“Hayots Ashkhar” blames the state for the dismal condition of the Armenian media. “Entire Armenia is an unfavorable zone for the information business. They always say that the authorities let the journalists write what they want, and that this is how the real freedom of speech is manifested. Not quite so. Any government doesn’t give a damn about press freedom. Any government is disinterested in encouraging dissent. This is the nature of government.” The paper says the media is also to blame for its lack of influence on domestic affairs. Many Armenian journalists, it says, are “single-mindedly killing our profession” with their irresponsible reporting and willingness to be manipulated by politicians.
“Aravot” notes that the Armenian Communists have never had trouble organizing demonstrations in support of the Russia-Belarus union. The authorities let them protest freely because they don’t find the idea dangerous, safe in the knowledge that accession to the union, if it ever happens, would not mean a change of leadership. The paper, however, does see a danger in the Communist campaign and believes that the authorities must do something about it. “President Robert Kocharian, as the guarantor of our constitution, must remind the Communists that the Republic of Armenia is a sovereign, democratic, social and rule-of-law state.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak,” writing about Friday’s Communist rally, points out that Communist leaders, unlike several thousand elderly people who gathered at Yerevan’s Freedom Square, stopped short of demanding the resignation of Kocharian and the government.
Armenia is in urgent need of a strong and responsible opposition force, writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” Existing parties are not up to the task of holding the government in check, according to the pro-Kocharian paper.
“Azg” looks at the implications of the Minsk Group co-chairs’ assertion that the publics in Armenia and Azerbaijan are not prepared for compromise on Karabakh. As far as Armenia is concerned, there is a consensus among the political elite on the main principles of a Karabakh settlement.
“Aravot” runs an analysis of “the psychology of mutual compromise.” People tend to make concessions when they realize that there is no way they can achieve everything they want. Those who reject a military solution to a conflict are also likely to embrace a compromise deal.