The authorities have always been in the focus of the media attention from both their visible and invisible sides. Anyone elected or appointed to a public office immediately comes under the “microscope” of the press.
The boundaries of a public official’s private and public lives become quite conventional, almost non-existent. However, very often s/he is not ready for this. And then once the media outlet is merciless in the choice of words or a journalist is negligent when checking the facts, the public official dials his/her lawyer’s number. And then another civil suit is brought against the media outlet.
In 2019, 20 suits were brought by state organs and their officials against the media outlets, and 12 more – by 31 August 2020.
“Media outlets may err”, Boris Navasardyan, President of Yerevan Press Club says, “But they must be able to accept their mistakes. There is only one way of accepting a mistake – a retraction. If the parties are unable to agree without the mediation of the court, the word of the court becomes decisive. In order not to lose, a media outlet must never forget the most important rule:
“Prove that you have acted professionally and have confidence that whatever you have heard and imparted is true. At any rate using various sources is not only the duty of a journalist but an important defence for him/her.”
Text by Karine Asatryan
The video was created in collaboration with “A1+” TV company