Yerkir Media TV Company is disputing the CTR’s decision on the fine imposed for broadcast profanity, in court.
On July 7, during a regular session, the Commission for Television and Radio announced the administrative act against Yerkir Media TV Company, which implies a fine of four hundred times the minimum salary.
The commission noticed violations on the air of the TV company. In particular, during Gor Vardanyan’s film “Corruption 2: Retribution,” there was vulgarity and profanity, footage of belittling and discrediting of universal values, as well as mockery of the cross, the symbol of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Christian faith, the image of Jesus.
According to the protocol of the Commission of Television and Radio, profanity was uttered during the live broadcast with the title “Protests continue in Yerevan and regions,” The journalist working on the spot did not objectively have the opportunity to prevent or even warn the author of the offense about the inadmissibility of the act.
The structure believes that the journalist working on the spot could have requested “the Commission’s forgiveness for the incident that happened against his will.”
In response to CTR’s inquiry, Yerkir Media director Bagrat Yesayan expressed regret for the incident and made assurances that they will fight against profanity in every possible way. “I emphasized that the incident took place in a very tense situation, in front of the third building of the government, and the swearing was uttered within a span of nine seconds.”
Vahe Grigoryan, a constitutional expert and authorized representative of “Husaber” CJSC (Yerkir Media TV Company) in this case, says that the commission’s decision to impose a fine is not justified and reasoned, and they are contesting this decision in the administrative court because the broadcaster’s rights were violated.
According to Grigoryan, no profanity was broadcast in the film broadcast on Yerkir media. Maybe it was played on the YouTube channel, which is not within the scope of the commission’s observation. “If CTR reserves such powers, it will do well for all television YouTube channels and Internet providers: however, in any case, it will be considered to exceed the official authority.”
And as for the profanity that was broadcast live, according to Grigoryan, it was made by a citizen and a policeman, which means that one state body puts the swearing of a representative of another state body as the basis of the decision and tries to fine the television that way.
The administrative body was supposed to hold hearings in this case, but the defender of the TV company’s interests said that only the formal side of it was preserved, the chairman of the commission, Tigran Hakobyan, said, “we will fine you, you go and complain.”
“The constitutional right of the TV company to be heard by the administrative body was violated here. On the other hand, the chairman of the commission does not know the legislative regulations, this is an administrative responsibility and from the point of view of the law, it is different from the concept of punishment,” said Vahe Grigoryan.
Tigran Hakobyan, the director of the CTR, told Media.am that he has nothing new to say about this case, as he has touched on the topic on different occasions. According to him, through various writings and personal conversations, the broadcasters were informed that during live broadcasts, sexual slurs should be excluded.
In a conversation with Aravot, Hakobyan said that if similar insults are heard again on Yerkir media, he, as the chairman of the commission, will do everything to deprive them of their license.
The director of Yerkir Media TV company considers this a threat and considers it a political order against the TV company.
Opposing Yesayan, Hakobyan said that there are dozens of manuals on how to avoid vulgar expressions during live broadcasts.
“The public multiplex is a sovereign space, where everyone undertakes to act in the interest of society. Do you want to be a party propagandist? Today’s technical means allow for that. Go open dozens of websites, make audio-visual clips, but keep the public multiplex free from party and political propaganda,” said the chairman of the commission.
The media has contested the decision of the CTR in court, the first court session is scheduled for October 27.