The video of the recent Q&A of the RA Prime Minister with local journalists in Gyumri has caused controversy in the media field. The journalists who angered PM Karen Karapetyan with their questions were accused of lack of professionalism even by the journalists who work in independent media. Of course self-criticism and motivation to learn would be welcome if the accusations of the president and other high-ranking officials towards journalists were not fresh in our memories.
Note that the thesis “journalists are to be blamed for everything” was put into circulation in Baghramyan 26 during Serzh Sargsyan’s interview to selected media representatives in 2013. “The main reason for emigration is the stuffy atmosphere, people do not see the light, do not see hope. Why? Because at least 2 TV stations, dozens of printed and electronic media outlets speak only of negative things, they only besmirch”.
Serzh Sargsyan had indicated the undesirable media outlets. This means that he did not blame everyone in spreading the stuffy atmosphere, only those that are more or less beyond the control of “Baghramyan 26”.
The tendency to accuse journalists was continued by the Head of RA Police Vladimir Gasparyan. The latter told journalists that the Police accept their mistakes in contrast to journalists who do not see them.
Accusations against journalists have also been made by National Assembly deputy Chair Hermine Naghdalyan, Republican Party deputies Artur Gevorgyan, Ashot Aghababyan, former Head of RA Control Chamber Ishkhan Zakaryan and even opposition representative Sasun Mikayelyan.
Moreover, the obsession reached a point when the journalists were even accused of the failures of the National Football Team.
And finally, even the Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan had his contribution in criticizing the journalists by urging them to become less angry.
P.S. Note that Armenia ranks 74th (among 180 countries) in the World Press Freedom Index. In this index, Armenia has a much better score than neighboring Azerbaijan (163), Turkey (151) and Armenia’s strategic partner Russia (148). And such a comparatively high ranking is ensured by the journalists who “spread stuffy atmosphere”, “see everything in negative colors” and ask “frustrating questions”.