During the Haylur program of Channel 5 on March 17, a report entitled “Who will residents of Artsakh vote for?” was broadcast, in which the journalist presented the results of a recent poll on the upcoming elections in Artsakh.
“Who is the most likely presidential candidate in Artsakh? Nearly two weeks before the end of the election campaign in the second Armenian republic, the internationally known sociological company published the results of the polls” said TV host Taron Kokhlikyan, not clarifying which company he was referring to.
By the way, the results of this survey were also published by news.am website, which also did not mention the name of the organization that conducted the survey.
The Fact Investigation Platform tried to understand what the inquiry was about and what international organization conducted it.
Where do the survey traces lead?
We contacted representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Artsakh Republic, which informed us that no international organization had contacted them for conducting surveys.
The source of the poll was briefly mentioned at the end of the Channel 5 report, when a journalist reported that the poll results were shared on the Twitter pages of Kompromat CIS and Chronicles of Armenia.
We tried to find microblogs with these names on Twitter, but in vain. It turned out that the journalist was mistaken. Instead of Twitter, we found platforms with these names on Telegram.
After a long search, we found that the Kompromat CIS Telegram channel was referring not to the organization that conducted the survey, but to the Chronicles of Armenia Telegram channel when writing the survey results.
Chronicles of Armenia was created last spring and has about 1,000 followers. It is noteworthy that the channel almost has not authored any materials, and the channel’s materials have not exceeded a dozen during the year. Instead, it is actively promoting the publications of a number of popular media outlets and telegram channels, including the mentioned Kompromat CIS channel.
We found a sample of the questionnaire and the 2-page poll results on the Telegram channel of Armenian Chronicles that were published on the channel on March 17. The sample of the questionnaire clearly states that the poll is conducted by the headquarters of one of the political parties, but does not specify the particular political party in order not to influence the answers.
Thus, the above poll was conducted by one of the parties’ headquarters, and Channel 5 deliberately or mistakenly misleads viewers by attributing the poll results to a well-known “international” or “Russian” sociological company.
Mistakes in the report
With a rather questionable origin and methodology, this survey notes that the sociological monitoring was conducted twice – on March 7-9 and March 14-16 through street surveys. And the results section shows the difference between the results of the surveys of these two periods.
According to the author of the Channel 5 report, the leader in the poll is Arayik Harutyunyan with 28.8%, then comes Vitaly Balasanyan with 18.9%. “Balasanyan outperformed Masis Mayilyan (17.18) with seven percent, who was second in the previous polls,” the journalist said.
While studying the results of the polls, it becomes clear that the journalist was mistaken again. Thus, according to the results of the first survey (March 7-9), 24.3% of the respondents favored Masis Mayilyan, and according to the second one (March 14-16) – already 17.18%. Probably the author of the report meant this 7% decline, but for some reason he linked it with Vitaly Balasanyan, who was favored by 15.14% of respondents during the first survey and 18.9% during the second one.
There are other arithmetic errors in the report. For example, presenting the results of a poll of four candidates, the reporter notes that the other 11 candidates are far less trusted. Four plus eleven makes 15, while there are only14 candidates for Artsakh president.
In fact, in addition to attributing the poll of questionable origin to an international organization, Channel 5 has also made a number of arithmetical errors and other manipulations.