazarian invited to “Urvagits” only people supporting the initiative, while the representatives of the civil movement have never participated in it. Armen Hovhannisian accused Petros Ghazarian in a one-sided coverage of the issue and in bias.

MEO addressed Petros Ghazarian, offering its mediation in the conflict (“Kentron” TV company is not a member of the media self-regulation initiative). The journalist accepted the offer.

MEO considered the complaint and rendered a decision on June 1, 2011, noting that Petros Ghazarian had not violated the Code of Conduct of Media Representatives. MEO took into account the fact that the “Urvagits” programs involved guests from both camps: pro e contra the foreign language schools in Armenia. MEO also stressed that a journalist has the right to voice his/her own stance on an issue and this does not contradict the journalistic ethics.