“Media Advocate” urges media to refrain from being politicized

From September 21 to 30, 2019, the “Media Advocate” Initiative followed online media reports on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s personality and activities. 5 news agencies were monitored: armlur.am, yerkir.am, armtimes.com, azatutyun.am and araratnews.am.

According to the monitoring, 389 articles were published on 5 selected websites regarding Nikol Pashinyan. 42 articles of which are negative, 28 are positive and 319 are neutral.

Both positive and negative articles on RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan were published by selected five media outlets. Negative articles almost one and a half times prevail the number of positive ones; they refer to various spheres and issues.

Former NA MP Mihran Hakobyan has criticized the current authorities and Nikol Pashinyan for their improper approach to the 100th anniversary of YSU. According to Mihran Hakobyan, the 100th anniversary of YSU could become a state-wide event, but no steps were undertaken to make the 100th anniversary of Alma Mater of many people to be a matter of great importance. He added: “This totally corresponds to the quality, level and value system of the current government. Their vision of the 100th anniversary of YSU was probably a table in a restaurant with barbecue and vodka, open concerts with DJ’s and toasts, toasts, toasts … “.

The “National Agenda” party issued a statement, addressing the Prime Minister’s UN speech with a special emphasis on the PM’s remarks on the Artsakh issue. The statement has it: “The obvious fact that the Azerbaijani side continues to see the complete annexation of Artsakh to Azerbaijan as the only acceptable solution to the Artsakh conflict, thus excluding the possibility of any peaceful settlement, is in fact being neglected.”

According to the statement, several theses were omitted in the speech, as a result of which Nikol Pashinyan’s resolution creates an awareness of the weakness of the Armenian side and supremacy of the rival, and creates a sense of powerlessness and inability to face external challenges among the Armenian public.

According to media reports, there are also problems between Sasun Mikayelyan and Nikol Pashinyan, whose relations are getting worse. According to media reports, the issue of Sasun Mikayelyan’s dismissal from the post of the “Yerkrapah Volunteer Union” is also being discussed. The news agency notes: “By the way, according to our sources, Nikol Pashinyan has not spoken to S. Mikayelyan on this matter. The point is that today Pashinyan is really alone with some of his party members, and no one dares to say that the list of reliable people is getting narrower because Prime Minister Pashinyan thinks he is the only one who can do and say everything but the rest can not. ”

Nikol Pashinyan’s visit to the United States has also been criticized, the media speaks about $ 400,000 spent money and defines it as an unproductive visit.

The Facebook post of Singapore’s Prime Minister’s spouse, according to which Ho Ching, wished Nikol Pashinyan to enjoy his rest was assessed as positive. According to some publications if Nikol Pashinyan sleeps at home, then Serzh Sargsyan sleeps during official events.

From 96 articles published in armtimes.com, 2 were negative, 11 were positive and 83 were neutral.

The issue related to the National Opera and Ballet Theater was considered as negative. It is said that the term of office of the Director of Opera Theater is about to expire, and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport does not have any decision yet. It is also mentioned that months ago the theater staff considered Nazel Gharibyan’s 10-points-arguments to dismiss Orbelyan groundless and presented to the RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan the counterarguments. After not receiving a response for two months, Orbelyan applied to the court.

The news outlet published an article touching upon Nikol Pashinyan’s speech on Artsakh: “What’s really happening? Nikol Pashinyan, of course, could have avoided the perspective of being criticized in his own country and could have stated that the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict should satisfy the peoples of Armenia and Artsakh, and if that settlement satisfies the Azerbaijani side or not, it is their problem. This would certainly be a much more “patriotic” standpoint. But practically it would not give anything, because it is obvious that if any version of the final settlement is unacceptable to the Azerbaijani side, they will simply not accept that option, that is, the conflict will not be settled (at least through means of negotiations).”

The publication noting that the famous “Hollywood Reporter” news agency has referred to the “I am not alone” film, was assessed as positive.

From 89 articles published in armlur.am, 9 were negative, 2 were positive and 78 were neutral.

According to one of the articles published by the news agency, a bunch of criminal cases will start soon and the former ones may return to the 1998 status. It is also written that “all this will be done to satisfy those who complain about the “velvet” approach of the current authorities.” The news agency also writes about “nepotism” examples among high-ranking officials, in spite of the fact that the current authorities have promised, not to appoint their acquaintances to certain positions. According to another publication, the meeting with the Armenian community in Los Angeles turned to be a failure.

The article according to which a new cross was set up in Aparan was positively assessed. The 1719th cross was handed over to the philanthropist Hrachya Poghosyan by last year’s cross father Artak Tovmasyan. The benefactor in his turn said that he is proud that Nikol Pashinyan visited Agarak.

From 88 articles published in yerkir.am, 30 were negative, 0 was positive and 58 were neutral.

Various issues have been criticized by the above-mentioned news agency. All the above-mentioned critical remarks have been touched upon by this news outlet. Addressing Nikol Pashinyan’s speech at the UN, Karine Achemyan said that we are witnessing a pathos-filled but meaningless performance. Nikol Pashinyan’s speech related to the priests has also been criticized.

From 70 articles published in araratnews.am, 1 was negative, 9 were positive and 60 were neutral.

The news agency published Nikol Pashinyan photo posted by Anna Hakobyan and wrote the following. “If Pashinyan sleeps at home, then Serzh Sargsyan sleeps at official events.” Zhirayr Sefilyan’s statement was assessed as positive. According to it, immediately after Nikol Pashinyan assumed power, the Kremlin initiated a process of making Pashinyan government fail. “The formers try to raise their heads and stab in the back. We will be beside the current authorities.” The Security Council secretary Armen Grigoryan’s statement referring to Artur Vanetsyan-Nikol Pashinyan confrontation has also been published by “araratnews.am”: the SC secretary supports Nikol Pashinyan.

From 46 articles published in azatutyun.am, 0 was negative, 6 were positive and 39 were neutral.

The news agency published Zhirayr Sefilyan’s statement, as well as political commentator Tatul Hakobyan’s opinion according to which the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan used the UN stage to present to the international community what an irreconcilable struggle post-revolutionary Armenia currently conducts against corruption. Alen Simonyan in support of Nikol Pashinyan considered Arthur Vanetsyan’s behaviour, unacceptable.

Considering both the statistics above and the articles published by the selected news agencies, it should be stated that some news outlets have a political leaning and support this or that politician or force. It may be noticed that these news outlets also lack articles on various situations or present them in the light that is beneficial for them.

“Media Advocate” Initiative urges media outlets to refrain from being politicized and calls for being adhered to the rules of journalistic ethics.