Artur Papian, a website editor for RFE’s Armenian Service, Radio Azatutyun
, was honored for his outstanding contributions to the development of digital media in Armenia at the Yerevan Press Club
(YPC) Annual Award ceremony on July 18.
Papian won for enhancing alternative media through the introduction of live streaming to Radio Azatutyun's website. Radio Azatutyun broadcast its first live stream video in March to share news not available through traditional Armenian broadcast media, which is subject to government censorship. One webcast covered an opposition rally in Yerevan marking the third anniversary of the clash between protestors of the 2008 Armenian presidential elections and police, a conflict that left 10 protestors dead.
Traffic to Radio Azatutyun’s website
has increased significantly, with some of the service's live videocasts reaching more than 85,000 viewers. Papian predicts that the increase in traffic and YPC’s recognition of Radio Azatutyun’s alternative media initiative will inspire other Armenian news outlets to follow suit.
“This award will point everybody in the right direction by making Armenian media stronger in the alternative media area,” Papian said.
YPC has served as an influential media watchdog since it was founded in 1995 and has recognized the top Armenian journalists and media outlets at its annual award ceremony since 1998. Radio Azatutyun correspondents have previously won YPC Annual Awards in 1999, 2003 and 2004.
-- Grace Dohnalek