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Politics

Armenian President Elect Accepting Questions on His Blog

Armenian president elect Serzh Sargsyan has started taking questions from internet users on his blog. The questions will be taken all day today and tomorrow. Serzh Sargsyan has promised to answer all questions. This is a unique chance and a welcome attempt, to address some pressing issues under conditions of information blockade and internet censorship, forged by the running president Robert Kocharyan. The post, under which users can put their questions, reads:

Dear Internet users, I’m happy to welcome you in my personal blog. Please note, that questions with insult and rhetoric speech will not be accepted. All questions will get responces within few days. The most interesting questions will be included in the broadcast version of the interview.

Still, one has to wonder, whether internet users will not shy away from asking really tough questions under the current state of emergency situation and the possibility to trace down the IP address and other informtion about the users asking the question, even if the questions are asked anonymously?
At any rate, I would strongly urge and encourage everyone reading and commenting on this blog to go and ask their qeustions. This is a rare opportunity, and one, we cannot afford to miss!

Categories
Politics

Statement of Armenian Civil Society on Elections

We, the undersigned civil society organizations, express our deep concern with the pre-election period, the election campaign and the post-election processes in the country. The assessment of international observers, even though portrayed in a positive light by the government and the government controlled media, was critical. However, the apparent discrepancy between the actual findings of the assessment with the formative first two sentences of the report resulted in the government only referring to this paragraph in the international observers’ assessment in order to legitimize the results of the election. Meanwhile, in the report, international observers pointed out to media censorship, intimidation of voters, vote buying, etc. and called vote count ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ in 16 percent of polling stations visited. Qualifying such practices as a “step forward” and in line with the commitments to hold free and fair elections discredits the notion of democracy and further lowers the standards of democratic reforms.

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Politics

One More Dirty DVD in Circulation

I just watched a DVD put in circulation against Levon Ter-Petrossian – with mixed feelings, but the end result was that of disgust. The DVD containing 3 parts:

  1. First part contains an utterly disgusting material – made up of total crap! The material claims that Levon Ter-Petrossian’s father was a KGB agent and used to be called Traitor Hakob in Syria, and that his grandfather was a Village Mayor in Musa Ler who was constantly cooperating with  Turks. It further claims, that Ter-Petrossian’s real father is a wealthy Turk, and not the above mentioned Traitor Hakob and a lot more crap in the same key. The unofficial “Armenian Nationalist Youth Movement” assumes responsibility for the material. I can add – that this is perhaps the most disgusting thing I’ve seen in this campaign so far – really utterly disgusting.
  2. The second part consists of  some of the materials published on Uzogh’s blog several days ago. I must say, that the sections Uzogh has published on his blog are quite ok – in fact, I find it useful to remind everybody, what crimes have been committed against the Armenian nation with silent consent, or perhaps, even direct order of now presidential candidate Levon Ter-Petrossian. I find it horrible, that this man – Ter-Petrossian is continuously remembering Vano Siradeghyan, with fond words and calling him a great writer.
  3. The third part has someone calling himself a former KGB agent, who claims, that October 27 was organized by Levon Ter-Petrossian – this one is just so out of the way, that I couldn’t keep my laughter.

This DVD is apparently being distributed in response to the DVD containing compromising material against Serzh Sargsyan and Robert Kocharyan, that the LTP supporters have been giving out since October 2007. At any rate, I find this one, and the material in the First Part as described above totally morally wrong… going any futher in describing the creators would make me use improper wording, so I’ll stop. Let me just add, that although the materials on the DVD contain stuff from sources like AR TV, A1+, etc., I have reasons to believe, that it was edited and produced at Yerkir-Media studio. Adding to that the unofficial “Armenian Nationalist Youth Movement” – which sounds pretty Dashnak to me – has made me so utterly disappointed in my favorite ARF-Dashnaktsutyun, that I am now totally lost. This is just not a way to do a proper campaign!

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Uncategoriezed

Bloggers Love Media – Media Love Blogs, so Who Loves More?

Armenian blogs have always been attentive towards Mass Media, although you can’t really call it love, in part because there’s not much to love in the Armenian Mass Media these days. As to the newly demonstrated love of the Armenia media towards Bloggers, Ahousekeeper has very rightly noted:

“Aravot” newspaper has discovered the Armenian Blogosphere. Talking to Uzogh, and later, searching through our journals, they have come to the conclusion, that Armenian Bloggers “don’t like political games and disdain homosexuals”. So now you know what questions journalists are most interested in, don’t you?

And while some Bloggers appreciate the fact, that the Armenian media have finally entered the 21st century, others are wondering, why, of all issues discussed in the Blogosphere, the Aravot journalist had been so interested only in Bloggers’ attitude towards homosexuals? At any rate, despite the strange conclusions made by the journalist and obviously “provocative” headline, it was a pretty good article, the Armenian News Blog has concluded. Let us remind once again, that A1+ and Radio Hay are the two media who love Bloggers more, and loved them earlier then others. Both of these media outlets already have set up their own blogs. A1+ blog is located at http://a1plus.blogsome.com, and Radio Hay blog is at http://www.radiohay.am.
Coming to the “reciprocal” love of Bloggers for the Armenian media, here’s what we read on Ogostos‘s journal about ALM TV company – a TV company – widely regarded among the more educated young group of the population in Armenia, as a disgraceful TV channel, which could only be laughed at:

The “ALM” channel went on air on metric frequency, which means – it was broadcast all over Armenia.
A most incredible TV channel was thus created in the world. Different from all others. Television, who’s owner has the right to do everything. He can broadcast 24 hours of a party held at the “ALM” for New year if he likes. Or, if he likes, he can show a boy singing 24 hours of traditional Yezidi songs. He can talk politics 24 hours in the most awkward key… if he likes. And if he likes, he can announce to the whole wide world “darned Yezdis, I invite them here to sing, and in return, they don’t vote for me! this means, they won’t sing on my channel any more!”.

One more interesting Mass Media discussion was started on Uzogh’s blog. The blogger had placed a news video from the Haylur news program of Public TV of Armenia, covering the recent pre-election meeting of Levon Ter-Petrossian with voters in the town of Talin, during which a man from the crowd was beaten up by the supporters of the presidential candidate, in response to his yell: “Talin people are not supporting you!”.

The blogger had asked other Armenian Bloggers working in the sphere of media, what they thought about the news item, and whether it was ethical or no. In response, Mark Grigoryan had come up with a detailed analyses, pointing out that:

Generally speaking, the material could have been done much more professionally. I think, that the Public TV of Armenia, undoubtedly, should provide news coverage of much higher quality than that.

The other respondents to Uzogh’s inquiry also noted, that the news item wasn’t balanced enough.
To conclude, we can state, that while the Armenian Mass Media are just doing the first steps towards discovering the Armenian Blogosphere, the Bloggers, on the contrary, have been talking the crap out of the Armenian mass media for quite some time now, and looking at the current trends in pre-electoral media coverage in the country, looks like they’ll have much more to dwell upon in the coming week or two.

The audio version of this article will be broadcast on Radio Hay FM 104.1 on Saturday, 11:00

Categories
Politics

Politics — The Driving Force Behind Blogs?

Last week, the main topics discussed in the Armenian blogosphere were the election manifesto of former president Levon Ter-Petrossian and the presidential election in neighboring Georgia. It’s no wonder that many are now wondering, including bloggers themselves, if politics isn’t the driving force behind blogs in Armenia.
“Before the last parliamentary election, the Armenian blogosphere gained serious strength and politics became the driving force behind blogs,” wrote local analyst Samvel Martirosyan on his new Armenian-language blog [ARM]. The blogger is already widely known for his Russian language blog, Kornelij Glas [RUS].

On the one hand, the upcoming elections had the same effect on the Armenian network. On the other, the development of blogs introduced a fresh (for Armenia), but not pleasant “novelty.”

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Uncategoriezed

Sirusho Chosen for Eurovision 2008!


The Armenia blog is apolitical as ever – thus giving me a pleasant break from reading all the various accounts of the LTP rally. Noting, that Armenian pop singer Sirusho is going to represent Armenia during Eurovision-2008 international song contest, which will take place in Serbian Belgrade next year, Rhyne remarks:

Let’s hope the public is able to pick a song that doesn’t automatically guarantee failure, like last year’s. Unfortunately, it is not yet known whether innocent bystanders will be beat, stabbed, or shot, but keep checking back.

Interestingly A1plus blog had also written about Sirusho/Eurovision earlier, asking a question:

Do you think Sirusho will be able to present our country at its best? And what do you think about the Eurovision overall?

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Uncategoriezed

Tax-Police Ultimatum to Gyumri GALA TV

On 23 October, 2007, at 15:00, as reported by the Jounralists’ Club “Asparez”, 6 representatives of RA State Taxation Agency visited “GALA” TV and officially informed its founder Vahan Khachatryan that they will visit him again in 3 days time for a “regular inspection”.
The following is the list of visitors:

  1. Gagik Ohanyan – head of RA State Tax Service first operative investigative unit
  2. Hovik Havhannisyan – elder oper-officer
  3. Harutyun Sukiasyan – chief oper-officer
  4. Armen Hakobyan – oper-officer of RA State Tax Service, Shirak Regional Unit
  5. Vardges Stepanyan – elder oper-officer
  6. Samvel Aghababyan – chief oper-officer

The representatives of the State Tax service have been highly polite and respectful. The deadline for the mentioned 3 day period ends on October 26, 15:00.
Chairman of JCA Chouncil Levon Barseghyan
PS: Also see the announcement of the founder of GALA TV Vahan Khachatryan and the announcement of 6 NGOs regarding the developments around GALA TV.