Saturday, 23 February 2008

Public TV of Armenia - "virtual reallity"

It’s fourth day of mass protests in Armenia’s capital Yerevan against massive violations of people’s right to vote during presidential elections. You would have thought that Public TV of Armenia would cover these events. But the ‘reality’ Public TV wants to present to its audiences is “virtual reality”, as someone sharply noted.

When protests were held in Tbilisi, they were showing live reports from there, with detailed info on what’s going on. When things are happening in Armenia? - absolutely nothing! It’s getting pretty ridiculous when Public TV - sustained by tax payers money - either provide extremely biased information or no information at all. Take for example yesterday. In their main news programme “Haylur” they did not show report from mass demonstrations of tens of thousands of people in the centre of Yerevan. Instead, for few second, they mentioned that the rally was taking place and then for 5 minutes presented a report about a group of people who allegedly trying to come to Yerevan to ‘defend their votes for prime minister’ but 'stopped by police to avoid clashes'.

It is a total disgrace towards profession of journalists. If there are honest journalists remained in Public TV’s information unit, they have two choices – either by defying orders show real reality in Armenia or resign.

If democratic movement in Armenia succeeds, one of the first priorities should be to guarantee media freedom and to ensure that Armenians have Public TV not only by name but by essence.

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