Arman Saghatelyan: “It is our duty to protect our flows of information and platforms”

The 8th Pan-Armenian Forum of Journalists, which was organized by the RA Ministry of Diaspora under the title “Armenian Statehood: Axis of Unity”, proved once again that there are many issues related to pan-Armenian media to discuss. The issues can be solved through partnership, and in that sense, this forum serves as the best platform. I discussed this and other issues during my interview with Executive Director of the Public Radio of Armenia Arman Saghatelyan for Hayern Aysor.

Karine Avagyan: Mr. Saghatelyan, I believe you attach importance to such forums and have your considerations as the director of the Public Radio of Armenia and the head of such a large media outlet.

Arman Saghatelyan: This is not the first forum that I am participating in. This is  a very commendable and necessary initiative since most Armenians live abroad and, of course, the challenges facing our nation and state bind us to have such a structural network that gathers Armenians together. It is just that we Armenians seem to fail to give systemic solutions, but at least these forums help expand the scope of interpersonal relations. The heads and representatives of the field of media have a chance to communicate, exchange views, listen to each other and talk about the major issues and challenges. This forum serves as an opportunity to sum up and discuss all the problems. As the head of a media outlet, I am still waiting for systemic solutions because our potential to organize is at a higher level than the outcome. There is international experience, and we can study that experience and take certain elements. I repeat that such forums are very important.

Karine Avagyan: Mr. Saghatelyan, what do you think the media needs the most today-information technologies or professionals?

A. S. I don’t think Armenia has serious problems in regard to innovative technologies. We have already reached a point where the development and command of innovative technologies and the availability of field experts is more than the contents, quality and organizational resource. There was a time when it was the opposite-we had great potential, but no programmers, Internet experts, technical resources and the appropriate technologies. Now things have changed a little. I would say that we don’t have enough professionals and still have problems with organization. This is the reason why we sometimes find ourselves in absurd situations, that is, some Armenia media outlets translate the overtly inimical propaganda into Armenian and even publish it in Armenia. I don’t understand why they do that. What is missing? Perhaps there is a lack of knowledge. Perhaps we misunderstand things. There are many issues that can’t be solved through interactive mechanisms because we are living in an open society and have adopted the course of democratic development, but this doesn’t mean that we need to witness such absurdities, meaning we need to find solutions and the mechanisms for solutions. It is our duty to protect our flows of information, the fields of information and the platforms that we have and keep the public away from different kinds of forces that have an influence on a person’s conscience, including the propaganda of the enemy.

Karine Avagyan: Mr. Saghatelyan, don’t you think a similar forum can be organized for just TV and radio journalists?

A. S.: Of course, it is possible! However, this should not be an end in itself, meaning the initiating organization could possibly introduce a certain plan or agenda that would present real mechanisms for cooperation. Of course, the issue that you raised is a priority, but in order to make sure it is not an end in itself, we need to know what we expect from Armenia’s television and radio stations. For instance, I know what I expect from Armenian radio stations, and we are trying to create the so-called Armenian network of radio stations and radio shows. The Public Radio of Armenia also has an editorial office in charge of that. Recently, we undertook the initiative to create a general platform to make sure people don’t simply take the programs of the Public Radio and air them, but have the opportunity to make a choice and choose the most interesting programs from the 70 programs. We’re working on this, but it’s probably not enough. It would be nice to come together, see and listen to each other, consult and come to terms.

Karine Avagyan: Thank you, Mr. Saghatelyan! I hope we meet again and discuss issues during another similar forum in the near future.

Karine Avagyan

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