Frank Hupfeld, Head of Section at the IRZ, during his welcome speech to open the conference
Frank Hupfeld, Head of Section at the IRZ, during his welcome speech to open the conference
Armenia

On 9 December 2019, a conference was held in Yerevan to mark the end of the “@MediaSocieties – Armenia 2019” project. Those participating in the event presented and discussed the results of the project, which was financed by the German Foreign Office as part of the “Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia”. The conference programme was completed by expert lectures on current topics.

Once the responsible IRZ Head of Section, Frank Hupfeld, had welcomed the participants to the conference, Jakob Ziegler from the press office at the German Embassy and Boris Navasardyan, President of the Yerevan Press Club (YPC), also gave welcome speeches. Thomas Wierny, who had supported the entire project as a consultant and expert in media and press law, moderated the conference and presented the project from the original idea to completion.

The following experts gave lectures and were then available to answer any questions and take part in discussions:

  • Ara Ghazaryan, a lawyer at Arniconsult: Latest Developments in Media Policy in Armenia
  • Tobias Brings-Wiesen, Institute of Media Law and Communications Law at the University of Cologne: Activities of social Networks to avoid Regulation
  • Boris Navasardyan, YPC President: The Fight against “Hate Speech” and the corresponding Armenian Draft Legislation
  • Nouneh Sarkissian, Media Initiatives Centre NGO: The Results of workshop I on “Online Media – Good Online Governance”
  • Christoph Bößmann, Consultant in Copyright Law and Licensing Rights: Analysis of the position paper developed during workshop I
  • Aghavni Harutyunyan, Editor-in-Chief of www.Globnews.am: The results of workshop II on “Transparency of the media”
  • Jan Christopher Kalbhenn, LL.M., Managing Director of the Institute of Information, Telecommunications and Media law: Analysis of the position paper developed during workshop II

Around 35 Armenian and German experts from various sections of the media and media regulation took part in the closing conference. The entire project was met with a great deal of interest and the Armenian participants repeatedly stressed the importance of such events for Armenia.

Background information on the project

The objective of the “@MediaSocieties – Armenia 2019” project was to encourage the freedom and diversity of the media and the pluralism of opinions in Armenia and to support the journalism profession. The project was financed by the German Foreign Office to support “Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia” and was aimed at media representatives and those involved in the media market, as well as the relevant academic groups in Armenia.

Target groups:

  • Radio and press representatives
  • Bloggers
  • Online editors
  • Legal experts from the academic and business worlds

The IRZ’s partner organisation in Armenia was the Yerevan Press Club. The YPC stands for free, independent and qualified media. The aim is to further develop democracy and civil society in Armenia. The project was prepared and supported by Thomas Wierny, a consultant and expert in the field of media and press law.

The project was scheduled to run from May to December 2019. To begin with, a fact-finding mission took place in Armenia to plan and prepare ahead of the project. This was followed by the opening conference held in Yerevan in July. During several consecutive workshops, experts from Armenia and Germany worked on the topics “Online Media – good online Governance” and “Transparency of the Media” in a cooperative atmosphere. The results of these workshops were summarised in position papers. These reflect the current status of discussions and show the direction the participants think new regulations should take. The position papers are being published and made available to a wider audience (download position paper).

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