TV, Internet and the Streets of Yerevan
One of the biggest and most popular TV channels in Armenia: Armenia TV. That is where the debate group and a part of the video group went on December 6th. There the video group made an interview with Davit Sargsyan, a journalist from Armenia TV. He spoke about freedom of media and objectiveness of media in Armenia. He said that he does not feel any pressure on himself as a journalist from the departure of international news. He told the video group that Armenia TV tries to be as objective as they can. But he mentioned that it is more difficult for journalists dealing with internal issues to stay objective.
The debate group had a discussion with Artak Aleksanyan, the head of the TV news department of Armenia TV. They discussed the conflict in the Caucasian region and the war in the east of Ukraine. They also spoke about the general situation of media in their countries and its role in the conflicts.
At the same time the other participants of the video group went to the city center of Yerevan and started to ask the people what their opinion of Armenian media is, if they think that they report as they should. Many people did not want to talk in front of a camera about this issue but the video group were able to interview 10 persons.
After the interview in Armenia TV the members of the video group went to the city center, too, and met the rest of the group. They had a lunch together and split then again in to small groups into two groups. The one half went to make some shots of the city center and the other half went to make two expert interviews. First they met Samvel Martirosyan. He is a freelance jounralist who works mainly for foreign media. He talked about his experience as a journalist in Armenia. As he said, he as a freelancer can speak openly. He said that the freedom of media in Armenia improved after the Velvet Revolution of 2018. Before there were problems especially in public media because they did not report about protest appropriately against the government.
The next interview was with Sevak Hakobyan, the chief editor of the news website Yerevan.Today. The interview was about freedom of speech in Armenia and the special problems of Yerevan.Today. He also talked about the most recent incident: On September 11th they published a video of a private conversation between the heads of National Security Service and Special Investigation Service. For this reason the Special Investigation Service came to the office of Yerevan.Today without allowance and took their hard disks to get their data.
The other group members filmed in the city center to have some pictures that they can use for their video report. They visited Vernissage, a large open-air market in Yerevan. The market mainly features a collection of different types of traditional Armenian art works. The group made some shots in the market, from the sellers and their products, and also from the people that were playing Nardi in the market – also known as Backgammon.
The next station of the group was Cascade. It is a giant stairway in the city center made of limestone. The construction of the cascade started in 1971 and was partially completed in 1980. Inside the Cascade, there are seven escalators that rise along the length of the complex. There are also exhibit halls connected to some of the landings along the escalators which compose Cafesjian Museum of Art. The stairs afford walkers unobstructed views of central Yerevan and Mount Ararat. Cascade was a very good chance to make nice shots of Yerevan.
In the late evening the members of the video group and the documentation group had a dinner in the city center. Then they went to the Blue Mosque, which is an 18th-century Shia mosque in Yerevan. The city tour was finished with the visit of Victory Bridge from where they had a wonderful view over the whole city.