From July 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: aravot.am, armlur.am, azatutyun.am, yerkir.am and a1plus.am.
According to the monitoring, 324 articles were published on 5 selected websites regarding Nikol Pashinyan. 63 articles of which are negative, 13 are positive and 248 are neutral.
During this ten-day period, the number of negative articles has increased, while the number of negative articles has decreased. Opposition politicians and media outlets share an opinion that Nikol Pashinyan is the only decision maker in almost all situations taking place in the country. During a discussion on the issue of giving benefits to health sector, “My Step” faction MP Lusine Badalyan asked, “Who will decide who should be granted with privileges, for example why the cardiology sphere?” Vahan Babayan added: “Nikol Pashinyan is going to decide, didn’t you know?”
Incidents occurred during Nikol Pashinyan’s visit to Gyumri. The Prime Minister in his turn said: “Today we came for something else, don’t shout. Nairi is my assistant, he will listen to you all, please, let us go. ” All this has been criticized by the public, and comparisons have been made on the social networks between the well-known expressions of Nikol Pashinyan and Serzh Sargsyan: “You came here and spoil our holiday, what for?”
Nikol Pashinyan is still accused of committing activities against Hrayr Tovmasyan. Among the judicial system representatives, the fact of entering Judge David Grigoryan’s office was perceived as unacceptable. All this is considered a political persecution, since David Girgoryan had made a decision to release Robert Kocharyan on a signature bond.
From 93 articles published in Aravot.am, 27 were negative, 4 were positive and 62 were neutral.
Compared to the previous ten-day period, the news agency has not maintained balance and negative articles exceed the number of positive ones. An article published by the news agency states that Nikol Pashinyan had nothing to do with the fall in petrol price and that it was purely an economic calculation. In fact, a situation occurs according to which the rumors about Nikol Pashinyan’s influence on petrol price were just PR tricks. During our monitoring period, the news outlet has mainly focused on the judicial system and the situation over it, that is, critical articles prevailed.
From 67 articles published in Armlur.am, 4 were negative, 5 were positive and 58 were neutral.
The news agency criticized the phenomenon of vetting and generally stated that if constitutional changes take place, it will only happen for the sake of Vahe Grigoryan. The media outlet has again attempted to maintain neutrality.
From 45 articles published in A1plus.am, 3 were negative, 1 was positive and 41 were neutral.
The site is still neutral. The situation over the judicial system has been the subject of discussion, and no authorial critical articles have been written, all of them have been republished.
From 84 articles published in Yerkir.am, 26 were negative, 2 were positive and 56 were neutral.
The news agency continues to take an oppositional stance and expresses only critical views on the current political situation and in no way accepts this or that step of the current authorities. The news agency criticized the Ijevan cases and the harsh treatment of citizens by law enforcement bodies. According to an article published by the news outlet, “My Step” alliance fired Aram Khachatryan from the commission investigating the April war in order to open a place for Aren Mkrtchyan. It is noted that Nikol Pashinyan is at the origin of this decision.
From 35 articles published in Azatutyun.am, 3 were negative, 1 was positive, 31 were neutral.
Zareh Sinanyan’s interview on repatriation is a positive article published on the news agency. Repatriation figures have raised a number of questions. According to online publications the figures presented by Nikol Pashinyan are not precise. It is noteworthy that Hrayr Tovmasyan’s interview was also published by the news agency.