Armenia is ranked 61st out of 181 countries in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders on Thursday.
The report says the new media served as an echo chamber for the “velvet revolution” in the spring of 2018 that brought a former journalist to power.
“The media landscape is diverse but polarized and the editorial policies of the main TV channels coincide with the interests of their owners. In other words, journalistic independence and transparent media ownership continue to be major challenges.
The new government must try to recover the opportunities that were lost in the transition to digital TV, which has paradoxically restricted the number of regional channels. And it must refrain from any excesses in its attempts to combat “fake news”. Its use of the security services for this purpose, followed by a social network user’s arrest, prompted concern. Investigative journalism, which is flourishing online, is well placed to play a major role in a national offensive against corruption,” the report on Armenia reads.
As to Armenia’s neighbors, Georgia is 60th, Russia is 149th, Turkey is 157th and Azerbaijan is 166th, while Iran is 170th.