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The 8th Pan-Armenian Conference of Journalists

 The 8th Pan-Armenian Conference of Journalists on the “Armenian Statehood as an Axis of Unity”, which started on October 20 in Yerevan, was continued in Artsakh on October 23. 

The conference was organized by the RA Ministry of Diaspora, jointly with the Coordinating Council of the Pan-Armenian Conferences of Journalists, the Pan-Armenian Media Association, and the Union of Journalists of Armenia. It is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the independence of the two Armenian states – the Republic of Armenia and the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.

On October 23, the fifth and the sixth sessions of the Pan-Armenian Conference on the “Armenian Diaspora’s Support in the Process of International Recognition of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic“ and the “Mass Media Coverage of Issues Related to the Defense System of the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh” took place in Stepanakert.

Before the start of the conference, the participants observed a minute of silence in the bright memory of the heroes deceased during the Artsakh war and the military operations in April.

In his opening speech, Chairman of the Artsakh Union of Journalists Kim Gabrielyan welcomed about 140 journalists representing various mass media from 31 states, noting that the Armenian mass media all over the world, together with the church and school, had always been the foundations for the preservation of the Armenian spirit and identity. Stressing the importance of holding the conference in Artsakh, he noted that it was an opportunity for our colleagues in the Diaspora to get acquainted with the problem of Artsakh in place for providing truthful information about it. The challenges that stand before us, believe the propaganda front, and the front should be especially journalists. Just need to create journalistic activity, new acquaintances and contacts, media field in order to be more credible, clear and meaningful, he said. Gabrielyan.

In their speeches at the sessions, editors and reporters of over 20 mass media presented various issues and concerns related to journalists, expressing hope that they would be resolved through cooperation.

The first speech was delivered by journalist Hareyan from the USA. He briefed on the responsibility of journalists in the conditions of the freedom of speech, which, according to the journalist, is currently very important. Today's media often comprise correspondence with immoral titles, which is unacceptable. Meanwhile, a journalist, according to A. Hareyan, is a preacher, like a clergyman. A journalist considers all this as a threat, since similar correspondence has a negative impact on the younger generation.

Director of Artsakhpress News Agency Vahram Poghosyan delivered a speech on the «Establishment of the Electronic Media in Artsakh and the Prospects of Cooperation with the Pan-Armenian Media», in which he touched upon the issues and challenges in the electronic field. Although the Artsakhpress is young, but, according to the director, it has managed to find a common ground for cooperation with similar mass media. In particular, the memorandum signed with Armenpress Agency allows to disseminate the information placed on its website. Mr. Poghosyan considers that there is a need for a coordinating body in the Armenian media space, which would regulate the mass media activity.

In his speech, editor-in-chief of Speaker magazine (Lebanon) Hambik Martirosyan noted the importance of the media conference for strengthening the Artsakh-Armenia-Diaspora trinity, especially that it is taking place in a period when the entire nation is on the edge of a crucial milestone. According to him, the media is sometimes more powerful than weapons and armor. “To date, the press, the Internet and websites, TV and radio as influential weapons are more dangerous, and politicians and officials are afraid of them, as they can pass around the world with colored or colorless storms”, Mr. Martirosyan said.

The speech of Kentron (Center) TV Company's reporter Nairi Hokhikyan, who had been in Artsakh during the April war, was dedicated to the role of the mass media. What was taking place at the information front in those days? According to Nairi Hokhikyan, the four-day war was a test for winning a victory in all the fields. And the mass media play a great role in presenting the true or wrong information about the situation. He called upon the mass media to use their articles and reports to inject morale into the Western Armenians, many of whom are ready to come and fight for Artsakh.

Lebanon-based Azdak newspaper’s correspondent Silva Karavartanyan touched upon the issues of Pan-Armenian media practice and the linguistic errors in the mass media, urging to be more consistent in the proper use of the rich and flexible Armenian language.

Representatives of the Artsakh mass media, journalists Ara Vanyan (member of the Artsakh Public Television Council), and Michael Hajyan made speeches on the ‘Public Television of Artsakh: New Imperatives, New Challenges’ and ‘Artsakh Press in the Context of Domestic and Foreign Propaganda’, correspondingly.

During the conference, a documentary film by TV reporter Nairi Hokhikyan, ‘The Sun cannot be Covered with Mud’, describing the crime committed in 1915 by Ottoman Turkey and the 4.5 million Armenians living in today’s Turkey and preserving their national identity.

The sessions in Artsakh were followed by active and useful discussions dedicated to the problems existing in the mass media of Artsakh, Armenia and the Diaspora, as well as their resolution through the cooperation between the mass media.

Highlighting the conference sessions held in Artsakh, editor-in-chief of Zartonk (Awakening) daily newspaper Sevak Hakobyan expressed gratitude to the RA Ministry of Diaspora, particularly, Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan, for the attention towards the Diaspora mass media, for the close cooperation, and for convening similar conferences, each of which is a new milestone for improving the Pan-Armenian information field and consolidating the Armenian journalists' community.

The RA Diaspora Minister, Hranush Hakobyan, summarized the work of the conference. According to her, such conferences create a wide field of cooperation for the mass media of Armenia, Artsakh, and the Diaspora.

“During the April war, we witnessed the consolidated and joint work of the Pan-Armenian mass media. This conference aims to expand and improve the Pan-Armenian information field, to consolidate and to effectively use the media's potential for the development of Armenia and Artsakh, for raising the international prestige of the Republic of Armenia, for preserving the Armenian identity in the Diaspora, and for resolving the issues of national concern”, the Minister said.

In the afternoon, the participants of the 8th Pan-Armenian Conference of Journalists visited the NKR Defense Army military units and the frontline to get acquainted with the everyday life of soldiers and the Armenian border guards.