Media

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Analysis of Armenia's Media Landscape

Published May 27, 2020
Originally Musaler (may get edited and updated as a wiki article)

The purpose of this post is to give a comprehensive view of Armenia's media landscape. The notes are mostly from my perspective. I will try to update it over time if need be and add more. If a website is in the top 50 of Alexa ranking of Armenia, I put the respective ranking next to the followers numbers. [Please take Facebook and other social media follower numbers with a grain of salt, as bots and fake accounts have been known to be operated]

News Media Followers (FB/Youtube) Notes
Azatutyun 672K / 462K Part of RFERL (Radio Free Europe) which is based in Prague. " RFE/RL is a 501(c)(3) corporation supervised by the U.S. Agency for Global Media, an agency overseeing all U.S. federal government international broadcasting services. " In my experience, they tend to be pro-Western and generally pro-Government in their reporting.
1in.am 456K / 204K / #27 Historically they have been pro-Western (I remember walking by their offices which had the EU and US flag flying). They host interesting experts that are both pro and critical of the government. In general, they have good analysis and while I would say they lean towards being more pro-government, they can also be critical. Owned by Member of Parliament Babajanyan. He was formerly LHK, but quit that party and become independent.
news.am 692K / 201K / #9 I would describe news.am as "quick and dirty" news. They are very quick with news reporting, but quality tends to be subpar and sometimes questionable. So don't look there for any deep analysis. From the type of topics they emphasize and put forth, I would say they are more anti-Government and sympathetic to former regime.
tert.am 554K / 37K / #36 Tert.am has deeper analytical articles and have interesting opinion pieces. They are much more analytical and professional than let's say news.am. They tend to cover events very comprehensively and quickly. As for political leanings, judging on their opinion pieces they publish, I would say they are more often critical of the government.
168.am 145K / 17K 168.am is a very active news source, they publish many opinion, analytical pieces, host talk shows with experts and so forth. They tend to be very critical of the government and seem to be rather sympathetic to the former regime.
Armenpress 90K / 3K Armenpress is an old Armenian news agency, but it's very dry and bland. It is essentially publishing news bulletins without much analysis or flavor. I would rate them as being neutral in their leanings.
PanArmenian.net 224K / - PanArmenian is also a rather old news agency. They are a bit similar to Armenpress but have a bit more flavor and analysis. They are quick in their reporting. They are part of a bigger 'Pan Media' Media company. They have nice photography. In terms of political leanings, I remember them being historically pro-opposition, nowadays it's difficult to sense which way they are since there isn't much opinion angles being published.
armtimes.com 43K / 31K Well this is historically Nikol's newspaper and his wife is a main editor. So of course expect it to be pro-Government and pro-Nikol. It's a good source esp if you want to understand the pro-government perspectives.
Hetq 10K / 20K This is the number 1 investigative journalist agency in Armenia in my opinion. They are very good at that. They have been especially active when it comes to exposing and investigating corruption. While they were historically more opposition leaning, I wouldn't describe them as really leaning politically much, they are more about investigating certain issues than political loyalties.
mediamax 83K / 983 They have interesting pieces both political and about society. Also interesting interviews.
A1plus 90K / 144K They are also rather quick reporting news agency. I don't find the most substantive pieces on their site, but they are good at covering a wide range of issues. Historically, they have been pro-opposition, and nowadays I would say they tend to be more pro-government.
antifake.am 16K / - This website has gained in notoriety given their very strong anti-Government pieces and sometimes sensational pieces that cause controversy. The quality is not very high and seems to thrive from sensationalism. They apparently determine what is "fake news". While they may have some pieces that are fine, I would take it with a grain of salt.
blognews 499K / 362 As the name suggests it's like a quasi blog-news site. A lot of the pieces they take are from certain social media users. In essence, it's like a news aggregate that publishes the most read news stories/topics often coming from social media. They also have a more traditional news section, but I'd say they are very popular for their blog aggregation.
factor.am 200K / 126K I would say this news source generally tends to be sympathetic to government.
past.am - Not the highest quality of news sources, I don't read them much.
armlur 257K / - / #35 News Media for the ժողովուրդ newspaper.
hraparak 143K / 30K / #44 News Media for the Հրապարակ newspaper.
Sputnik Armenia 56K / 7.6K The Armenian version of Sputnik News, which is owned by Rossiya Segodnya, a news agency owned and operated by the Russian government
Civilnet 251K / 117K Relatively new news agency, with wide ranging analysis articles and videos. Many interviews conducted by them. A lot is in depth. They are funded by the Civilitas Foundation, the founder of which is former FM Minister, Vartan Oskanian.
EVN Report 11.6K / 407 This is also relatively new and has English content. They have interesting analytical articles both about politics, Armenian society, diaspora. They are funded by UK Government and also supported by the National Endowment for Democracy.

A listing of the main printed newspapers in Armenia:

Թերթ Տպաքանակ
Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն 17,000
Հայոց աշխարհ 3,500
Հայկական ժամանակ 14,000
Գոլոս Արմենիի 3,500
Առավոտ 11,000
Չորրորդ իշխանություն 10,000
Ազգ 5,800
Հրապարակ 4,000
Ժամանակ 4,000
Իրավունք 43,100
168 ժամ 2,980

My take on the newspapers. You will notices that many articles printed in the news media in the first table sometimes take these newspaper articles as their sources. In general, while newspapers have their own analysis with their own perspectives, I find a lot of innuendos and sensationalism sometimes propagated by these newspapers. They often talk about "our sources" like they have some insider info about the rumor. That being said, it's sometimes helpful to understand what political rumors are floating around in Armenian political sphere, as long as you take it with a grain of salt. There sometimes can be some truth to certain rumors, though not yet confirmed. That being said, a lot can also be exaggerated or plain out false. It's like taking a peek into the political gossip of the country. Gossip is gossip.

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Of course one can't talk about the media without also talking about the television media. I list the main television channels:

Name Owner Notes
Armenia 1 Public Television of Armenia State Run Channel
Shoghakat TV Armenian Apostolic Church Religious programming.
Armenia TV CS Media Known for its shows, movies, serials.
Armenia 2 Prometevs
Shant TV Shant TVR Also known for its shows, movies, serials.
Armnews CS Media News and politics focused. Though now is rather anti-government in their stances and the type of people they tend to interview (I sense sympathetic to previous regime).
Yerkir Media Husaber (ARF)
Kentron Multi Media Kentron Dodi Gago's Channel.
A-TV Armen and Hakob brothers
Dar 21 Dar 21
5tv (5-րդ ալիք) Robert Kocharyan affiliated ownership