Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 12:25 GMT

Freedom of the Press - Armenia (2002)

Publisher Freedom House
Publication Date 22 April 2002
Cite as Freedom House, Freedom of the Press - Armenia (2002), 22 April 2002, available at: [accessed 1 June 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Status: Partly Free
Legal Environment: 21
Political Influences: 26
Economic Pressures: 13
Total Score: 60

Population: n/a
GNI/capita: n/a
Life Expectancy: 73
Religious Groups: n/a
Ethnic Groups: Armenian (93 percent), Azeri (3 percent), Russian (2 percent), Kurd and others (2 percent)
Capital: Yerevan

Radio and television, all privately owned, must register with a government commission which issues and withdraws licenses. Commission members are appointed solely by the president. TV and radio stations must produce at least 65 percent of their own programming, a financial burden which most media cannot meet. In 2001, a government daily newspaper's license was not renewed because it did not comply with the registration law. Many radio and TV stations suspended broadcasting to protest the law. As of January 2001, 1083 media enterprises were registered, according to the Ministry of Justice. While most print media are privately owned, they are small and unprofitable, and depend on economic and political interest groups for survival. The distribution of newsprint, formerly run by the government, was privatized. A 1999 civil code punishes libel with imprisonment, and is frequently enforced. Journalists often practice self-censorship when covering the insurgency in Nagorno-Karabakh, national security, or corruption issues. Although direct threats and intimidation by government officials are rare, journalists are routinely assaulted and the government usually fails to bring perpetrators to account.

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