These findings were identified in the Armenian Media Discourse on the Nation-Army Concept-2017 survey carried out by the Region Research Center and presented at the Media Center on March 6, 2018.
The survey covered the publications and broadcasts on army by 5 Armenian online media outlets (1in.am, News.am, Aravot.am, 168.am, Tert.am) and 5 TV companies (Public TV Company, Armenia, Kentron, Yerkir Media, Shant) within October 10, 2017 and January 10, 2018.
Laura Baghdasaryan, Director of the Region Research Center, says that most publications on army were produced in this period by 1in.am.
Out of online media outlets, news.am and aravot.am produced up to 36 and 31 publications daily, respectively. Out of TV companies, Kentron provided the most limited coverage of the army topic and Shant and H1 TV companies provided the most extensive coverage.
"Generally, TV companies do not use internet domains actively; they confine themselves to broadcasts. 62% of all the publications on the nation-army concept issues were produced by the online media and 65% - in TV broadcasts," Laura Baghdasaryan says.
She adds that the survey period saw an unprecedented intensification of the army topic comparable to the 3 months following April of 2016.
"It was quite interesting to find out the attitude towards the "Nation-Army" concept on public platforms as it was about the media platforms. Within October 10, 2017 - January 10, 2018, we took on covering the "Nation-Army" topic considering, among other, that it was a stage of active political and public activity, a stage when the Ministry of Defense put forward a number of legislative initiatives and programs, accompanied by quite intense and active public discussions. In fact, such discussions started also because so was decided by the public authorities and the Ministry of Defense as it was important to discuss the issues," Laura Baghdasaryan said.
As for the content features of the online media and TV companies, Laura Baghdasaryan said:
“1in.am has less positive than negative publications on this topic, news.am has more positive publications than negative, Aravot.am covered in a more balanced way: same number of positive and negative publications. The TV broadcast provided mostly positive feedback, rather than negative one; thus, Kentron TV company provided almost proportionate feedback, "Yerkir Media" also provided relatively proportionate coverage and "Shant" provided more positive feedback than negative."
The survey findings come to show that the feedback, views, likes and shares of publications on army topics remain within the domain typical of the mass media outlets. "Mostly, the view rates of such publications, even discussions on the active processes on abolishing the right to deferment are not high.”
"It is essentially important for us to carry out a survey into “Nation-Army" topic as there are wide-spread views, myths and perceptions on army," Baghdasaryan adds.
She highlights that they also studied generally the topic of the army in its entirety as they intended to understand what "Nation-Army" is in general with all its provisions, feedback to this concept and the information environment shaped in the media in relation with the army.
"We singled out 25 of all these issues. If there were any substantial cases or comments on any of the issues, we defined them. We identified 15 issues that were immediately analyzed, interpreted and presented in the context of the Nation-Army concept and we also identified issues related to the army that had absolutely nothing to do with the concept. Social issues were presented exclusively in the context of the Nation-Army concept and we identified internal policy issues that were discussed and presented in the context of the concept as well, e.g. why is the Defense Ministry currently circulating the Nation-Army topic and what are the personal positions of Vigen Sargsyan as the Defense Minister," Laura Baghdasaryan adds.
Lilit Arakelyan, Media Center Project Editor/Coordinator
To contact the author, please email: Lilitarakelyan@pjc.am