“The Government will do everything in its power to protect and promote freedom of speech and freedom of the press” - Nikol Pashinyan holds reception for media representatives on the occasion of New Year and Christmas
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Today, Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a reception for media representatives on the occasion of New Year and Christmas. Nikol Pashinyan congratulated media representatives on the upcoming holiday season and wished them good health, happiness and success.
In his congratulatory speech, the Acting Prime Minister noted:
I greet you and I am happy to see you here. First of all, let me thank you for the work that you did in 2018, because I think that the role of the press, the role of the media in Armenia was too important during the non-violent velvet popular revolution. Indeed, the press managed to play this role and became a reliable source for the citizens of Armenia, for our compatriots in the Diaspora in terms of raising awareness of what is going on in the Republic of Armenia.
The role of the media in the history of our country has always been high, but I think it is much higher now, because the press and freedom of speech are among the most important institutions of democracy, and it is obvious to all of us that our country must very clearly and confidently continue along the path of democracy.
I want to emphasize once again that in the history of the Third Republic, the press has never been freer than today. And I want to clarify what this means. This means that the government does not interfere and does not seek to interfere in the work of the media, which, of course, cannot mean that every media does not have its own rules, etc., and this is essentially a matter of relations between journalists and media outlets.
But, in general, I want to say the following: in many cases inertia is being felt in today’s press, and in some sense this is understandable, because since independence our perceptions have been kept in some kind of frame and form, and now they cannot change at once.
I feel that there is a presumption, or perhaps inertia, that the government is as it used to be before and will go that way. Some are trying to prove it, some, in my opinion, simply perceive it as inertia, but this, I am sure, will be corrected over time.
Of course, what happened in the Republic of Armenia was also a shock to the press, since the press and we all used to work under the same conditions and logic. In fact, many were inclined to work under that very logic and conditions for many years to come.
The unexpected change that occurred in Armenia; I mean that it was unexpected for many media outlets. Although there are people here who in March or, perhaps, even earlier in their interviews used to say that changes were likely, nevertheless, the changes put many media outside of their normal working logic, and it will take some time for all of us to adapt to this situation.
You can be sure that the Government of the Republic of Armenia will do everything in its power to protect and promote freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and, of course, we expect to be able to effectively cooperate with the media in this regard.
Let me once again congratulate you, thanking you for the work done in 2018 and express the hope that your efforts will be more effective in 2019, and the press will grow into a more efficacious tool in the hands of the public to control the government and everything that happens in the Republic of Armenia.
Of course, our biggest problem, which is a problem not only in Armenia, but throughout the world, is to differentiate truth from lies amid the emerging institute of the so-called “fake news”, and I am convinced that you and we are all committed to this cause and will work together to achieve this goal.
A Happy New Year, Merry Christmas! Congratulations to your family members, congratulations to all media, all journalists and editors, all media workers. Let it be a good, happy and free year, safe for the press, because it is clear that there should be no threats to the activities of a journalist in the Republic of Armenia, and, of course, the government will do everything possible to ensure these conditions. These conditions are already provided, and no one can pose a threat to them. Congratulations and best wishes for success.”