About Freedom of the Press

13 April 2016 / by Anahit Vardanyan (author)
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The Press Freedom Index is an annually calculated indicator which is published by the organization “Reporters Without Borders”. This indicator shows the level of freedom of journalists, news organizations and internet users in every country, as well as reflects the efforts the government makes to provide that freedom.

According to the Press freedom index, countries such as Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand are in good condition, and in countries such as North Korea, Turkmenistan, Syria, China, the condition of press freedom is assessed as complicated/very serious.

According to the data of 2014, Armenia is included in the group of countries which have noticeable problems. I think, during these last few days, this status could be changed from “noticeable” to “considerable”: though there was no martial law in the country and consequently, freedom of speech was not limited by the military censorship law (RA law of “Legal Regime of Martial Law”, article 8, point 11), anyway, the mass media became propagandists of spreading only “official” news and praising the government, and those few individuals who tried to use their right to freedom of speech and express a willingness for possible non-military resolution of the conflict, were labelled as “traitors”.

Particularly it was stunning to see the self-censorship of some individuals with oppositional views and how they exhort to choose the right time to speak peace: they were acting nearly the same as some famous pro-government individuals who were stating that “if necessary, the activity of mass media should be supervised”.

I suppose, the real situation of freedom should be observed during such days and not when you are allowed to express oppositional ideas as long as it doesn’t disturb anyone. If you are against censorship, then you should always oppose it and not only when it disturbs you.