From 1 to 10 October, 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, 436 articles were published on 5 selected websites regarding Nikol Pashinyan. 31 articles of which are negative, 41 are positive and 364 are neutral.
According to the monitoring results of the selected news outlets, positive publications on the Prime Minister prevail. The news that State Revenue Committee (SRC) official Rafik Mashadyan, who is Anna Hakobyan’s relative, made 10-15 million bets, was assessed as negative. Mashadyan, himself, has denied the rumour, but the discussions on Facebook social network, differ.
Nikol Pashinyan has been criticized for not having a clear position on the Artsakh Issue. One of the publications states: “There are always such statements as “we must”, “we need”. For example, Nikol Pashinyan in one hand refuses to assume responsibility for resolving the Artsakh problem, stating that it is the Artsakh issue, on the other hand declares that if “some people try to turn Artsakh into a center of antirevolution, the people of Artsakh will make it a revolution”, or he states that “Artsakh is Armenia, that’s it.” Pashinyan’s activity on Facebook has also been criticized; “The country’s security officials are dealing with Facebook and flash mobs, while the rival is constantly talking about war and “the urgent need to return to its territories.” It turns out that all our questions start and end on Facebook”.
The media outlets continue to talk about former police chief Valeri Osipyan and former National Security Service (NSS) director Arthur Vanetsyan. One may come across the following question: why Nikol Pashinyan did not clearly comment on the reason why the Prime Minister refused to work with the leaders of the two main force structures. Only two months have passed since both the Police and NSS leaders were given the highest, Major general rank.
Positive articles include those opinions related to the Vitaly Balasanyan-Nikol Pashinyan confrontation. Recently Vitaly Balasanyan has been harshly criticized by Nikol Pashinyan and the authorities, and articles regularly appear in the media that support Nikol Pashinyan in this confrontation.
The viewpoint in the interview of President Armen Sargsyan that the agendas of the President and Nikol Pashinyan do not coincide but complement each other was positively assessd.
The Board of Trustees of the Military Insurance Fund has made a decision. According to the decision, starting from January 1, 2020, the families of soldiers killed during the incidents that occurred after January 1, 1998, as well as the servicemen with disabilities of the 1st and 2nd degrees will receive financial assistance. It should be reminded that the “Black-dressed mothers” also fight so as the earnings of their sons are not neglected.
From 128 articles published in armtimes.com, 1 was negative, 14 were positive and 113 were neutral.
The discussion of Kostantin Orbelyan-Nazeli Gharibyan lawsuit was considered as negative. It is stated that Orbelyan, not receiving any response from Nikol Pashinyan, applied to the court, which made a positive decision in favor of Orbelyan.
Positively were assessed those publications, which included opinions in favor of the Prime Minister during the Vitaly Balasanyan-Nikol Pashinyan confrontation. In particular, General Balasanyan said: “It is up to the Armenian authorities to act correctly and make the right decision. For example, Nikol Pashinyan’s statement on August 5 was very relevant and was well received by the people of Artsakh, and every political force found its place. The Armenian authorities should make such statements more often. But I must say that the question of return of the former authorities is forever closed.”
It is noted that in various military units, “x” soldiers are already fed with a new system that is more efficient and the quality of food is better. In addition, the news agency published the news of the decision to compensate the above-mentioned soldiers.
According to one of the publications, Kim Kardashian, speaking on Prime Minister’s activity on social networks noted: “I think it may be effective because social media access is so wide, then why not? I think it’s good for politicians to be on social networks, because now it’s a way of communicating with a lot of people, and I think it’s going to be advantageous.”
From 111 articles published in araratnews.am, 3 were negative, 12 were positive and 96 were neutral.
After losing the Orbelyan’s case, Nazeli Gharibyan gave an interview noting: “I can say the Prime Minister was aware that I had to make such decision of dismissing Orbelyan from his position as theater director.” It is also noted that relations between Sasun Mikayelyan and Nikol Pashinyan have been tense for a long time and the news agency notes that Sasun Mikayelyan’s trusted people are gradually being dismissed.
The news outlet published the interview with Armen Sargsyan, as well as the decision on the disabled servicemen, and the news about food quality and shape changes in military units. It is also mentioned that the kindergarten renovation works have started in Ranchpar village.
From 74 articles published in yerkir.am, 23 were negative, 5 were positive and 46 were neutral.
The news outlets published about problems relating Rafik Mashadyan, Artur Vanetsyan and Valeri Osipyan.
According to republications of the news agency, Russian international expert Grigory Trofimchuk, speaking about Armenia-Russia relations, said: “The Russian side has been silent for a long time, summing up all of Nikol Pashinyan’s statements on Karabakh, it finally gave its first signal. As an expert, I also expected such a signal. In other words, Moscow will not allow that conflict, to undermine stability in the entire South Caucasus because of the theses of Prime Minister Pashinyan. “Vitaly Balasanyan’s critical remark has also published by the news agency.
From 70 articles published in armlur.am, 3 were negative, 6 were positive and 61 were neutral.
The news agency published news about a change in soldiers’ food, Kim Kardashian’s opinion on Nikol Pashinyan, a change in the law on compensation for the disabled military servicemen. Artak Manukyan, deputy of the NA “My Step” faction, deputy chairman of the NA Standing Committee on Financial-Credit and Budgetary Affairs, also gave an interview to the news agency: “When we say economic revolution, we address messages to businesses. When these messages are brought to life, we can say that this process is complete. I think we are creating the sprouts of it and we must do everything to bring them to life. ”
The news outlet published a statement by “Hayeli” (Mirror) Press Club, which has it: “By the way, it is strange that these pseudo-patriotic youngsters did not throw eggs on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan when he announced at the International High Platform that the resolution of the Artsakh conflict should be acceptable not only for Armenia, Karabakh but also Azerbaijan, in case that Aliyev does not miss any opportunity to repeat that Artsakh is a part of Azerbaijan. However, this publication does not refer to a political debate.”
From 53 articles published in azatutyun.am, 1 was negative, 4 were positive and 48 were neutral.
The news outlet published the statement by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. According to Lavrov, the sides make serious statements that do not contribute to the formation of a favorable atmosphere for the political process. The Russian Foreign Minister particularly mentioned Pashinyan’s famous “Artsakh is Armenia” statement.
The news agency published news about soldiers’ food, the change in the law on compensation for the disabled military servicemen, which was, by the way, mentioned at the top of the article, and the statement by Kim Kardashian.
From the articles and the above-mentioned results of the monitoring it may be noted that most of the news agencies continue to work based on political preferences.