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Two dozens of media outlets in Armenia have discussed with the Union of Journalists of Armenia the mandatory requirement that the Commandant’s Office for the state of emergency has set for reporters and their guests to wear face masks on air. Wearing face masks on air obstructs the work of TV companies and online media outlets, the shows of which are posted online.

Yesterday President of the Union of Journalists of Armenia Satik Seyranyan shared the concerns of the heads of media outlets in an official letter addressed to Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia, Commandant Tigran Avinyan with the request for an urgent solution to the issue.

The letter particularly states the following: “Television companies continue to be warned and proceedings have been instituted for not wearing face masks on air, and the heads of many mass media outlets, including TV companies have addressed the Union of Journalists of Armenia with the request for clarification from the Deputy Prime Minister and for transmission of our call.

Taking into consideration the fact that it is impossible to understand whether the requirement for wearing a face mask on air also applies to mass media outlets or not, we deem it necessary to receive clarification from the Commandant whether there is a specific norm that prescribes the requirement for wearing face masks on air and if there isn’t, on what ground are several media outlets warned and why are proceedings instituted against them.

Since a legal regime of state of emergency was approved in almost all countries due to the coronavirus pandemic, the work of media in those countries has also been studied.

Taking into consideration the fact that there hasn’t been any requirement for wearing face masks during broadcasts on the reputable TV stations and the news agencies of mass media outlets in any one of those countries, we would like to ask to clarify whether the requirement for wearing face masks on air is prescribed by the decision of the Commandant or not.

The television companies and online media outlets maintain social distancing and observe all the measures for sanitation and prevention of the spread of the virus during their broadcasts. Wearing a face mask in an almost empty pavilion obstructs the work of not only hosts, but also, in many cases, the guests. It is not by chance that the hosts of reputable mass media outlets, including TV companies of the world and their guests don’t wear face masks during talks and news broadcasts. The issue is pressing and requires a rapid and comprehensive solution.”

NEWS.am has also signed the letter.

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