The topic that has been dominating news websites and broadcasts in Armenia since yesterday afternoon is the war in Artsakh, and the only one that interests people. People are eager to know what is happening in Artsakh and what new developments are taking place. Mass media outlets work hard to provide real-time updates and not miss important events, publications, opinions, or forecasts.
In addition to disseminating official messages and publications from local and international sources, many Armenian media outlets contacted Artsakh journalists for first-hand information from the beginning of the war.
Naira Hayrumyan, the founder of the step1.am website, which started working in Artsakh during the blockade, says that yesterday, the first article about the beginning of the war in Artsakh was published minutes after the first shelling of Stepanakert.
“Our website was launched in June during the blockade, which created challenges for journalists in terms of accessing the Internet and electricity. As a result, they mostly sent me the information through voice messages. I then prepared and published the material from Yerevan. The same thing happened yesterday.
I received a message from our journalist that Stepanakert was being shelled. She has a school-age child and was running to school to find the child. I immediately published the material. I believe we were the first to report the news, as I saw it elsewhere only 30 minutes later. I can’t find or contact her in any way since she sent her last message. I don’t even know if she found the child,” says Naira.
The Step1.am website collaborates with four journalists from Artsakh, but the founder has been unable to establish contact with any of them since September 19.
During the military operations in Artsakh, the editor-in-chief of the website published only official news. Occasionally, the editor received small pieces of information from relatives or acquaintances living in the conflict zone. The website’s photographer was also in contact with the editor until yesterday evening. However, Naira, the editor, has been unable to reach the photographer since then.
According to the website’s founder, their photographer sent several photos and videos. He filmed the explosions happening on the hills from his balcony and later sent several photos from the vicinity of his house to represent the general situation and what was happenning. However, in the evening, the photographer reported a communication problem; since then, there has been no contact with him.
Hayk Ghazaryan, a journalist from the Artsakh team of CivilNet, along with his colleagues from the Yerevan editorial office of CivilNet, has been working tirelessly to report on the situation in Artsakh since the start of the war yesterday afternoon, aiming to provide the most effective coverage possible.
Despite the ceasefire agreements, the journalist continued to document the positions, emotions, and future plans of his fellow citizens in Artsakh with his camera in hand. However, during our conversation, the journalist remained silent and repeatedly said, “I don’t know.” from the other side of the receiver.
“At 1:30 p.m., the sounds of gunfire are subsiding, and it has been approximately 10 minutes since the artillery stopped. I am not sure if there is anything positive to report. Since yesterday, we have tried to communicate with our colleagues in Yerevan as much as possible. Of course, I wouldn’t say it turned out very efficiently, but… They have primarily been targeting positions that are extremely close to the city. We worked under those conditions like everyone else, but what pains me now is that we’re losing everything – our homeland, our home, and graves. Everything is slipping away, and the rest seems secondary in comparison,” says Hayk Ghazaryan. “That’s all I can say for now. I don’t know…”