Press Council in Karabakh


Azat Artsakh – Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR)
29 Oct 04

Last week Stepanakert Press Club held a seminar on self-regulation of
the mass media in the context of freedom of expressing opinions. The
seminar was organized by the international organization `Article 19′
inthe framework of the project `Maintenance of Democracy in South
Caucasus through Freedomof Speech’ with financial assistance of the
Institute of Open Society and other foundations. During the seminar in
which participated the heads of the leading mass media and journalist
organizations of the republic, as well as correspondents of foreign
mass media, questions on the self-regulation of press, ethic of
journalists, freedom of speech – state secrets, author’s rights â=80`
plagiarism were discussed. At the suggestion of the chairman of
Stepanakert Press Club Gegham Baghdassarian the participants of the
seminar adopted a decision on the establishment of the Press Council
which will most probably include the heads of the leading mass media
of the republic and journalists’ organizations. The council will deal
with the problems connected with the work of the mass media. In
particular, they will consider disputable situations, organize joint
informative actions, pursue the maintenance of the ethic of
journalists. The necessity of self-regulation of press and unification
of journalists, according to the participants of the seminar, was
caused by the famous political confrontation several years ago when
the most `heated battles’ took placebetween the state newspaper `Azat
Artsakh’ and the oppositionist `10th State’. As it was mentioned
during the seminar, because of the underdevelopment of the political
sector political debates take place between the newspapers and
journalists representing political forces and not the leaders of the
political forces. As a result the blame entirely falls on
them. Journalists said this should not be so. A newspaper should only
reflect the moods existing in the society and political debates should
not turn into abuse and offence. As a result of the seminar an
undertaking group was formed which will work on preparing the ethic
code of journalists and constitute the council of press in the
upcoming three weeks.