Freedom of the Press

Armenia

Armenia

Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)

60

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

26

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

13

Radio and television, all privately owned, must register with a government commission which issues and withdraws licenses. Commission members are appointed solely by the president. TV and radio stations must produce at least 65 percent of their own programming, a financial burden which most media cannot meet. In 2001, a government daily newspaper's license was not renewed because it did not comply with the registration law. Many radio and TV stations suspended broadcasting to protest the law. As of January 2001, 1083 media enterprises were registered, according to the Ministry of Justice. While most print media are privately owned, they are small and unprofitable, and depend on economic and political interest groups for survival. The distribution of newsprint, formerly run by the government, was privatized. A 1999 civil code punishes libel with imprisonment, and is frequently enforced. Journalists often practice self-censorship when covering the insurgency in Nagorno-Karabakh, national security, or corruption issues. Although direct threats and intimidation by government officials are rare, journalists are routinely assaulted and the government usually fails to bring perpetrators to account.