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Election Coverage Earns RFE/RL Armenian Service Correspondents Yerevan Press Club Award

(Prague, Czech Republic--July 21, 2003) Three Yerevan-based correspondents for RFE/RL's Armenian Service were honored by the respected Yerevan Press Club (YPC) for displaying "professional responsibility and effective team work" in their coverage of this year's presidential and parliamentary elections in Armenia. The three -- Ruzanna Khachatrian, Karine Kalantarian and Hrach Melkumian -- received the 2002-2003 YPC Annual Award on July 18, 2003.

Established in 1998 to recognize and encourage objective and impartial news reporting in Armenia, the winners of the YPC Annual Award are determined by a jury of well-known local journalists and editors. One of the members of this year's jury, the chairman of a journalist association in Gyumri, Levon Barseghian, praised the RFE/RL Armenian Service's political coverage and in particular its work during the 2003 elections.

"If someone in Gyumri [located northwest of Yerevan] wants to get objective and truthful information on, say, opposition demonstrations, they have to listen to Radio Liberty broadcasts," Barseghian said after presenting the three journalists with special YPC certificates.

This is not the first time that RFE/RL's Armenian Service has won the YPC Annual Award. In 1999, the Armenian Service's Yerevan Office won "for efficient and impartial coverage of Armenian events in foreign media outlets."

The YPC Annual Award is given to several journalists and media outlets every year. This year's winners were judged on their coverage of the controversial presidential elections in February and March, 2003 and parliamentary elections in May, 2003.