Nikol Pashinyan said at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the revolution in Armenia was carried out through social networks, because the media had “blockaded” them.
“Now, I continue to hold live broadcasts on my Facebook page, when I discover false information about me or my government. I am being criticized for putting pressure on the media. It’s a very interesting situation,” said the Prime Minister.
At the same time, he was proud of the fact that Armenia was rated as a country with free internet, which gives the opportunity for that freedom of transparency and information exchange. “But it also opens a big field for fake news and may affect the image both in our country and in the world, but if we are sincere, I do not know what to do in this situation. If someone knows what to do, it’s good news for all of us.”
Armine Ohanyan, editor-in-chief of Hraparak daily, thinks that Pashinyan’s statement is quite strange, since in recent years, Armenian media has always kept Pashinyan and his activities in the spotlight.
“I think in his statement, he had TV channels in mind in particular, however all of his speeches given at the National Assembly were broadcast on all TV channels. He was covered almost by all the newspapers and once, when I asked him why he wouldn’t give an interview o Hraparak, he answered that sometimes I want to take a break, because as soon as I open my computer, I see myself and hear myself on the news,” said the editor of the newspaper.
As for Pashinyan’s live broadcasts on Facebook regarding fake publications, Ohanyan said that she did not see any denial about it on the news on the Prime Minister’s page in the media. “The only case was connected with khash, he rebelled in our publication that we do no compare them with the former authorities.”
Hraparak’s editor hopes that he new government will not respond to the media’s reaction in the face of its behavior, speech and actions, and the main figures will not declare war against the press.
“And that they will start clarifying and denying not via a Facebook live, but through their spokespersons or public relations divisions. They should take the press into account, read and make conclusions” adds Ohanyan.
The views of Lusine Barseghyan, editor of Armtimes.com, on this issue differ. She shares Nikol Pashinyan’s concerns and questions in her answer.
“Do you remember any case where Serzh Sargsyan answered a journalist’s question and invited them to a press conference? Do you remember how much pressure the press was under years ago, when A1+ was shut ow and lawsuits were filed against our newspaper?” said Barseghyan.
She said she did not see or hear any such cases of a similar attitude towards the press during the government, “although, fake websites are being opened now, they are creating content that is really bad, and some of the more recognizable websites are backing up that false information by spreading it.”
As for transparent work, Lusine said that her numerous inquiries remained unanswered during the time of the previous authorities, but now, if there are problems, then they are only related to deadlines.
“Our political journalist has recently posted on his Facebook, about why answers to his questions are delayed. Journalists today want everything to be faster, but imagine how many news outlets send in questions, make calls to the body responsible for news outlets,” explained the site’s editor.
After all, according to the editor, officials cannot answer everyone within a short time period.