From June 11 to 20, 2019, the “Media Advocate” initiative followed online media reports on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s personality and activities. 5 news agencies were monitored: azatutyun.am, armtimes.com, 1in.am, Yerkir.am and a1plus.am.
During the specified period 409 articles were declared, 61 of which were negative, 23 were positive, 325 were neutral.
According to the monitoring results of the five chosen news agencies, negative articles 3 times exceed the positive ones. Pashinyan has been criticized for his speech at the CC (Civil Contract) congress, especially because of denying all the kind of “isms”. Politicians and the press say that after the denial of all the “isms”, comes a single “ism”, which is called “Populism”. In general, the CC congress gave rise to harsh criticism: Sasun Mikayelyan’s not being elected as a member of the CC Board, the press qualified as a personal revenge by Nikol Pashinyan.
The media also notes that, Nikol Pashinyan’s various orders have started to cause dissatisfaction in the law enforcement bodies. The employees of the National Security Service (NSS) are especially angry: they already do not stand Pashinyan’s orders on every occasion.
Besides, the news outlets mention that the so-called “roofs” of monopolies have been abolished, but there is no change in the legislation in general.
The media continue to criticize Pashinyan’s personnel policy. In this context, the newly elected Constitutional Court judge Vahe Grigoryan has also been criticized. The news outlets recalled the secret recording of the conversation between the SIS (Special Investigation Service) and NSS (National Security Service) heads, where controversial opinions on Vahe Grigoryan are constantly heard. One can also find a report in the press, according to which Vahe Grigoryan’s personality is disputable for the CC party representatives as well.
From 155 articles published in 1in.am, 109 were neutral, 32 were negative and 14 were positive.
During this ten-day-period, the main points of negative comment and negative review in 1in.am was Vahe Grigoryan’s election as a Constitutional Court judge. The tensions over the blocking of the court entrances did not calm down either and all this is negatively presented in the news outlets and the possibility of the first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan, to become a president made media outlets to be critical of Nikol Pashinyan as well.
From 81 articles published in Armtimes.com, 75 were neutral, 0 was negative, 6 were positive.
Repair of Dilijan-Ijevan road was marked as positive on the website. In one of the interviews published on the news outlet, Prime Minister’s visit to Georgia has been recalled, which was also positively assessed. The majority of neutral articles are Prime Minister’s Facebook posts, which are either Pashinyan’s responds to criticisms or announcements on official meetings.
From 79 articles published in Yerkir.am, 54 were neutral, 25 were negative, 0 was positive.
The news agency accuses Pashinyan of continuing the RPA and ANM policy. The news outlet addressed the incident when a citizen tied the lamb to the government building and said he donates it to the prime minister, so he tried to express his protest to the government. The denial of the “isms” and the bill by which the insult of the authorities can be criminalized has also been criticized.
From 48 articles published in A1plus.am, 44 were neutral, 3 were negative and 1 was positive.
The news outlet mainly tried to maintain neutrality and presented the views of opposition figures, particularly Vahe Grigoryan and Nikol Pashinyan have been criticized. As a positive publication Hikmet Hajiyev’s interview to “Voice of America” can be mentioned, where the diplomat noted that Pashinyan differs from Kocharyan and Sargsyan and has presented him in a positive light.
From 46 articles published in Azatutyun.am, 43 were neutral, 1 was negative, 2 were positive.
Vitaly Balasanyan’s words which were quoted by the news agency were assessed as negative. Balasanyan expressed distrust of Pashinyan. Suren Papikyan’s interview was positive, where Papikyan mentions that the resignation of Nikol Pashinyan from the post of the chairman of the CC board, indicates that the so called “superiority” in their party is excluded.
ArmTimes.com has not published any negative article on Pashinyan’s activities for already two consecutive monitoring period. Yerkir.am, which joined the five of our monitoring sites, did not notice any positivity in the PM’s actions: the rest of the websites tried to somehow maintain neutrality. “Media Advocate” urges the above-mentioned news agencies, which unilaterally present the facts, to be guided not by political preferences, but by the rules of journalistic ethics.