Heghine Buniatyan Honored with Press Freedom Award

Marianna Danielyan


Heghine Buniatyan, the Director of RFE/RL’s Armenian Service, also known as Radio Azatutyun, was awarded the “Freedom of the Press Award” on World Press Freedom Day in 2024. This award was presented by the Media Advocacy Coalition, comprised of several organizations, including the Media Initiatives Center, the Yerevan Press Club, the Public Journalism Club, the Institute of Multilateral Information-Armenia, the  Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression (CPFE), and the Freedom of Information Center.

Journalist organizations have reinstated the “Press Freedom Time” award, an annual event until 2018.

Established in 2006, the “Press Freedom Time” award was last presented in 2017 by the Yerevan Press Club, the Media Initiatives Center, and the Union of Journalists of Armenia.

After a six-year break, the award was renamed “Press Freedom Award”.

Boris Navasardyan, the Honorary President of the Yerevan Press Club, stated that the award ceremony could not take place in recent years due to various events. However, he expressed hope that the award will continue with renewed vigor, fresh ideas, and a new name.

The first winner of the “Press Freedom Time” award, Aram Abrahamyan, editor-in-chief of Aravot newspaper, presented the “Press Freedom Award” to Heghine Buniatyan, head of Radio Azatutyun, in recognition of her contribution to quality journalism.

Aram Abrahamyan praised Heghine’s work, stating that it was a huge and meticulously crafted piece of journalism that met all the necessary standards. As the head of the Armenian service of Radio Azatutyun, Heghine has made significant progress for the entire editorial team.

Heghine Buniatyan believes that her colleagues at Azatutyun played a significant role in her receiving this award. She also thinks that in today’s media climate, where there is a lack of trust in the media due to the prevalence of disinformation, receiving such an award is a significant responsibility.


“We as journalists have the privilege of complete freedom and abundant resources at our disposal. However, the decline of quality journalism is becoming increasingly evident. There is a shortage of rational discourse in various fields ranging from educational standards to security, foreign policy, and health insurance. Although I don’t believe that I have done my best yet, I acknowledge this award as an encouragement to produce high-quality interviews and articles in the future,” stated Heghine Buniatyan.

Heghine expressed hope that the award would withstand the test of time and that the award ceremony organizers would not doubt the fairness and justification of their decision a decade later.

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