Manifestations of hidden censorship in the mass media sphere of Armenia

INTRODUCTION

This survey is the sequel to surveys undertaken by the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression (CPFE) during the last four years to identify various issues related to the freedom of expression in the sphere of mass media.

Particularly, in 2008 the first survey was carried out, the purpose of which was to determine the information requirements of Armenia’s regional mass media audience, as well as the estimates of marzes’ residents concerning the local and public media activity. In 2009 the CPFE conducted an expert survey in the capital and in the ten marzes ofArmeniaamong the representatives of media, public and political organizations, concerning the issues on freedom of expression, the independence of media, information availability and the protection of journalists’ rights.

Another expert survey was carried out in 2010. It was conducted among the leaders or top managers of 50 of the most popular mass media (print media, television companies, radio companies, news agencies, and online media) and journalistic organizations of the country. The survey’s aim was to find out the level of media freedom in Armeniataking into account the legal, political, and economic factors.  The survey and the data analysis were based on the methodology of the international Freedom House organization. (The results of the survey can be found in the CPFE web-site: www.khosq.am).

The purpose of the present survey conducted during July-October of 2011 is to find out the opinions and the estimates of journalists concerning the existence/absence of hidden censorship in the mass media sphere. The survey methodology and results are presented below.

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