July 28, 2023, Yerevan
The whole press conference of RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held on July 25, 2023 along with the conduct of “NewDay.am” news website editor Ani Gevorgyan and “Aravot.am” correspondent Hripsimeh Jebejyan fall far short of the undersigned organizations’ vision of how a head of state should interact with the public through journalists in a country facing intricate challenges. Subjective interpretations of facts, display of intolerance, a lack of concrete and constructive discussions of problems, disrespect for working time and each other, disregard for the principles of professional ethics – this was the picture witnessed by our compatriots for more than five hours. Following an event of such quality, reactions were inevitably polarized, full of mutual hostility, deepening the division between different political and journalistic camps, while lacking any sound analysis.
Thus, a whole campaign unfolded against Ani Gevorgyan and Hripsimeh Jebejyan on social networks and certain media, marked by offensive language, curses and threats directed at them. Moreover, both the “questions” that sparked this reaction and some manifestations of the campaign itself apparently had an organized nature. However, even in the face of obvious violations of professional norms, resorting to insolence and extreme hostility remains unacceptable.
Based on the above, we call on:
- the government to fulfil its positive duty of protecting the rights of journalists, and take appropriate measures to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators;
- representatives of the journalistic community and public communication sector to engage in civilized professional discussions about the recent events, refraining from mutual insults and hate speech. Failing to do so, the interplay between multifaceted provocations and their unkind reactions will create a self-reinforcing dynamic. As a result, the discussions on resolving present issues will take a backseat, while tolerance, restraint and respect for professional standards will ultimately be disregarded, and instead, hostility in the information sector will endure.
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE-ARMENIA
JOURNALISTS’ CLUB “ASPAREZ”
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE” NGO
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS” NGO
GORIS PRESS CLUB