The Ministries of Culture and Diaspora have a special budget for funding media. They announce a grant, they receive applications for participation, and provide the funding. Moreover, for both state and private media.
Diaspora Minister Mkhitar Hayrapetyan himself announced about the practice of funding media. Armtimes wrote about the Ministry of Culture’s media funding pipeline.
State funding of the media through the Ministry of Culture is about 116 million AMD for the year 2018, and from the Ministry of Diaspora, 52 million 600 thousand AMD.
The Ministry of Diaspora has signed a contract with the Homeland-Diaspora center for the implementation of the assistance program. The logic of the Ministry of Culture is different. The main part of the support, according to the decision of the finance ministry, mediated by the Ministry, will be allocated to state, national minority and community media outlets.
The Ministry of Culture is not responsible for the distribution and control of said funds. Moreover, after the media support program was qualified as scandalous in the press, it will submit a proposal to the government so that these costs are deducted from the balance of the ministry.
The coordinator of the ministry’s cultural programs, Armen Sargsyan, is convinced that it will be a better solution if other media receiving public support like Public Television also receive funding directly from the Ministry of Finance.
He clarifies that only 45 million AMD is being managed by the Ministry.
Both the Ministry of Culture and Diaspora disperse the funds to selected media by means of a competition. In both cases the decisions are made independent of the Ministry, by committees. The Ministry of Diaspora gives money to those who publish on subjects of Armenia-Diaspora partnerships, while the Ministry of Culture to culture, art critique and literary platforms.
The funding of state media does not seem to raise questions as the government has a financial responsibility to do so.
What principles are the choices of private media based on? For example, there are many media outlets that have been created recently which are not as influential.
“Karine Khodikyan’s tatron-drama.am website can visually create an opinion that it is not a practical platform to finance. For comparison’s sake, Armenpress gets 80 million while Khodrikyan’s website, 900 thousand. Can we expect the same criteria from both of them?” said the representative of the ministry.
The ministry supports Kinoashkharh , Garun, Hraparak, Azg Daily and other private periodicals.
The Ministry of Diaspora has worked with Avangard, aravot.am, news.am, tert.am and other media, paying according to the number of materials. The Ministry of Diaspora gives a grant to those media outlets which cover its events, programs and which have separate programs or are creating films about the Diaspora.
It is not ruled out that other ministries will also finance media, not with a special budget but on general expenditure. According to the procedure, the ministries receive programmed funding from the budget, for presenting a description of and substantiation for a specific program. However, managing the non-programmed budget, they can independently carry out targeted expenditures. For example, the ministry can finance media coverage of its activities and events, and why not, for disseminating press releases.