Conclusion

As can be seen, the media landscape of Armenia requires serious structural changes at all levels. Print media are in poor condition. The underdevelopment of the advertising market forces newspapers to rely largely on sponsors, which has an extremely negative effect on the content and on the dissemination of independent information. Regional newspapers, which are on the verge of extinction, are especially vulnerable; they cannot be retrieved even by going online.

Television remains the most popular media, but online media and social networks are quickly gaining ground. The process of transition to digital broadcasting raises many questions inside the Republic. The competition for granting licences to regional channels for broadcasting in a multiplex is not always carried out objectively. The creation of a second multiplex, whether commercial or private, which is being talked about continuously, is artificially hampered at the legislative level. Lacking sufficient means and technical capabilities, regional channels cannot meet the selection criteria and have to die out slowly in the analog format.

The country is going through a process of development of online media. The fall in prices for Internet services has contributed to the rise of online journalism, which actively forms the main informational agenda, especially amid sociopolitical processes.

To a large extent, it is thanks to online media activities that in 2018 Armenia moved from the list of ‘partially free’ countries to ‘free’ ones. Online media broadcasting live actively covered the entire process of the revolution, promptly notifying the population about all the events in the streets of Yerevan.

The legislative sphere also requires major changes. The main law on Mass Media needs to be amended, especially in terms of the activities of online publications. The activity of the National Commission on Television and Radio, and especially the process of licencing television channels, is provoking criticism.

In terms of linguistic factors of functioning, the media landscape of Armenia is primarily bilingual: Armenian is the leading language, the second is Russian. Online media seek to provide information in English as well. The Russian language is more present on television and radio; thus Russian television channels and radio stations are relayed in Armenia. This fact can be explained by the existence of the world’s largest Armenian diaspora in the Russian territory, close economic relations (Armenia together with Russia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union), and the existing historical ties. In addition, a large number of Russian-language content depends on the lack of a budget for dubbing. In the context of linguistic media consumption, the Russian-language media are more used by the representatives of the older generation who received education in the Soviet Union.

Since the “Velvet Revolution”, the republic's media system, like all other industries, has been in a transitional, post-revolutionary stage, when the old rules of the game are in effect but should be revised. Obviously, the extraordinary parliamentary elections in December 2018, which led to a change in the composition of the parliament, cabinet of ministers and the country’s entire domestic policy, will certainly affect the various components of the media landscape of the republic.