Internews Expresses Concern about Election Coverage

At a press conference held in Yerevan on February 28, Internews Armenia expressed its concern that the media did not cover the presidential elections with objectivity and journalistic integrity, in part because of alleged incidents of harassment and violence against the Armenian media during the pre-election campaign and on Election Day.

The press conference was called after an edition of the Internews weekly program, “Ditak,” which covered violations during the election process, as well as a story about voters who were offered money for voting for the incumbent president but were never paid, was not broadcast the previous Sunday by a Yerevan-based TV company.

Internews Chief of Party William Canter stated that, “Internews decries the use of any violence or harassment and we are especially troubled when it is directed to members of the media… I’m deeply concerned that the development of a free, unbiased and objective media is being gravely hindered.”

Afterwards, Internews Armenia Managing Director Nouneh Sarkissyan presented an official statement mentioning that Internews is committed to providing assistance to the mass media. “We urge all journalists and the media to get armed with courage and objectivity for these last days of the electoral campaign, and ponder their responsibility towards the public, which is ensuring the rights of people to get accurate and balanced information.”