Saturday, March 03, 2007

Free Media? What's that?

Screening the Message: Ruling on Parliamentary broadcast sharpens debate about TV bias

A weekly live broadcast of questions and answers in the National Assembly has been ruled unconstitutional by Armenia’s Constitutional Court.

The court said that Public Television could not be obliged to show the four-hour broadcast because it would contravene laws separating the operation of television from government control.
Opposition politicians also criticized the ruling, but suggested that it was linked to the forthcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in 2007 and 2008 respectively. They argue that the weekly broadcast provides one of the few opportunities for opposition parties to get their messages across to the electorate without interference from pro-government TV stations.
Public TV, known as the First Channel, plans to summarize the
question-and-answer session, rather than allow unedited broadcast, selecting the questions considered most important to the viewers.

and my favorite part:

Alexan Harutyunyan the chairman of the Public Television and Radio Council, considers the court’s ruling to be fair. He says it helps to improve the general quality of the legislation governing media by bringing it closer to conformity with European standards.



Onnik Krikorian said...

Well, the argument is that you should not force TV stations, especially Public TV, to show certain programs which are of a political nature.

However, while this is true, this statement demonstrates how easy it is to apply "democratic" standards and arguments to non-democratic standards in order to control what the public has access to.

You have to admit, they're pretty clever at it, too.

nazarian said...

Onnik, there is nothing clever about the authorities. Anybody with the same agenda can come up with such excuses. It's all a matter of a mindset and goals. The goal of these authorities is to retain their elite positions while appearing to be democratic to not raise the Western donors' anger.

Evangelia said...

although it's not funny at all, this made me laugh- especially your "favorite part"

don't you love how some people find a way to use freedom & democracy to kill those very same values.....