Editorial Offices of Regional Media Eliminated in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia

4 April 2023

On March 31, the Ministry of Information, Tourism and Culture of Kyrgyzstan submitted for discussion the draft “On the elimination of regional newspapers”, the purpose of which is to improve the state information policy and optimize the activity of editorial offices of regional newspapers.

At the moment, the number of media workers is 228 people, and the total amount of the Salary Fund of the editorial offices of regional newspapers, financed from the republican budget, is 105 million soms (93 million rubles). At the same time, the vast majority of regional printed media in Kyrgyzstan today do not reach self-sufficiency, and the circulation of regional newspapers is not able to provide itself to all residents of the region. In addition, the demand for periodicals has declined due to the growing popularity of the Internet, television and radio.

The same decision was made in Armenia. On April 1, authorized representatives of the shareholder CJSC State Information Agency Armenpress announced the closure of two Russian-language media from June 1, 2023. It refers to the newspapers “Respublika Armenia” and “Aistani Hanrapetutyun”. The reason for the elimination of media in Armenia, as in the Kyrgyz Republic, is related to public finances. The funds spent on financing the editorial offices will be redirected to preparing news on the Armenpress website in Chinese, Persian and Georgian.

The president of the Union of Journalists of Armenia Satik Seyranyan commented on this decision: “These are traditional media, and even their names already speak volumes. Maybe they could be modernized, replenished with new journalistic staff.”

Earlier, the Haykakan Zhamanak newspaper explained that the implementation of the new media policy is connected with the calculation of financial figures and low profitability.

“The financial resources of the mentioned media are not withdrawn back, but will be directed to the implementation of new programs and projects. In this regard, it was decided to make certain changes and modernize the work of the Armenpress news agency,” the newspaper reported.

Nevertheless, Satik Seyranyan considers the excuse for closing the media as ridiculous and frivolous: “But I repeat that people who have worked in these media outlets for years should also take action and fight against this, because the arguments given are not serious.”

The state newspapers in Russian “Respublika Armenia” and “Aistani Hanrapetutyun”, established by the Armenian Parliament, have been published since 1990. Publications cover socio-political topics. Newspapers are published by “Armenpress” information agency.

Photo source: knews.kg