The discourse of the war defeat in Armenian online media
The Armenia-Russia-Azerbaijan trilateral statement signed on November 10, 2020, gave rise to the topic of the reasons for the defeat in the social-political community. Online media played a key role in publicizing the discourse and reflecting socio-political polarization. Studying the editorial policy of Armenian online media outlets will provide an opportunity to coordinate the circulated narratives, and assess the role of the media in public discourses.
I conducted small research aimed at revealing the framing mechanisms and patterns of narratives which covered the post-war discourse. Content and frame analysis of news stories was implemented. The research problem has been identified and articulated, based on the model of three Armenian online news outlets - Tert. am, Armtimes.com, and Hetq. am. The research data is not statistically representative. The problem of the research is to find out the thematic statements in articles, the primary sources of information, and the title policy of given media outlets from November 10 to December 31, 2020. The document review method was implemented with the help of MS Excel software.
The total number of articles with thematic statements was 266:
- Tert.am- 188 articles
- Armtimes.com- 57 articles
- Hetq.am- 24 articles
The distribution of thematic articles in the selected time period is presented in Graph 1
It can be seen that Tert. am has maintained an interest in the topic throughout the study period. Armtimes.com had a lot of publications in the first ten days, from December 15-20, which coincides with the escalation of internal political events. Hetq. am showed some interest in the topic only in the first stage of the study period, and in the second it forgot about it.
For the most part, the observed articles (see Graph 2) were based on the opinion or comment of a third party, or completely consisted of a direct quote of a third party.
Tert. am, in proportion, has more often copied materials from other platforms. Armtimes.com և Hetq. am made relatively few direct quotes, but in general, they are more based on the opinion of third parties.
The authorship description of the articles can be seen below.
Tert.am generally reproduced the thematic articles from another source. It also stood out with the fact that only a few articles have information about the author.
The official source is most often quoted by Armtimes.com. Social media is the source of the vast majority of Tert. am's articles. Hetq. am, compared to the other two websites, more often quoted foreign sources.
The framing of thematic articles differs significantly. Tert. am has apparently accepted the opposition's editorial policy. Armtimes.com supports the government. Hetq. am has both pro-government and opposition theses, but the former predominate.
Graph. 5 Tert.am’s messages
Graph. 6 Armtimes.com’s messages
Graph. 7. Hetq.am’s messages
- Tert. am showed the most interest in the topic during the study period.
- Most of the articles in all media outlets are non-copyrighted and copied from social media posts. They present third-party opinions and comments. Independent analysis is almost non-existent.
- Tert. am և Armtimes.com have fully expressed the political position of their owners in their editorial policy. Tert. am framed the discourse in such a way that the authorities betrayed, the negotiation process failed by the authorities, and if the war was stopped sooner, we would have had better results. Armtimes.com framed the discourse in such a way that it was impossible to end the war with better results, the reason being the previous 30 years, and the negotiation process has always been to the detriment of Armenia.
- Both opposition and pro-government theses have been circulated on Hetq. am, but the latter is predominant. The theses "the negotiation process has always been to the detriment of Armenia", "it was impossible to end the war with other results" are from the pro-government field, and the thesis "The authorities betrayed" was included in the opposition discourse.
Media Communications Expert