This report today (video above, in AM, for written version follow this link) by independent / pro-opposition A1+ TV station which was forced to cease broadcasting for apparent political motives, and currently in an online mode, made me think. May be those who closed down A1+ after all succeeded in their mission?... Is A1+ dead?..
The A1+ I knew was a premier source for alternative news and reports, a tribune for voices you would not normally hear in a mainstream media, devoted to human rights... Or may be, after so many years, I started idealising that TV station, and I needed this reality check to see things more realistically.
When I was reading and watching this report which was supposedly about gays in Armenia, but in reality about sex workers who happened to be gay, transsexual or transvestite, I realised that I can no longer recognise the TV station I was a supporter and fond of.
If this is how the new face of journalism at A1+ will look like, then why would I even bother waiting for their return to TV screens in Armenia?! Optimistic part in me tries to believe that this is just a one-off failure rather than a new trend. But if standards of journalism would be as low as elsewhere, then why bother?
I wanted to see A1+ as the real plus one to Armenian TV media. Otherwise, one more, one less, doesn’t matter.
It’s not the fact that they decided to do a report on sex workers who are gay, transsexual or transvestites (Btw, they mixed up the terms). But an attempt to put an equal mark between sex workers and gays (and not only by A1+). This is what bothers me as totally wrong, uneducated and homophobic. It’s as if they start presenting all women as sex workers just because there are female sex workers.
Also, the general tone of the report was shifted to create a targeted negative attitude towards gays. It was homophobic. Full stop.
P.S. Thanks to my journalist friend Shushan Harutyunyan who pointed out to this article as unacceptable and homophobic via comments on Twitter.
Via @blansharm: Թող ինձ ներեն իմ կոլեգաները, բայց անէթիկական, հոմոֆոբիկ ու դելետանտական նյութ էր http://bit.ly/br3Yfi #Armenia #homophobiaAfter that, A1+ changed some of discriminatory Armenian terms to refer to gays into acceptable ones (“համասեռամոլ” into “միասեռական”), but not everywhere, and the report itself stands as it was.