“PRESS CLUB” CYCLE: ETHICS OF REPORTING CRIME
On June 3, another talk show of “Press Club” cycle, dealing with journalistic ethics, went on “Yerkir Media” TV channel. The weekly TV cycle is produced by Yerevan Press Club with the support of Deutsche Welle Academy.
The talk show considered the professional norms for covering crimes and police reports. The “Press Club” discussants, Nerses Atabekian, Chief Editor of “02” weekly (print edition of RA Police), and Gohar Sargsian, special correspondent of “Respublika Armenia” newspaper, expressed their views on this topical issue for Armenian media. The program experts were Astghik Gevorgian, Chairwoman of Journalists Union of Armenia, lawyer Ara Ghazarian, Avetik Ishkhanian, human rights advocate, Chairman of Helsinki Committee of Armenia, and Arsen Babayan, Head of Public Relations Unit of RA Judicial Department. YPC President Boris Navasardian hosted the talk show.
The next “Press Club” will be aired on “Yerkir Media” on Monday, June 10 at 18.00 (rerun – on Saturday, June 15 at 12.00).
Watch “Press Club” of June 3, 2013 here
SEMINAR DEALING WITH LEGAL REGULATION AND SELF-REGULATION OF MEDIA
On May 31 – June 2, Yerevan Press Club held a seminar on the “Current situation and perspectives of legal regulation and self-regulation of Armenian media” in “Arthur’s Aghveran Resort”. The event was organized under the “Alternative Resources in Media” project, supported by USAID. The participants of the seminar were members of the Media Ethics Observatory (MEO), heads and representatives of media and journalistic organizations, including the ones, which have joined the YPC initiative to establish a media self-regulation body in Armenia.
Media expert Mesrop Harutiunian presented the recommendations to amend the Code of Conduct of Media Representatives with regard to issues of privacy. YPC legal expert Iren Aloyan elaborated on the need of supplementing the Code of Conduct with ethical norms for online media. The report of Elina Poghosbekian, Editor of YPC Weekly Newsletter, was dealing with the ethical aspect of media coverage of the 2012-2013 electoral cycle. Ara Ghazarian, lawyer and member of the Information Disputes Council, presented the recent judicial practice on defamation cases. YPC expert Heriknaz Harutiunian talked about activities towards raising public awareness of the MEO, particularly about the “Press Club” TV shows cycle. In his speech, YPC President Boris Navasardian spoke about the organizational issues of the MEO.
RA PRIME MINISTER TIGRAN SARGSYAN ADDRESSED RA PROCURACY IN CONNECTION TO “HETQ” ARTICLE
On June 3, RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan requested the RA Procuracy to assess the evidence as contained in the article, “Cyprus Troika: Who ‘Stripped’ Businessman Paylak Hayrapetyan of His Assets?”, published on May 29, 2013 in “Hetq” online (edition of Investigative Journalists NGO). As the Adviser to RA General Prosecutor Sona Truzian informed YPC, the Prime Minister’s request was redirected to the RA Police and will be examined in frames of the criminal proceedings instituted upon the complaint of businessman Paylak Hayrapetyan.
The abovementioned “Hetq” article particularly reported that the Prime Minister of Armenia Tigran Sargsyan, Primate of the Ararat Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Navasard Kjoyan and Ashot Sukiasyan, who is engaged in diamond manufacturing, are the shareholders of Wlispera Holdings Limited (WHL), an offshore company registered in Cyprus. Further, the article stated that “WHL is directly connected to a case involving the seizure of assets belonging to businessman Paylak Hayrapetyan” and presented some details of the story. The piece also provided a screenshot of the registration certificate of Wlispera Holding Limited.
On May 29, the same day of publication of the article, “Hetq” stored the answer of Harutyun Berberian, Press Secretary of Prime Minister, “Prime Minister Sargsyan Ready to Go to Prosecutor General over Hetq Exposé”. The answer stressed that Tigran Sargsyan has no connection to Wlispera Holding Limited. “Moreover, neither has the prime minister personally, or through any other authorized entity, registered any organization in Cyprus or any other off-shore location”, the letter emphasized. Harutyun Berberian noted that the screenshot of the registration certificate provided in the “Hetq” article is false, and Tigran Sargsyan will address the RA Procuracy.
Meanwhile, “Hetq” mentioned in its editorial note that it has never used false information and advised the Prime Minister “to first take a look at the website of the Cyprus Department of Registrar of Companies, to inspect the veracity of the information presented therein”, as well as examine “the bank transfers from Armenia to the company in question, and vice-versa, and then contact the proper authorities of Cyprus to expose any ‘conspiracy’, if one indeed exists”. Only having done so should the Prime Minister address to the Procuracy, the editorial note stated. “Hetq” also expressed hope that the Procuracy will regard its article as a report on crime.