Freedom of Information Center of Armenia.

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It is a priority to provide disclosure on real beneficial owners of media outlets


On the 4th of March, by the initiative of Freedom of Information Center Beneficial “Ownership Transparency in the Media Sector” workshop was conducted with the participation of journalists and media representatives.

The president of Freedom of Information Center Shushan Doydoyan presented the situation of media sector in Armenia, the main issues and possible risks concerning this procedure. One of the most crucial steps towards financial transparency of mass media is through exposure of the real owners. Shushan Doydoyan stated in her speech: “Sooner or later Armenia media sector is going to face this issue, and it is vital that we- the representatives of mass media sector, discuss the features and priorities of the procedure”

In the framework of Open Government Partnership, adopted in November of 2018, the Armenian government accepted the 4th program of the action plan which includes a special commitment by the government to take the responsibility of securing the publicity of business owners from all the fields through creation of public open registry. Already in the April of 2019 RA National Assembly unanimously accepted the legislative package for creating the real ownership registry. It is very important that both the commitment and the legislative regulations refer to all the business sectors without exceptions.

The representative of Open Ownership organization Peter Low took part in the meeting, he presented International best practices of media beneficial ownership highlighting the example of Great Britain as having the best experience.

Armenian mass media editors, journalists, representatives of journalistic non- governmental organizations participated in the workshop. The latter considering the importance of the discussion expressed their concern that if the initiative is not used correctly, it can become a danger for the freedom of speech and turn into an instrument to pressure the mass media.

“This process is important for several reasons. First, media outlets should be honest with its audience and play the game fairly and openly. In addition, the disclosure of real ownership can become an effective tool to monitor how well the demands of the law were followed starting from the establishment of the mass media, particularly in case of broadcasting media as it is prohibited for the state bodies or political parties to establish a media channel” Chairman of the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression Ashot Melikyan mentioned in his speech.

National Coordinator of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative under RA government Lusine Tovmasyan presented the commitment of the government, as well as the experience in this field. The state representative emphasized the importance of such professional meetings, highlighting that each sector has its peculiarities and first and foremost for the most effective solution it is necessary to discuss the issues concerning the sector with the representatives of the sector.

The event was conducted with the support of The British Embassy in Armenia.


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