It is a global trend – in parallel with increase of the online media, the newspapers circulation is falling, financial resources are diminishing, and many editorial offices are closed. In the digital age, when the information and news are appearing more quickly on the screens of the computers, iPad, or mobile phone than оnto the pages of newspapers, the print media is facing serious challenges. Naturally, Armenia is not an exception. But besides the objective difficulties, there are many other problems in the Armenian market of newspapers.
The journalist of the Ukrainian ICTV company Evgeniy Lesnoy and cameraman Evgeniy Tour attempted to enter Armenia from the Georgian border crossing point, but they were turned back. The TV company’s producer Oksana Dykhnich was the first to respond to this incident. She wrote on her Facebook page that their film crew had appointments and that it was accredited at the Foreign ministry according to the protocol, but they were officially denied entry on the border crossing. According to Dykhnich, the reason for this was that the journalist and the cameramen had worked “at the Anti-Terrorist Operation Zone” (in Donbas and Lugansk – L.H.), and Russia “blacklisted” them.
The National Commission on TV and radio announced the organized by it second tender for the licensing of the operation of the private multiplexor as failed. The first tender organized a year ago had the same fate. This means that the public network of digital broadcasting, i.e. public multiplexor will still have the monopoly and will dictate its conditions in the field.
30 lawsuits by school and kindergarten directors against Daniel Ioannisyan, program coordinator of the “Union of Informed Citizens” NGO, founder of “Sut.am” news site, 16 lawsuits by advocates against “News AM” Ltd, founder of “News.am” media outlet.
The Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression received a letter from the NA temporary Ethics commission informing that application by the CPFE in relation to violence used by parliamentarian Roubik Hakobyan against Vahe Makaryan, journalist from “Hraparak” daily, “is considered rejected”.
On February 2, the RA Special investigative service responded to the article from February 1 by Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression, under heading “No Progress in Pre-investigation of “Sari Tagh” case?”, which was published on the website of the Committee and was copied in a number of media outlets (“Aravot.am”, “A1plus.am”, “1in.am”, “News.am”, etc.) The reply by the SIS under heading “The Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression misinforms the public” was published on “Hraparak.am”, “Iravaban.net” and “Armlur.am” websites. As there are a number of ungrounded judgments and false information, we consider it necessary to provide certain clarifications.
On January 30, it was six months since the criminal case was filed on the cases of impeding legitimate professional activity of the mass media representatives in Yerevan Sari Tagh and neighboring areas on the night of July 29-30, 2016. We should remind that protests and military actions following the armed attack by the “Sasna Tsrer” grouping on the patrol service regiment (PSR) of the RA Police went along with large-scale violence by the police and protected by it persons against the journalists and cameramen, and impediments of their legitimate professional activity.
The rapid development and dissemination of digital technologies put more and more challenges in front of the society with regard to personal data protection. The problems are so deeply rooted that need both legal and institutional reforms, as well as new technical solutions. From this perspective, it is also important to study the international experience, particularly the experience of neighboring Georgia, where the problem of personal data protection has been addressed at government level much earlier than in Armenia; for this purpose the Georgian Government established an independent authority that has already produced some tangible achievements by now.
On November 23, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression with the assistance of the Open Society Foundations – Armenia organized a roundtable on the Challenges for Armenian Regional TV Broadcasters in the Light of Recent Transition to Digital TV Broadcasting. The urgency of this discussion was created by the fact that the termination of analogue TV broadcasting during the week of October 20-26 by the national TV channels led to a situation where 11 regional and local TV broadcasters rapidly lost most of their audience and advertisers and appeared on the thin edge of bankruptcy.
Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression held a public discussion on October 18 entitled “Transition to Digital Television: Challenges, Problems and Possible Solutions”.
In his opening remarks, the chair of CPFE Ashot Melikyan said the process of switching off analog transmission ends on October 20. According to him, though technically Armenia is ready for digital transmission, some legislative, possibly also social issues have not been resolved.