Printed media coverage of legal issues

From February 12 to 21, 2019, the “Media Advocate” Initiative followed printed media coverage of legal issues. The leading Armenian newspapers have been monitored. They were selected from the list of the newspapers included in “Haypost”, which have a wide consumption and popularity among the society.

3 categories were selected:

News / Analysis / Opinion

In addition, the materials have also been segmented as negative / positive / neutral

The articles that do not contain legal arguments and are not comprehensive are negative, the ones that include legal justification are positive and finally those with versatile coverage and containing information that does not favor any side are neutral.

Attention has been focused on the articles and topics that have received publicity or have been part of political processes.

During the specified period, the surface measurement by square centimeters was chosen as the basis for the study. Thus, the total print run of selected newspapers was 432180 cm2. Of which 46106 cm2 has been allocated for the mentioned topic. With interest rate it is 10.6%.

Opinion: 23287 cm2 (50.5 percent), of which,

  • 11087.1 – negative
  • 2904 – positive
  • 9475.75- neutral

News: 8860.87 cm2 (19.2 percent), of which,

  • 505.75 – negative
  • 1052.25 – positive
  • 7302.87 – neutral

Analysis: 13956.85 cm2 (30.2 percent), of which,

  • 7747.6- negative
  • 843.75 – positive
  • 5366.5 – neutral

According to the segments the overall result is as follows:

  • Negative – 19340.45 (41.9 percent),
  • Neutral – 22145.12 (48 percent),
  • Positive – 4800 (10.4 percent).

Legal processes continue to be in the focus of the printed media, but the legal interpretation of the law is incomplete. In case of articles containing reviews and analyses, the situation was somehow improved this time as the negative content reached 50.5% in comparison with the results we had from February 1 to 9, where the negative content was 59.5%,

The numbers above show that the analyses are not objective. The positive content is only 8 percent. It should be noted that from February 12 to 21, the printed media provided a platform to professionals who slightly improved the situation compared to the previous one, where the positive professional opinion was only 0.7%. The same can not be noted about the analyses that remain biased and continue being published in the press.

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