Society 12:36 19/03/2020 Armenia

Media Advocate fully shares concerns expressed by Journalists Union of Armenia, media editors

Media Advocate fully shares the concerns expressed in the statement of the Journalists Union of Armenia and media editors as well as urges commandant Tigran Avinyan to clarify the proposed questions as soon as possible.

Below is the statement issued by the initiative:  

"Considering the international experience of operating in a state of emergency, Media Advocate Initiative believes that the Commandant’s Office and the government in general are obliged to provide the most favorable conditions for the free operation of the media realizing that in the state of emergency, the number one assistants, allies, and friends in order to avoid panic-stricken, steady explanatory work with the population are media outlets.

Unfortunately, current decision makers are not aware of it. It is worth emphasizing that the actual monopoly of media dissemination in an emergency situation puts the Commandant’s Office in a very responsible position from the point of view of media operability and accuracy. For example, the prohibition on disseminating international news does not mean that that kind of information is not available to the Armenian public. Moreover, even a slight mismatch between the information disseminated by the media and the Commandant’s Office may question the objectivity of all official information provided.

Therefore, Media Advocate initiative, concerned about the uncertainties in the restriction of the free media activity in a state of emergency, urges Mr. Tigran Avinyan to clarify the proposed questions raised in the statement of the Journalists Union of Armenia and media editors as soon as possible. In a difficult situation, the Commandant’s Office is obliged to provide written, concise and immediate explanations of all questions raised, enabling the media to organize their work as soon as possible without any uncertainties and constraints arising from them.

Media Advocate initiative also states that the uncertainties found in the government’s 16.03.2020 Resolution 298-N have already become the cause of harsh international criticism. We fully agree with the statement of the Reporters Without Borders international organization on Armenia, according to which, “Controlling information doesn’t help to fight epidemic but spreads rumors and fear.” The most effective way of avoiding such problems is to immediately clarify the questions raised and establish stable partnerships with the media outlets."



Source Panorama.am
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