Yerkir Media's policy receives an award

Yerkir/arm
July 22, 2005

By Hovhannes Yeranian

On July 10 the Yerevan Press Club celebrated its 10th
anniversary. During the celebration ceremony annual prizes were
awarded to journalists from different media.

Yerkir Media TV channel was awarded the prize for the best political
analytical programs. Committee for Protection of the Freedom of Speech
awarded Yerkir Media a prize in the same nomination. It is no doubt an
honor for a TV company to receive such an award especially that this
TV company is only one year old. We asked director of Yerkir Media
Gegham Manukian to share with our readers the future plans of the
company.

Q: Mr. Manukian, let me congratulate you for getting the two
prizes. These prizes are of special importance in the context of the
conventional opinionthat people expect only entertaining programs and
talk shows from the TV companies. A: The development of Yerkir Media
was our first priority from the very beginning. In our proposal we
paid much attention to cultural, scientific, analytical and news
programs. When our company started working we saw that we could air
interesting international political and analytical programs. There are
two trends of development in the Armenian TV market. The first one is
to adjustto the taste of the mainstream TV audience and air light
programs paying no attention to news, politics and analysis. The
second one, which became the main principle for our company, is to
avoid becoming hostage to such low-quality demand. Our principle is to
be objective. When presenting news we do our best to present the
positions of all parties concerned. The award we received todayis an
appreciation of our work in this direction.

Q: In other words, the prize you received was awarded not to a
specific program but to the overall policy of your TV company? A:
Yes. I should also add a couple of words about our news programs. It
has been important for us to be at the center of events and today our
reporters present information on developments in different parts of
the world.

Q: A professional team and a team of experts are necessary to have a
serious political analytical program. Are there such experts on our
television? Are there political analysts in our country that can bring
interesting and new approaches to the television? A: Very often we
lack such people. The scope of guests we can invite is rather
limited. Nevertheless, there are people, international relations
specialists, political analysts and political leaders that
professionally analyze various topics. In addition to them, we have
our experts. A professional team dealing with the region currently
works with Yerkir Media. They know different languages. Graduates of
international relations or oriental studies departments come to work
at our company and their skills and knowledge are very helpful for us.

Q: What are your future plans? Do the awards make you self-sufficient?
A: I don't want to go into details now, but we are thinking of an
analytical program that will deal with domestic politics. A program
called European Diary will inform our audience of the developments in
Europe and the impact they have on our country. A new series of
programs dealing with the activities of NGOs has been recently aired
on our channel.

Q: There are two ways of expanding the audience of a TV channel. The
most important one is of course raising the quality of the
programs. The other one is increasing the area of broadcasting. Ever
since Yerkir Media was created it was said that it would be broadcast
all over the country. A: We are working in this direction. We hope it
will happen in near future. Our programs will be broadcast not only
all over Armenia but at a larger scope.


Q: What other new programs can we watch on Yerkir Media in the new
season? A: Even though the summer is very hot, we have recently aired
a new program. It is called `Ambassador' and tells about the
embassies accredited to Armenia and their staff. There is another new
program called `Miashabti=80=9D. A new series of programs will be
aired that tell about the beautiful sites of Armenia that are not
mentioned in any tourist guidebooks. In September we will air several
other new programs.