ARF Media Conference Opens in Yerevan

YEREVAN (YERKIR)–A two-day conference of Armenian Revolutionary Federation media representatives from throughout the world has convened to review media related political and ideological issues. On the opening day of the event, both ARF representatives as well as invited guests commented on the role of the media. The following are some of those views: In his opening remarks, ARF Bureau member and National Assembly deputy speaker Vahan Hovhannisian said that through its publications, the ARF succeeded in creating a network to bind Armenia’s together scattered throughout the world after the genocide. On the current role of the press, Hovhannisian said: "Regardless of political views, if a paper–a reporter raises hope in people even with criticism–it is a nationalistic gesture. If, however, they disseminate disillusionment and cynicism–saying for example that Baku-Akhalkalak-Gars railroad will bring an end to Armenia–this is antinationalistic." USA based Asbarez daily newspaper editor Vatche Proudian said that Armenia is always present in the Diaspora press and hopes that in the future the Diaspora will also be present in the Armenia’s press. Boris Navasardian, the president of the Yerevan Press Club, stressed that ARF publications have consistently contributed to preserving Armenian identity in the Diaspora. Aram Abrahamian, the editor of the Aravot daily, said that while he is not a supporter of the ARF, he still believes that it is better to have some principles than be void of them. He recalled that the publication of the ARF Supreme Body Yerkir, enjoyed great circulation in 1990s because of its support of values that were accepted at the time. He also noted that ARF publications have never participated in actions aimed at limiting free speech in Armenia. ARF Bureau representative Hrant Margarian said that ARF publications have never been just party papers but are published with the community in mind, and for the community. "The press is my teacher; it assesses my activities, and it is very important to pay attention to it. In every society papers have a great role in the formation of values," stressed Margarian. Participants learned that after a two-year pause, Droshak, an ARF official publication, will be published again, and its future editor-in-chief will be National Assembly member and author Roben Hovsepian.

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