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TENDER BY LAW BUT WITH NO CLEAR CRITERIA

The name of the new Chairman of the Public Television and Radio Council was announced on 1 April. The tender committee gave preference to Ara Shirinyan among the 23 applicants who had applied for the tender. During the previous 6 years Rouben Jaghinyan, selected on the basis of a totally different requirement of the law, […]

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Law on Television and Radio: 29 Amendments – Zero Improvement

The RA Law “On Television and Radio” is the one most amended legislative act related to the media. Since it was adopted in 2000 it has been amended 29 times: 13 times by the year 2010 and then 16 more times following the drastic change of the digitalisation legislation. All of these processes aimed at […]

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STATEMENT

In February, notably in the course of the past week a number of media outlets received a notice from Yerevan Municipality on vacating the premises allocated to them on the basis of free lease agreements. Moreover, they were mostly given a 5-day period for doing this. Such abrupt and rush actions cannot be justified by the need for more effective use of the community premises.

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There are no Governments that are fond of Freedom of Information

The Law of the Republic of Armenia on Freedom of Information has not been amended for the 16 years of its existence. Under the present circumstances it is necessary to make small but effective amendments to the law, taking account of the new phenomena, the technological advancement, the contemporary forms of communication between citizens and public officials.

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Honest Rules of the Game for the Media Audience

The RA Law on the Mass Media, which had been adopted in 2003, has not so far obstructed the work of any media outlet. Mesrop Haroutyunyan, a media expert believes that this is an assessment indicator for any legislation. Yet, a question arises whether the consumer’s right to know what interests this or that media outlet serves is protected by law. The Law on the Mass Media has several gaps used especially by the online media. First, Article 11 of the Law foresees publishing of the baseline data (address, telephone number, name of the legal person, the person responsible for the issue, etc.), a requirement, which also applies to ‘the media outlets issued on a physical carrier’ and the broadcasters. At the beginning the phrase ‘physical carrier’ applied to the traditional media. In 2003 the online media were not as advanced as today. Even today these provisions are not applied by them. Meanwhile, according to experts, it does not matter what a physical carrier looks like.

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STATEMENT

February 4, 2019, Yerevan On Saturday, February 2, 2019, the journalists accredited by the National Assembly were not allowed into the building of the parliament where an in-camera session of the ‘My Step’ faction with the participation of the Prime Minister and several high-ranking officials from the executive was proceeding. The media representatives demanded for […]

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STATEMENT

On January 31, the Government made a decision to liquidate Gyumri “Shirak public TV-radio” closed joint-stock company. The reasoning is as follows: since October 26, 2016, Armenia passed on to digital broadcasting, and so far “Shirak public TV-radio” has been operating in analogue mode and is not able to ensure aide audience, whereas “to conduct digital broadcasting first of all respective legislative regulation is required and significant financial investment, which is unrealistic at this moment.”  

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STATEMENT

The TV and Radio commission announced the failure of a private multiplexor for a 6-month licensing license to operate on the last working day of the last year. The basis for this decision was the fact that during the defined period no application was received. This is the third tender without results, which is announced failed with the same reasoning.

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Protection of Personal Data: a reservation for journalists

The Law on the Protection of Personal Data foresaw exceptions: collection and processing of personal data was not subject to restrictions if done exclusively for journalistic, literary and artistic purposes. This was prescribed by paragraph 3 of Article 1 of the Law, which, however, lost effect by the amendments enacted by the parliament on 16 December 2016. Moreover, this process was accompanied by utter secrecy.

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STATEMENT

On 19 December, the Television and Radio Commission made a statement expressing
concerns about certain phenomena in the TV programmes “Epikentron” and
“Andradarz” aired by Kentron TV. In particular, TVRC was concerned that rather than
fulfilling its obligation to ensure plurality of public interests, imparting ideas and opinions,
as well as freely circulating objective information, the mass media outlet targeted one of
the political forces, resorting to ‘the rich weaponry of propaganda and manipulation’
against it. According to the TVRC, the aforesaid practices undermine the very essence
of editorial independence revealing “the interference and direction of one political force
and the leader thereof”. Therefore, the Commission called on Kentron TV not to become
a platform for the propaganda of one political party.

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