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Robert Parsons Believes Polarization of the Society the Main Problem of Georgian Media

Main problem for Georgian media is the polarization of the society, director general of the Russian-language TV-channel ‘First Caucasus Information’ (PIK) Robert Parsons told Tabula magazine.  The interview was published by the magazine in September 12 issue.  Parsons believes Georgian media either pro, or anti-governmental.

“Everyone sees very well what’s going on Rustavi 2 and on Maestro and Kavkasia.  Reports on the same issue are so different on those channels that it’s hard to know they are covering the same theme,” Parsons said and stressed that the main problem for Georgian journalists, not depending on which channel they work for, is that they are under the influence of editorial line.  “What you have today is a complete absurd; this is not real information.  This is just continuous provision of one or another type of propaganda to the society,” Parsons stressed.

PIK director general believes that the government has done everything possible for adopting adequate legislation and now for media development it is necessary for the government not to interfere with editorial decisions.  Parsons claims that current Georgian TV-channels are “media dinosaurs.”  “I am sure they will extinct soon,” he said and expressed hope that soon much more unbiased and responsible media outlets will come.

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Digital Television to Cover 85 Percent of Azerbaijan by 2012

Until January 2012, digital TV will cover 85 percent of the population of Azerbaijan, Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technologies of Azerbaijan, Elmir Velizadeh, said in an interview posted on the official website of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party.

He said the population will have an access to the public television package, consisting of 10 television channels and in the future – will be offered a commercial package of 50-60 channels.

Currently, digital television covers Baku, Ganja, Shirvan, Lerik, Lankaran and nearby areas. Analog transmissions will be suspended after full coverage of the Republic with digital signal TV.



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Ernest Vardanyan Imprisoned for 15 Years is Granted Pardon

President of the unrecognized Republic of Transnistria Igor Smirnov has granted pardon to Ernest Vardanyan. He told the media representatives about during a meeting on Press Freedom Day.

On December 16, 2010, the Supreme Court of the Moldovan Republic of Transnistria sentenced the 30-year-old journalist-analyst of RIA “New Region” Ernest Vardanyan to 15 years of imprisonment for espionage and state treason .

“Olvia-Press” news agency said, in April, 2010, the national security service of Transnistria arrested Ernest Vardanyan accusing him in state treason according to article 271 of the Criminal Code of Transnistria. The journalist allegedly cooperated with special services of Moldova.

According to “Olvia-Press” Transnistrian news agency, during preliminary investigation and court hearings Ernest Vardanyan regreted for his deeds and told how he had been made to cooperate with the special services’ agents.

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Iran ‘predator’ of press freedom, says Reporters Without Borders

The Paris-based media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders has included Iran in its annual list of countries it considers as “predators” of press freedom, including political leaders, criminal organisations and militias from across the world.

According to the group, as Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei “is responsible for the continuing crackdown on journalists and others” since the rigged presidential election of 2009 which won Ahmadinejad a second term in office. “His virulent and inflammatory criticism of media with international links has fuelled the rage of government bodies carrying out the repression. He explicitly agreed to the judicial system staging show trials of journalists in August 2009 and January 2010 and giving journalists and bloggers heavy prison terms and sometimes death sentences. The Revolutionary Guards, commanded by Khamenei, control Teheran’s Evin prison so he is directly responsible for the torture and other abuses of journalists and bloggers jailed there.”

The media watchdog “accuses Khamenei of crimes against humanity,” adding that Ahmadinejad is “directly responsible for this crackdown, which he organises with the ministries of intelligence, culture and Islamic guidance and the Revolutionary Guards.”

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Freedom of the Press 2011. Armenia is 146th

Freedom of the Press 2011 identifies the greatest threats to independent media in 196 countries and territories. Released on May 2 as part of the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day celebration in Washington, D.C., the report shows that global media freedom has reached a new low point, contributing to an environment in which only one in every six people live in countries with a Free press. In 2010, there were particularly worrisome trends in the Middle East and the Americas, while improvements were noted in sub-Saharan Africa.

Armenia is ranked 146th among all the countries in the world alongside Egypt where revolution broke out this year. In the ranking of Central and Eastern European countries Armenia is 21st among 29 countries. In both cases Armenia is classified as not free.

Azerbaijan is 171st in global ranking, Iran is on 188th place, while Turkey and Georgia are 112th and 118th respectively and are considered partly free.

Tables featuring country rankings and numerical scores for the 2011 index can be found here.


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