Professional development

There is no special legislative regulation of journalistic work in Armenia. Due to the liberalisation of media legislation in 2003, the definitions of rights and obligations of a journalist have been removed. The state does not in any way regulate a journalist’s professional development and does not oblige journalists to take advanced training courses or special trainings to improve professional skills. As a rule, this is a voluntary decision.

The Law on Mass Information states that a journalist, as a person who performs an important public mission, is under special protection of the state. However, this provision is merely declarative in nature except that, as has already been mentioned, legislature ensures protection of the journalist’s information sources. The specific character of the profession creates additional difficulties in monitoring the observance of journalists’ labour rights, which are violated widely and universally. Established recruitment and dismissal procedures are often not followed. Frequent changes of employment can be caused by a mismatch of an employee’s political and other views with those of the media owners and executives. In fact, like in other areas, there are practically no independent journalistic trade unions in Armenia. The institution of collective bargaining is lacking. Media executives often hire people without professional journalistic education in order to explore narrow professional topics more thoroughly.