Armenia Politics Sport

Podcast: football, censorship and more…

Football dominated the Armenian blogosphere this week. Virtual discussions focused on the two games of the Armenian football team – both ending in crushing defeats for the Armenian team. Belgium-Armenia 2:0, Bosnia-Armenia 4:1. The scores are painful for the Armenian blogers: Aerial-vortex and Reporter_arm have shared their views.
Life in Armenian Diaspora blog has reflected on Armenia’s football diplomacy in relation to Turkey and the news on the plans to build a new railway connecting Armenia to Iran.

This is great news, as it only has one rail line functioning at the moment, and that is from unreliable Georgia. [] But what is clear is that a new line through Iran is vital for Armenia’s survival and options. Until Armenia has an outlet to the sea, they need to be able to not depend on Turks and Georgians for transportation. The Turks will finally realize that Armenia does have another option and that they’ve missed a big opportunity by not opening the border much earlier. Now Armenia will not be beholden to Turkey’s whims and preconditions. Ever. Or that’s the idea anyway, and they’ll know it. At this point, even if Turkey throws the border gates wide open, the rail project should go ahead.

Unzipped has posted Tigran Paskevichyan’s 10 minute documentary – “Enstrangement”, which was prevented from being screened at Yerevan’s “Moscow” cinema theatre days after another film – by Tigran Khzmalyan this time was also denied the chance to be displayed on the same cinema screen. “Censorship should have no place in Armenia. Censorship should be (and will be) defeated.” – Unzipped says and I so wholeheartedly agree!!!
Pigh is making first steps in the sphere of developing blog-documentaries 🙂 He has posted a photo of the ancient stone with inscriptions estimated to belong to 782 B.C. and used as solid proof to the fact, that Erebuni-Yerevan, the capital of Armenia was found 2790 years ago. As Yerevan celebrates it’s incredible age on October 12 (Rome was found dacades later, on 753 B.C), Pigh posts an extract from Urartu King Argishti’s inscription: “With the Greatness of God Haldi, Son of Menua Argishti found this powerful fortress and gave it the name Erebuni, for the power of the state of Biainili”. Anyway, considering the blogger’s name is also Tigran and the attempt is somewhat ‘documental’, stakes are high his blog will also be banned 🙂
Anyway, the Podcast of all of the above and more, including an interview with the extreemly prolific blogger 517design (who has recently started also a new English language blog – Armenia Discovered)  can be downloaded from here.
You can also listen to the Podcast online by clicking the player icon below:


Needs Assessment of Armenia's Public Television Company

Here is an interesting piece of information from the report – “Haylur” attracts a substantial audience. Audience research by AGB Nielsen and Eurodata placed H1’s news programme as ninth in the list of hte most watched programmes in Armenia in 2007. But viewing appears to have declined in 2008. From a high of 352,000 viewers in February and a market share of 34%, audiences have dropped month by month to 147,000 in June and a share of 22%. We did not have access to statistics for other broadcasters for this period so cannot say whether the drop is specific to PTV or part of a general trend.
However, we did do a spot-check in thee week of our visit to compare H1’s figures with its nearest news rival, Shant TV. On july 15, “Haylur” attracted ratings of 6.2% and a share of 18.1%, behind Shant Tv’s “horizon” which had 10.2% ratings and a 26.7% share. This may have just been a bad day for “Haylur” or a good day for “horizon”. Shant may have had a stronger peak-time programme schedule that evening. But one observer offered the view that Shant’s news was livelier and carried more stories that “are closer to the people”. We are not in a position to make a comparative judgment but it is noteworthy that “Haylur”, while watched extensively throughout the country, is facing stiff competition.
The report is not yet online but it was mentioned during the presentation that it will be available at the OSCE website. The assessment is quite interesting, if nothing else at least for showing that trust towards H1 is declining.

Via Office Zombie