IFJ Marks ‘End of Deadly Decade' With Report on Journalists and Media Staff Killed in 2009

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)  yesterday issued its report on 139  journalists and media workers who were killed or died while practicing journalism in the course of 2009. The IFJ says that 2009, one of the worst years for journalists’ killings, capped a violent decade which put journalism to the sword and left record numbers of murders of media people. Continue reading “IFJ Marks ‘End of Deadly Decade' With Report on Journalists and Media Staff Killed in 2009”

HRW points to lack of 'meaningful investigation' into March'08 violence

“The Armenian authorities have yet to ensure meaningful investigations into excessive use of police force during March 2008 clashes with opposition supporters protesting alleged fraud in the previous month’s presidential election, and address related allegations of abuse in police custody,”  Human Rights Watch, a recognized human rights watchdog, said in a report released today.
The 612-page report, the organization’s 20th annual review of human rights practices around the globe, summarizes major human rights trends in more than 90 nations and territories worldwide.
Continue reading “HRW points to lack of 'meaningful investigation' into March'08 violence”

Armenian journalists protest detention of bloggers and journalists in Iran?

First through Facebook, than through Unzipped I found out that a group of Armenian journalists and photographers have issued a statement protesting recent arrests and detention of their colleagues and bloggers in Iran, following disputed presidential election and post-election protests in Tehran.
While I support the statement wholeheartedly, something that fells a little uneasy about this statement is the fact, that the same “Armenian journalists and photographers” didn’t seem to move a finger when their collegues were beaten and threatened in Armenia, but in case of Iran – they dash out like this. Is there something I don’t understand?

Presidential 'hotline' to act against 'false information' in Armenia

Public relations and information center of the President’s Administration has launched a ‘Hot-line’ service aimed at collecting data on cases of misinformation and falsifications of facts related to Armenia and Armenians from the internet and various other open sources of information. The service will also look for “violations of the right to receive reliable information with the objective of taking action to eradicate such violations”.
“Dissemination of inaccurate, partial, false information and misinformation, formation of negative opinion about Armenia and Armenians seriously damage the international authority of the Republic of Armenia and the information interests of Armenians”, the official statement runs – soliciting calls to [email protected] if met with such information.
This news poses a variety of questions. What is the prime target for the center? Will it be paying more attention to information sources based in Turkey, Azerbaijan? If yes – how does the center plan to counter disinformation disseminated by them – clearly it has neither the authority nor the technical means to counter information disseminated by news outlets like Hurriet or Day.az.
Does this than turn out to become a tool directly primarily at news sources based in Armenia? Can it be considered a disguised form of censorship? What is the legal basis for the ‘action’ to be taken? The Armenian Constitution and media legislation says nothing about the ‘right to receive reliable information’ – who has invented it and for what purpose?

(Thanks to Ogostos’ blog for bringing this to my attention)

Gagik Tsarukian vs Aharon Adibekian

Armenia’s richest man – Gagik Tsarukyan bets $1 milion, saying sociologist Aharon Adibekyan won’t be able to prove claims, that Tsarukyan’s “Prosperous Armenia” party has a very low rating.
It all started on the air of Shant TV’s “Herankar” talk-show program. The guest in studio, sociologist Aharon Adibekyan, who has many times been accused by various opposition forces and even coalition parties, for manipulating sociological surveys, in response to program host Nver Mnatsakanian’s question made a statement, that the political rating of “Prosperous Armenia” («Բարգավաճ Հայաստան») party is very low.
Next day on the air of the same program Gagik Tsarukyan, the founder and leader of “Prosperous Armenia”, discounted Adibekian’s claims, saying he’ll bet $1 million (later corrected to 1 million Armenian drams), that Adibekian won’t be able to back his claims with data.
E-channel quotes Adibekian saying he’s sorry that “a political figure of that calibre acts on restaurant mentality.”
“Prosperous Armenia” party has in its turn issued a statement, saying “Sociology is generally a serious science, if serious people practice it.” The party revels, that Aharon Adibekyan has been expecting a “tailored” offer from Gagik Tsarukyan, with data manipulated to the tastes of the “Prosperos Armenia” party. The party statement implies, that seeing he is not getting an offer, Adibekian has come out with statements about the low rating of the party.
“Adibekian has now received an offer [Tsarukian’s bet], so instead of pointless talk he ought to either accept it, or apologise in a due manner for dishonoring a serious science like sociology”, the party’s statement concludes.
PS: In a possibly related development Nver Mnatsakanyan, Shant TV’s leading anchor and political journalist, who initiatited the discussion above, was beaten in Yerevan last night.

Statement of 6 media organizations

The agenda of the RA National Assembly includes the second hearing of the package of draft amendments to the RA Laws “On Television and Radio”, “Regulations of the National Commission on Television and Radio”, “Regulations of the RA National Assembly”, “On State Duty”. Despite the few improvements against the previous version of the package strongly criticized by our organizations in the statement of February 3, 2009, the document, as we see it, remains far from the demands of the time. Continue reading “Statement of 6 media organizations”

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