Armenia gains 19 places to 61 on latest World Press Freedom Index

Armenia gains 19 places to 61 on latest World Press Freedom Index
PM Pashinian is a former newspaper editor and anti-corruption and human rights activist.
By bne IntelliNews April 19, 2019

Armenia has placed 61st out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index 2019 compiled by Reporters Without Borders, 19 places up on where it finished in the previous year’s ranking.

In a short summary put out with the latest ranking, the watchdog said: “The new media served as an echo chamber for the ‘velvet revolution’ in the spring of 2018 that brought a former journalist [Nikol Pashinian] to power. The media landscape is diverse but polarized and the editorial policies of the main TV channels coincide with the interests of their owners.

“In other words, journalistic independence and transparent media ownership continue to be major challenges. The new government must try to recover the opportunities that were lost in the transition to digital TV, which has paradoxically restricted the number of regional channels. And it must refrain from any excesses in its attempts to combat ‘fake news’.

“Its use of the security services for this purpose, followed by a social network user’s arrest, prompted concern. Investigative journalism, which is flourishing online, is well placed to play a major role in a national offensive against corruption.”

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