Armenian Television Coverage of Press Conferences by Political Forces in the Period Before the May 6, 2012 National Assembly Elections
(According to CPFE Monitoring Results)
On February 15 to May 4, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression (CPFE) monitored television coverage of press conferences by politicians and public figures in various press clubs in Yerevan.
The purpose of the study was to find out the level of interest of different TV companies (broadcast in the capital city and nationwide) towards press conferences conducted by representatives of political forces participating in the May 6, 2012 parliamentary elections or by public figures who were not participating in the election but had a say on issues of public importance. Also examined was the nature of coverage by different TV companies, and whether or not the TV companies presented the various party platforms and campaign messages in an unbiased fashion. In addition to press conference by representatives of political forces, we also monitored press conferences by public figures (NGO leaders, experts, analysts), if the subject was related to the upcoming election.
According to the methodology, not all press conferences by politicians and public figures were examined. We examined only the press conferences that took place in the following seven active press clubs in Yerevan: “Irates De Facto,” “Hayatsq,” “Hayeli,” “Henaran,” “Post Scriptum,” “Urbat,” and “Pastark.” Some press conferences in the National Press Club were also included in the study. We monitored social-political news programs in the following 10 TV stations: “Ar,” “Armenia,” “Armnews,” “ATV,” “Yerevan,” “Yerkir Media,” “Kentron,” “H1,” “H2,” and “Shant.”
The study was conducted in two phases. The first phase was before the official start of the election campaign, from February 15 to April 8. The second phase covered the period of the election campaign, from April 8 to May 4.
The study was conducted by looking what TV company had sent a crew to cover any given press conference and then looking at how the press conference was covered by that TV company.