Wednesday, August 20, 2014

RFE/RL's Armenian Service

A dependable provider of independent information for 60 years, RFE/RL's Armenian Service is considered trustworthy by more than 95 percent of Armenians.

Fast Facts

  • Language: Armenian
  • Established: 1953
  • Distribution: Radio (FM, Satellite), Internet (Armenian/Russian/English website; mobile, YouTube, social media), TV rebroadcasting (Gala TV/Gyumri, Lori TV/Vanadzor, Ankyun+3/Alaverdy)
  • Coverage: Radio: 23 hours weekly, Internet TV: 20+ hours weekly
  • Locations: Prague, Yerevan
  • Staff: 6 (Prague), 25 (Yerevan), 20 stringers

Media Environment

  • Despite constitutional guarantees, media freedom is compromised by government control of most broadcast media. Independent and opposition journalists can face restrictions on their ability to work freely.
  • Armenia recently decriminalized libel and insult and made them a civil matter, which is in alignment with global standards. The number of cases filed against media and journalists has risen, however, and journalists fear this change will weaken their ability to work effectively.


  • Azatutyun is a leader in video journalism in Armenia, offering live webcasts of all major events. The Service's branded YouTube page is among the most popular nonprofit sites on YouTube, and Azatutyun video is regularly re-broadcast by other media outlets in Armenia.
  • Azatutyun reaches not only those living in Armenia, but also the Armenian diaspora, which numbers over 8 million worldwide.
  • “Exclusive,” a TV show featuring interviews with top Armenian newsmakers, is one of the country's most discussed news events, featuring interviews with President Serzh Sargsyan, opposition leader Raffi Hovanissian, Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian and other key officials and opposition leaders.
  • “Crossroads of Opinions” is a Saturday evening political talk show that first airs on radio and is later offered as a video webcast, has become one of the most popular political shows in Armenia.
  • “Facebook Press conferences” are live, interactive multicasts (radio, internet TV, Twitter stream and live updates on Azatutyun’s Facebook page) that have become the most innovative news products in Armenia. Top newsmakers are invited to Azatutyun’s studio to respond live to questions posed by Facebook users.
  • Azatutyun journalists are regularly recognized for their reporting. So far in 2013, they have won three Na/Ne prizes (instituted by the British Council) and an Institute for War and Peace Reporting award for coverage of women's issues, and a UN award for coverage of human trafficking.

updated: 28 May 2013

Facts & Stats

2.969 million (World Bank estimate, 2012)

Most Common Languages:
Armenian, Russian, Yazidi Kurdish

Press Freedom Index (Freedom House):
Not Free, ranked 134 out of 197 (2013).

Press Freedom Index (RSF):
74 out of 179 (2013)

Corruption Index (Transparency Int.):
105 out of 183 (2012)

Global Peace Index (IES):
98 out of 162 (2013)

Human Rights Watch:
Report on Armenia (2013)

Amnesty International:
Armenia Report (2013)

Meet RFE/RL's Armenian Service

RFE Armenian Service Director Harry Tamrazian

Service Snapshot: Harry Tamrazian

Harry Tamrazian is Director of RFE/RL's Armenian Service. He recently sat down with our Communications team to discuss Radio Azatutyan. More