8 years ago this day “A1+”, an independent private television company, was deprived of the right to broadcast. In fact, this had an immediate impact on the level of pluralism in Armenia and almost all of the broadcasting companies started to work more cautiously. Hidden censorship is applied by using an economic and tax leverage as well instruments of political involvement.
Just a few details from “A1+” proceedings. Since April, 2002, “A1+” television company has participated in more than 10 tenders on broadcast licensing, and it has been refused a license on every occasion by the National television and Radio Committee. Armenian media and human rights organizations believe that “A1+” is being targeted for political reasons. The authorities, on the other hand, mention that “A1+” has lost the contests of broadcast licensing. The final clarification was made by the European Court of Human Rights. The Court ruled that the Article 10 of the European Convention had been violated, i.e the right of a television Company to impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers in its decision of 17 June, 2008. Nevertheless, RA National Assembly made an amendment to the “Law on television and Radio” according to which tender for broadcast licensing was suspended for two years.
What I’m writing this post. First – I really want “A1+” to be back on air, very-very much. Then i miss my colleagues from “A1+”. I came to “A1+” being first year student at Yerevan State University and too difficult, but important journalistic school I passed in my 3 hard working years in “A1+”. My first articles, my first blog posts, my first on-line interviews and live broadcasts.
BDW. All these years the “A1+” has searched different methods to provide its viewers with information – newspaper, Internet site, blog, YouTube and Mobile broadcasting. They are really creative and important for the country. That’s it. Check also this video.