From February 6th to April 29th, 2017, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression conducted monitoring of press conferences, held by 9 political parties and alliances running for Parliament on April 2, 2017. According to the list published on February 17th, 2017, by the Central Electoral Commission, those political forces are: the EXIT Alliance, the Free Democrats Party, the Armenian Revival Party, the Tsarukyan Alliance, the Congress – People’s Party of Armenia Alliance, the Republican Party of Armenia, the Ohanyan – Raffi – Oskanian Alliance, and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation “Dashnaktsutyun”.
Armenia’s Economic and Social Problems in the Press Conferences of Political Forces Running for Parliament
Economic and Social Problems of Armenia in the Programs of the Political Powers Participating in the Parliamentary Elections
The Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression, with the support from the Fridriech Ebert Foundation, conducted monitoring of election programs of nine political parties and alliances participating in the parliamentary election on April 2, 2017. The goal of the study was to find out what the portion is in those documents that relate to the economic and social problems of the country, and what solutions they offer. As subject of monitoring, the sections relating to those topics have been separated from the general text and have been subjected to quantitative and qualitative analysis.
Coverage of the Press Conferences on RA Constitutional Amendments and December 6, 2015 Referendum Given by Representatives from Political Parties and Public Figures via TV Companies Broadcasting Throughout the Republic and in the Capital
From October 26 until December 27 of 2015, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression conducted a monitoring of the coverage by TV companies broadcasting throughout the republic and in the capital of the press conferences given by political and public figures related to the RA constitutional amendments and December 6, 2015 referendum. The monitoring consisted of two stages: the first was conducted during the campaign – from October 26 until December 4, and the second was from December 7 until December 27.
Monitoring of the Free and Paid Air-Time on Armenian Public TV and Radio Company During the Period of Campaign for the Referendum on December 6, 2015 for the Constitutional Amendments
From November 6 to December 4 of 2015, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression conducted monitoring of the activity by the Armenian public TV and radio company aimed at ensuring equal conditions when providing air-time to the political parties represented in the parliament during the campaign period for the referendum on December 6 for the constitutional amendments.
Monitoring of the activities of the public and private TV companies in Armenia during the period of campaign for the referendum of the RA Constitutional amendments on December 6, 2015 (Interim Report)
From October 26 until December 4 of 2015, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression conducted two monitorings of the broadcasting media to study their activity during the period of campaign for the referendum of the RA Constitutional amendments.
From April 1, 2014 to November 30, 2014, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression, with support of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, implemented the regular project provided for monitoring of the official websites of the governmental bodies (GB) of Armenia to assess the level of their information transparency. This was the logical extension of the activity commenced in 2011.
The monitoring covers official websites of 44 GB, which are divided into 2 groups. The first group included 34 Ministries, bodies within the Government of Armenia and other Departments. The second group encompassed the official websites of 10 marzes (hereinafter, regions) of the country, enclosed within the integrated net, The System of the Territorial Administration (hereinafter, websites of the regional administrations).
The Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression (CPFE) has been conducting another round of monitoring of the official websites of the RA state bodies to assess their level of information transparency since May 2014. Such studies have been conducted since 2010.
The websites were monitored in accordance with 146 parameters, including 120 content-related and 26 technical. The collected data was then used in the specially developed formulas to calculate quantitative and qualitative information transparency coefficients, which in turn was used to compile rating tables.
In 2013, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression (CPFE) conducted a monitoring of libel and insult cases against the media. The monitoring was made possible with the support of Counterpart International-Armenia. A similar study had been conducted in 2012 as well. The purpose of the study was to follow the developments in court practices since May 18, 2010, when Articles 135 and 136 of the RA Criminal Code were repealed and the law NO-970-N was passed to amend Article 18 of the RA Civil Code (“Protection of Honor, Dignity and Business Reputation”) and to add a new Article 1087.1 that defined the procedures and conditions for providing compensation for damages to one’s honor, dignity or business reputation.
In April-December 2013, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression, with the assistance of the Open Society Foundations – Armenia, conducted monitoring of the Armenian mass media to detect hate speech in their publications. The monitoring team believes that this study allows detecting the number and nature of hate speech and may help the Armenian media to reduce to a significant degree or eliminate completely the use of hate speech in their publications.
This report summarizes the nine-month monitoring data.
9 Armenian media were monitored, of which 3 television companies (H1 public television, Yerkir Media, Kentron), 3 print media (the dailies Azg, Haykakan Zhamanak, Hayots Ashkharh) and 3 online media (www.1in.am, www.7or.am, www.tert.am). The object of monitoring of the television companies was the main broadcasts of news programmes (Hyelour on H1, Yerkirn Aysor on Yerkir Media and Epikentron on Kentron), as well as the analytical programmes succeeding these broadcasts (Tesankyun, Yerkri Hartsy and Ourvagits, respectively).
ACCESS TO OFFICIAL INFORMATION AND OPEN GOVERNANCE (Level of information transparency of the Armenian state bodies, based on the results of monitoring of official websites)
In 2013, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression (CPFE) conducted another regular monitoring of the official Armenian government websites to assess their level of information transparency. Unlike in the past, this monitoring was conducted on the basis of a new methodology based on an automated information system EXMO, developed by our partner organization – Institute for Information Freedom Development (Saint Petersburg, Russia) – and provided to CPFE for use in Armenia. CPFE adapted the methodology to the local conditions. The methodology is described in a separate section of this report.