A Journalist Can Create Monsters

Samvel Martirosyan

Media researcher


Do you know how to become a political scientist, philosopher, historian in Armenia? Do you think you need to study for a long time, then work, then publish your own material? It is possible to shorten this road.

It is enough to write a status on Facebook (this is not a mandatory condition) on the topic, and then give a couple of interviews or why not, a press conference. And to present yourself as a political scientist, philosopher, historian, politician, human rights activist and so on. Whatever floats your boat. This is not theoretical.

I have tried this myself some time ago. I did exactly as I said and presented myself as such. If education and imagination permits, you can progress in the direction you want.

Today in Google, you can come across the word “expert” two million times. A bit less, but comparable you can come across the word “political scientist.” “Military expert” occurs up to half a million times. Let’s agree that for a small republic this is a lot. Especially if we take into account that experts in the military field are not real experts and real experts can be counted by the fingers of one hand.

Undoubtedly, today is a complicated question of who can really be considered a political scientist or political analyst, military or media expert. In the age of the Internet, indeed, the borders are blurred.

To look at the diploma alone is, of course, not only impossible but also unfair, a far-reaching and self-education now allow to master if not the majority than a significant number of specialties.

But let’s agree that it is difficult to be a political analyst without analyses. And it is also difficult to call a Facebook status an analysis, even if they are long and you must press “read more” to read it all.

A press conference is not enough. People need to publish analyses. Okay, let them not be in scientific journals, the majority of whom are not really read by many people. They should at least publish several articles in their own political blog that can be considered analyses. Perhaps the answer is positive. And it would be even better if other analysts quote them. Even if it is in criticism.  

But at least one other person who can be called an “analyst” should quote that person’s thoughts.

We can argue for a long time about which statements are right and in which case a person can present themselves to the public in some way. But one thing is certain, whoever wants to does not have the right to present themselves as being a human rights activist.

Journalists call the person as being this or that thing one or two times and they already express their opinions about the field, which then appear in the international press. The same applies to military, political and other experts.

The media should have a clear-cut methodology for themselves as to who they consider an expert and what criteria is necessary for them to present them to the public.

We are constantly talking about fake users. But we create false experts which can easily create a fake agenda or serve one or another political or economic customer.

With respect,
The environmental expert of your hearts,
Samvel Martirosyan

The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.

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