The Armenia Times – An Armenian Electronic Newspaper for Young People, built on a blogging engine

Via the Shadows of Moonlight I found out about this unique new publication: The Armenian Times.
First time ever we are seeing an Armenian newspaper build fully on a blogging engine. Everything in the newspaper is commetable and as the editorial to the second issue claims – 27,000 people have visited the site after the release of the first issue. This is indeed an impressive figures for an Armenian newspaper.
The publication claims to be geared towards the younger reader. I didn’t quite like the colors of the web-page overall, but I guess I’m not young enough to decide if its appealing to youth or not. The choice of the topics could also be more interesting perhaps, and the way they are treating titles is the usual Armenian horrible way – you’ll never know what you’re going to read judging from titles like: “The Road was called Tanais-Ecbatana!” or “If you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”. But heyl This is a newspaper-blog! And its worth mentioning and showing to other Armenian newspapers. This one is the pioneer – and hopefully others will follow!

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. Sorry, I don’t believe those figures and I see nothing on the site to back that up. If Hetq Online and Armenia Now can’t hit those figures for READERS (INCLUDING the SAME reader that would come back many times) in a month I don’t believe this can as its content is lacking to say the least.
    Once again I believe that people are trying to mislead potential advertisers, their rivals and their readers by pushing HITS as PEOPLE which is nowhere close to being the same thing. Indeed, this is a blog with multiple authors and not a newspaper although it is attempting to set an interesting precedent — that is, creating an online journal in much the same way that New Eurasia has.
    Anyway, it is highly unlikely that this site has anything close to 27,000 readers and this is especially the case when you consider that the Hetq Online and Armenia Now sites not only have professional journalists working for them as well as a proper budget for following stories, but also publish in multiple languages which increases the potential size of their audience some more.
    Still, just being a venture started up with little or no cost in itself is an important precedent for groups in society here to follow who don’t currently have a medium to communicate their views. On that basis alone, I hope others will follow although we then get into the dangerous territory of having blogs turning from personal mediums for communication into money-making endeavors which are potenially influenced by the needs of advertisers and funders.
    Anyway, until they open up their statistics fully I don’t buy into their readership figures. As I said, if Armenia Now and Hetq Online can’t hit that figure, this sure as hell can’t.

  2. Actually, I still think the E-Channel articles which allowed readers to comment is pretty much what you should be showing to newspapers here. I actually think that it’s based on a blog platform is irrelevant. Indeed, the platform is just a means to an end so any content management system could be a blog if implemented in that way.
    Other sites to show would be New Eurasia or any online publication or news service that has a blogs section. Here’s an important point, incidentally. I’m not sure commenting should be allowed directly at the end of the article itself as it might actually demean the seriousness of the content. However, I like the idea of getting journalists to blog or engage in specific blogging-style coverage when the need arises.
    Alternatively, just a Have Your Say section, but whichever way it goes another issue arises. That of selecting and censoring comments when the need arises which it surely will. For Armenia and Armenians this is especially important as polarization on political and ideological grounds is higher than in most other countries or among peoples.
    From Menk Hay Enk to an all out war when it comes to Karabakh, regional intergration and cooperation, and elections, for example. Unfortunately, these are perhaps the three main issues we need to address in the here and now.

  3. Though the idea of the youth newspaper and blogging engine of the site is good, but it is a “blog” of the beginners, nothing more.
    Reading the posts I have impressions as if I read stories of my granny – interesting, but presented in the worst way.

  4. It’s a cute blog, which is trying to make a difference in the blogosphere. It’s a good venture, making use of the energy of the youth and speaking to them. Today’s youth are the internet users and they will be your future users too.
    As for the 27,000 users, I am very doubtful. I hope it remains true to its mission.

  5. International Day of Peace
    A while ago I started getting links to a Youtube page in which an articulate young filmmaker, Jeremy Gilley, speaks about the International Day of Peace. Google him and you will discover he started thinking about this a decade ago in 1998, when he wanted to make a film about peace;
    “The millennium was coming, this big moment that everyone was talking about, so I wanted to record something about the world and why we’re not living peacefully. I was thinking about whether the United Nations could really unite the world and the more I thought about it, the more I realised that there was no international day of peace.”
    “My goal became to make a film that would try and establish the first ever day of peace on this planet with a fixed calendar date, voted by every head of state in the world.”
    He succeeded. In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a new resolution 55/282 declaring 21st September of each year as the International Day of Peace.
    The resolution: “Declares that the International Day of Peace shall henceforth be observed as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, an invitation to all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day.”
    So what happens on peace day? Whatever you want. It is not just symbolic, as Gilley says, it is a day to make a commitment. A day to spend with your family, to have a picnic, to organize an immunization, to say sorry. It is a day to talk about peace with your neighbours, to spread the word.
    And so I have a simple request for the approaching day. This September 21st we should visit our enemies, take them by the hand and say, “I don’t care.”
    “I don’t care that you are Turkish, Armenian, Greek, Cypriot, Muslim, Jewish, Maronite, Protestant, Catholic, Druze, Shiaa, Kurd. I don’t care what you are because you are the neighbour that fed our cat while we were away and lent my son your bicycle and taught him tennis and I don’t want to be your enemy because I actually like you.”
    If you look at the human aspect of it, Turks, Armenians and Greeks have lived together for centuries without a problem. Look for the Armenian quarter and it is always slap-bang next to the Turks. We may be scared to admit it, but we get on with each other. We wear the same clothes, shop in the same stores and eat the same food. So why are we enemies? Because our governments tell us we are. One day something happens, the next we are at war and then we become addicted to enmity. We are fed it at school, through religious intolerance, through racial stereotyping, through politics.
    How many Turks in the Ottoman Empire do you think were horrified by what happened to their neighbours between 1895 and 1922? How many abhorred watching their friends stripped of their belongings and marched off into the desert to die? And how many do you think are confused today by acts of violence against writers and thinkers who speak out against what happened years ago?
    How many kids went back to school after the 1974 invasion in Cyprus to find that their favourite teacher was gone? That their classmates had disappeared? That, not only were their homes and favourite beaches inaccessible, but they could no longer pick up a phone and call their neighbour at the end of the street because of an arbitrary border?
    And how do we ever expect to get answers to these questions if we don’t greet our enemies as friends and ask them?
    If we want to move from a culture of war to a culture of peace we must unite. We cannot wait for governments to make a difference- they’re too busy creating more borders, clamping down on free speech and perpetuating enmity. It is down to us- you and me- to take our neighbours by the hand and say,
    “I don’t care. I don’t care who you are or whatever happened to us in the past, right here, right now, you are my friend.”
    Let us celebrate Peace.
    With thanks, Victoria Harwood Butler-Sloss

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