LA CRESCENTA—Editors from leading Armenian publications will headline a panel on Armenian media on Sunday, August 11. The panel will begin at 1 p.m., immediately following the Divine Liturgy, at the Prelacy’s Dikran & Zarouhi Der Ghazarian Hall, which is located at 6250 Honolulu Ave., La Crescenta, CA 91214.
Hosted by the Educational Committee of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Crescenta Valley, the event will cover current issues and challenges confronting the Armenian media, particularly in California. Ara Khachatourian of Asbarez, Harut Sassounian of The California Courier, Gabriel Moloyan of Massis Weekly, and Hratch Sepetjian of Nor Or Weekly will comprise the panelists. Attorney and playwright Aram Kouyoumdjian will serve as moderator.
Brief presentations by the panelists will offer historical overviews of the represented publications and information on each paper’s readership and reach, fiscal situation, and future outlook. Kouyoumdjian will then facilitate a panel discussion and field questions from audience members.
The panel will be among events being organized worldwide to commemorate 2019 as the Year of Armenian Media, pursuant to a proclamation by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. Early in July, over 100 media representatives from Armenia, Artsakh, and the Diaspora gathered at a Pan-Armenian Conference on Armenian Media convened by the Catholicosate. In his remarks to the conference, the Catholicos stressed that the Armenian media does not merely disseminate information but is entrusted with a pan-national mission.
Ara Khachatourian has served as the English Editor of Asbarez for the past 27 years. During his tenure, the English section transformed from a weekly insert in the Armenian section to a daily publication now having a significantly large online foothold in the Armenian media reality. He also oversaw the creation of the newspaper’s website in 1997, becoming the first Armenian publication to have an online presence.
Currently, Asbarez is one of the widest-read publications in the world. Before Asbarez, Khachatourian served as the media relations director for the Armenian National Committee of America, Western Region.
Khachatourian has been involved in community activities for more than 30 years, More recently, he has spearheaded the three iterations of the very successful ANCA-WR Grassroots Conference, has served on numerous committees, and was part of the team that organized the March for Justice in April 2015, which drew more than 160,000 people to the streets of Los Angeles demanding justice for the Armenian Genocide.
Born in Iran, Khachatourian moved to the United States with his family in 1979. While on the East Coast, Khachatourian joined the AYF and the ARF. He served two terms on the AYF Central Executive, one of them as chairman.
Harut Sassounian is a publisher, syndicated columnist, TV commentator, author, filmmaker, human rights activist, and President of the Armenia Artsakh Fund. For his humanitarian efforts, he has been decorated by the President and Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, as well as the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic Churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
His weekly commentaries in The California Courier are translated into Russian, French, Arabic, and Armenian, and reprinted in dozens of publications in various countries and posted on countless websites, including the Huffington Post. As a political commentator, he appears on US Armenia TV each week, during which he analyzes the latest developments around the world.
Sassounian served as a human rights delegate to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland from 1978 to 1988. He played a key role in the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the U.N. Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities in 1985.
Holding a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University (New York) and an MBA from Pepperdine University (Los Angeles), Sassounian is the author of “The Armenian Genocide: The World Speaks Out, 1915 – 2015, Documents & Declarations.”
Gabriel Moloyan studied Armenology at St. Joseph University after attending the Armenian Theological Seminary of Antelias. He was subsequently appointed Vice Principal of the Sahag Mesrobian School in Beirut and served in that position for 25 years. In 1954, Moloyan was among the founding members of the Nor Serount Cultural Association after recognizing a need for cultural preservation and expansion. Upon immigrating to the United States, Moloyan continued his passion for education and became a Founder and Board Member of the St. Gregory Hovsepian School in Pasadena.
Throughout his extensive career, Moloyan has worked as a journalist and editor at Ararad Daily Newspaper, Ararad Literary Journal, and Massis Weekly. As a longtime member of the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party, he served as Chairman of its Western U.S. region. In 2005, he was honored with a Pontifical Encyclical from His Holiness Karekin II and the St. Nerses Shnorhali Pontifical Medal for his decades of community service.
Hratch Sepetjian has been the editor of Nor Or, the Armenian-English weekly that serves as the official publication of the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (Ramgavar) of the Western U.S. since March 2016. He was the assistant editor of “Zartonk” daily in Beirut from 1994 to 2000.
Sepetjian has been the head of Armenian Studies and Program Director (since 2010), and has been teaching Armenian and Armenian History at AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School since 2002. He himself is a graduate of the AGBU Melkonian Educational Institute and holds a Master’s Degree in Armenian Philology and Pedagogy from Yerevan State University.
Aram Kouyoumdjian is an attorney at law and an award-winning playwright and director. He is currently serves as Assistant General Manager of the Personnel Department for the City of Los Angeles.
Below is the YouTube video presentation on “Armenia Tree Project – Celebrating 25 Years” presented by Anahit Gharibyan & Sarah Hayes at the Crescenta Valley Armenian Apostolic Church in La Crescenta, California on Thursday, July 14: