From April 2014, with the support of OSCE Office in Yerevan, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression has been implementing a project on “Optimization of Armenia’s Transition from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting”, which plans to develop a package of proposed amendments to the RA Law on Television and Radio, as well as to come up with recommendations on how to address some of the technical and social problems connected to digitalization.
From April 2014, with the support of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, CPFE has been monitoring the official websites of ministries, other central and local government agencies to determine their level of information transparency. The project involves cooperation with these government agencies in order to improve their websites. The collected data will be summarized in a report, to be published as a separate brochure in three languages (Armenian, English and Russian).
From September 2013 to March 2014, with the support of Counterpart International-Armenia, CPFE monitored court cases on insult and libel in the media. The collected data was summarized in an analytical report discussed during a round-table and posted on this website.
From February 2013 to February 2014, with the support of Open Society Foundations-Armenia, CPFE monitored the implementation of Armenia’s commitments on freedom of information, taken on under the Open Government Partnership international initiative. Expert conclusions and the final analytical report were published on the basis of this study. Recommendations on standardization of content of official websites were also developed. Most of the recommendations were later used in the RA Government’s Decisions of December 26, 2013 on “Approving the Requirements for Official Government Websites.”
From February 2013 to January 2014, with the support of Open Society Foundations-Armenia, CPFE implemented a project on “The Media in the Presidential Election Year: Monitoring of the Situation and Reaction to Challenges in the Area of Information.” Under the project, CPFE monitored the situation with the freedom of expression, took measures to protect the rights of journalists and the media, monitored media publications to identify any hate speech and analyzed the ways to overcome these problems. The study resulted in analytical reports posted in the relevant sections of this website.
From January 2012 to January 2013, with the support of Open Society Foundations-Armenia, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression implemented a project “The Media and the elections-2012: research on the situation with the information sphere and the reaction on the threats to freedom of speech.” Two studies were conducted: monitoring of coverage by TV companies of press-conferences organized by different political parties in capital based press clubs during the campaign -2012; monitoring of law suits filed against media concerning insult and defamation. Quarterly reports on the situation with freedom of speech and violations of media and journalists’ rights in Armenia will be prepared and published, as well as press-conferences and round tables will be organized within the framework of the project.
From December 2011 to November 2012, with the support of the Government of the Netherlands’ MATRA program the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression implemented trainings for the staff of the regional TV stations of Armenia. The aim of the project was to improve the activities of local TV stations concerning the coverage of urgent social-political and social-economic problems of the country. Trainings in 10 TV stations from 9 regions of Armenia are envisaged (the region of Vayots Dzor is excluded, as there is no TV station there).
From January of 2011 to January 2014, with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression implemented three annual projects of monitoring of the official websites of Armenia’s state authorities to estimate the level of information transparency. Every year, based on the results of the first year of monitoring an analytical report was prepared and published as a separate brochure in three languages (Armenian, English and Russian). The first brochure was called “Government and Transparency” (2011). The second was entitled “Authorities and Information Accessibility” (2012) and the third – “Access to Official Information and Open Governance” (2013). In the beginning, 38 government websites were monitored. This number increased to 52 in the later studies. Since 2013, the study has been using a new automated information system (EXMO, later renamed to INFOMETER), developed by the Saint Petersburg Institute for Information Freedom Development.
From December 2011 to November 2012, with the support of the MATRA Program of the Dutch government, CPFE implemented training for local television staff. The purpose of the training was to strengthen the local television capacity for covering the current social-political and social-economic problems of the regions. Trainings took place in ten regional/local television companies.
From January to December of 2011, with the support of Open Society Foundations-Armenia the CPFE implemented a project, the aim of which was to observe the situation in the sphere of freedom of speech, the protection of media and journalists’ rights, the manifestations of hidden censorship among media and elaboration of countermeasures. Within the framework of the project the work group of the CPFE continued working on the package of the suggestions and recommendations on improvement of the Armenian Law “On Television and Radio,” as well as on opportunities of overcoming the problems in the broadcasting sphere, including problems concerning the transition from analog to digital broadcasting. Besides this, with the support of the Open Society Foundations’ Media Program a research was conducted and a report on the implementation of the digital technologies in Armenia’s media sphere was prepared. This became a part of a scaled international program initiated by OSF and implemented in 60 countries of the world.
From December of 2009 to December of 2010, with the support of Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation – Armenia, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression implemented a “Research on the situation of freedom of speech in Armenia and the advocacy in the information sphere” project. A survey on the level of media freedom in Armenia based on the methodology of Freedom House (FH) international organization (adapted to the local conditions) was conducted, taking into account the influence of legal, political and economic factors. The CPFE also observed the violations of media and journalists’ rights, prepared quarterly reports. Moreover, within the framework of the project a special work group was formed for observing the process of the transition from analog to digital broadcasting. This group prepared and published a report containing a package of suggestions concerning the solution of legislative, technical and social problems of digitalization process.
From November 2009 to April 2010, with the support of UNESCO, the Committee implemented trainings for the staff of the regional radio stations. The aim of the project was to prepare and launch modern social-political radio programmes by local radio stations. The project was implemented in Syunik, Gegharkunik, Lori and Shirak regions.
From September to October 2009, with the support of Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation – Armenia, the Committee implemented a short term project on analyzing and evaluating the freedom of speech and media, as well as developing the freedom of information based on international experience. Afterwards, a programme on the protection of public interests in the information sector of Armenia was drafted and implemented locally by using the international experience.
From June to September 2009, with the support of Open Society Institute, the Committee implemented a monitoring on European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument programme in Armenia. Based on this a report was prepared which was included in the combined report of 5 member countries (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine) of “Eastern partnership”.
From November 2006 to December 2009 the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression, with the support of Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation-Armenia and the Government of the Netherlands, implemented a three-year project “Advocacy through empowerment of regional media and journalistic organizations”. Within the framework of the project the experts of the Committee were observing the activities of regional media, drafting advices and suggestions, organizing round tables in the regions of Armenia with the participation of regional media, the representatives of journalists’ organizations, political and public figures. The discussions were held on the following topics: freedom of speech, media, information, urgent issues for the protection of the journalists’ rights. Within the first two year project implementation period the local TV companies produced TV programmes on the above mentioned topics. In the scope of the programme a sociological survey was implemented to clarify the information requirements of the regional media audience, as well as an expert survey was realized in the regions and in the capital with media and the representatives of the public and political organizations. The suggestions on improving the activities of local media were drafted by analyzing and comparing the results of the monitoring, sociological and expert surveys. The outcome of the project was compiled and published in the “Media and the protection of public interests” publication.
From February to May 2006, with the support of Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation – Armenia, the Committee implemented the “Broadcasting of the urgent public and political issues on the air of the “Yerkir Media” and regional TV companies” programme. The aim of the project was the broadcasting of views and attitudes of different political parties and leading NGOs on the urgent issues that country is facing, as well as discussing the activity issues of media and journalists. Within the framework of the project the “Press Club” and “Press Club +” TV programmes were produced and broadcasted on the air of the “Yerkir Media” and 10 regional TV companies of Armenia, which in a short period of time became very popular. Afterwards, this project was continued by the partner organizations (Yerevan Press Club, Media Diversity Institute).
In February 2006 the Committee, with the support of the Council of Europe, organized “Legislative Regulation of Freedom of Information in Armenia and Practice” international seminar in Yerevan with the participation of journalists, representatives of state bodies and public organizations as well as foreign experts.
From April 2004 to July 2005, with the support of the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation – Armenia, the Committee implemented two projects which aim to broadcast the public initiatives on the air of Second Armenian TV Channel (“h-2”) and disseminate the concepts of the Partnership for Open Society Initiative.
In March 2003 the Committee jointly with Baku Press Club and Young Lawyers Association of Georgia implemented a regional project, “Harmonization of media legislation of South Caucasus countries with European standards”, supported by the South Caucasus Cooperation Program of Eurasia Foundation. From August 2003 to September 2004 together with the same partners and with the support of the same donor organization a huge programme was implemented aimed to synchronize the improvement of the media activity legislation for regional three countries and to bring the existing legislation in line with the international standards.