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RFE/RL’s Armenian Service: Radio Azatutyun

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 (Tsaig TV, Lori TV, Fortuna TV, Ankiun+3 TV, Ijevan TV)
  • Coverage: Radio: 20 hours 40 minutes weekly, Internet TV: 20+ hours weekly
  • Locations: Prague, Yerevan
  • Staff: 6 (Prague), 19 (Yerevan), 34 stringers

Media Environment

  • Freedom House Freedom of the Press Index, 2016: Not Free (63rd/100)
  • Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index, 2016: 74th/180
  • After Armenia joined the Russia-led Eurasian Union, there are fears that the media situation will eventually degrade and become more similar to the other Eurasian Union states: Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan.
  • 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.

Highlights

  • The Armenian Service is a leader in online video journalism in Armenia. News Center (Lratvakan Kentron) is its flagship evening news program, airing live every weekday from 8:00pm -9:00pm and featuring live in-studio discussions with guests. Service Director Hrair Tamrazian hosts the Sunday Analytical Show which broadcasts via YouTube and the Service's website and commands great popularity as a result of its winning combination of exclusive interviews and coverage of hot topics.
  • The Armenian Service features live webcasts of major events in the country which are regularly re-broadcast by other media outlets in Armenia.
  • The Service's YouTube channel is a powerful social media platform with more than 31,300 subscribers, and active chatrooms where the volume of live comments can reach into the thousands. The channel averages 1.4 million views per month – more during major events - and has logged almost 36 million views since its inception in 2010.
  • The Armenian Service has a strong social media presence, with more than 265,700 subscribers to its Facebook page and whom the Service engages about half a million times per month, and a dedicated Twitter audience of 7,300 users.
  • Azatutyun reaches audiences not only in Armenia, but among the eight million worldwide Armenian diaspora.
  • The Service has pioneered the use of “Facebook Press Conferences,” inviting top newsmakers to its Yerevan studio to respond live to questions posed by Facebook users. The interactive programs are multicast on radio, internet TV, Twitter, and Facebook, and rank among the most innovative news products in Armenia.
  • Azatutyun features live webcasts (on Facebok Live and YouTube Live) of all major events and is the leader in this sphere. Azatutyun’s Facebook page is currently the only page in Armenia to feature live broadcasts of high quality (1080i) video stream.

Updated: 19 May 2016

Facts & Stats about Armenia

  • Population: 3.006 million (World Bank estimate, 2014)
  • Most Common Languages: Armenian, Russian, Yazidi Kurdish
  • Press Freedom Index (Freedom House): Not Free, ranked 63 out of 100 (2016)
  • Press Freedom Index (RSF): 74 out of 180 (2016)
  • Corruption Index (Transparency Int.): 95 out of 168 (2015)
  • Global Peace Index (IES): 110 out of 162 (2016)
  • Human Rights Watch: Report on Armenia (2016)
  • Amnesty International: Armenia Report (2015/2016)​
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