What a journalist needs to do, if they want to cover the elections?

What a journalist needs to do, if they want to cover the elections?

What happened?

On April 2, 2017, the Parliamentary elections will be held in Armenia. Several changes have been made in the accreditation procedure for election coverage. We will present main steps for journalists who want to cover the upcoming elections.

What is the first step?

The media company (the media outlet) needs to submit a written application to the Central Electoral Commission (CEC). In case there are grounds for rejection, the media company will be notified about them within 5 days period.

Who has a right to accreditation?

Only companies that have have been disseminating information for at least a year can be accredited.

The one-year limitation does not apply to terrestrial broadcasting companies: TV and radio.

How many media companies and media representatives can each individual or legal entity get accreditation for?

One media company and no more than 50 journalists/ camera operators of the same company. For example, if any individual or legal entity publishes several newspapers or websites, only up to 50 journalists/ camera operators at one of those media outlets can be granted the right to cover the elections.

Hard and electronic copies of the list of media representatives must be presented along with the application form. The electronic version of the list can be downloaded here.

Are there fixed deadlines?

Yes, there are. The application form and the list of media representatives should be submitted to the CEC no later than 15 days before elections.

For elections on April 2, the deadline is March 18, 2017.

There is no deadline for applying to cover the CEC activities for a year.

When is an accreditation certificate provided?

If there are no grounds for rejection, a certificate is provided within 12 days from receiving the application. 

In which cases is accreditation mandatory?

Accreditation is mandatory if a journalist is covering the CEC activities or the voting process in polling stations. 

In which cases is accreditation not mandatory?

It is not mandatory, if a media outlet receives all the information on the electoral process from other sources, and not CEC, local or regional electoral commissions.

In all other cases, media work is governed by the  “Law on Mass Media” and the “Law on Freedom of Information”. 

What does a foreign journalist need to do to receive accreditation?

A foreign journalist, who wishes to cover the CEC activities, along with the application form needs to submit a copy of an accreditation certificate issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A journalist must present the original certificate in order to enter the CEC. 

In the case of the Parliamentary elections, a media representative operating under the foreign legislation must submit an application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to receive accreditation.

How to receive accreditation to cover the CEC activities?

In order to receive accreditation to cover the CEC activities, a written application must be submitted to the CEC. The application form can be obtained directly from the CEC.

No more than two journalists and two photographers or camera operators from each media outlet can be accredited.