Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

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Armenian Media System Overview According to the Hallin and Mancini Model

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Abstract:  An overview of the Armenian media system is presented from the perspective of media professionals. Interference with the media system by the political system is analysed and the health of the Armenian media system is explored in the context of its transition from a Soviet republic towards a liberal model. The international situation contextualises analysis (resurgence of Russia–West enmity and globalisation) as does Armenia’s troubled relationship with its neighbours: with Turkey due to the 1915 genocide and with Azerbaijan because of the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. Relevant domestic affairs, such as the successful citizens’ mobilisation and the 2018 Velvet Revolution are also considered. The methodology used is based on in-depth interviews carried out in Yerevan (09/23) with 13 key informants; their answers are explored with content analysis using Hallin and Mancini’s dimensions. The study will serve to discuss how the media are used as tools of power and how the media system reproduces the political system (polarisation and individual ownership). We find that media is owned and/or controlled by political parties, and that the government controls public media but also part of the private sector through broadcasting licences and economic pressure. News media are not self-sustainable, thus, media economic dependence compromises its editorial independence, and very few media are independent. There is plurality, but highly polarised; there is no systematic censorship, but defamation fines reinforce journalists’ self-censorship; internet freedom is high but generates misinformation. Even so, there is professionalism, therefore there may yet be hope for the media if peace and the economy stabilise.

Keywords:  Armenia; Armenian media; Hallin and Mancini; media systems; political system; press freedom

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.7850


© Patricia Izquierdo-Iranzo, Liana Sayadyan. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.