RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun.am) is the most preferred and trusted online media resource in Armenia, according to a new poll published by a leading local watchdog on Wednesday.
A group of researchers working on a subgrant from the Union of Informed Citizens recently conducted a survey on the subject of media literacy among 1,200 respondents in capital Yerevan and rural and urban communities in all provinces of Armenia.
Respondents were asked questions on a wide range of issues, including their attitudes towards media, government institutions and politicians.
The results of the polls show that among television companies the most watched and trusted are Shant and Armenia TV, while the Public Television of Armenia is in third place.
According to the polls, Public Radio and Azatutyun have the largest audiences among radio stations. Over 18 percent of respondents said they prefer to get their news on Azatutyun’s website, which is also the most trusted online media resource for Armenians, according to the polls. Azatutyun.am is followed by News.am and 1in.am.
Of the respondents 36.5 percent mentioned the internet as their main source of information, about the same percentage of respondents prefer television as their primary source of information.
The number of radio listeners in Armenia is ten times as low, but nearly 19 percent of respondents trust the information broadcast by radio stations.
A majority of respondents (56 percent) said that during the past six months they followed live videos on Facebook by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and other officials and politicians, including opposition ones.
The polls show quite a low level of public trust towards the National Assembly, which yields to the level of trust towards the prime minister, the president and the government. And this is despite the new constitution adopted through a referendum in 2015 to turn Armenia into a parliamentary republic.
The judicial system and political parties enjoy even lower trust of the public than the National Assembly, the researchers said.
The most popular politician, according to the polls, is Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, followed by President Armen Sargsian and Prosperous Armenia Party leader Gagik Tsarukian.
The polls conducted last summer show that Artur Vanetsian, who resigned as director of the National Security Service in September, was in fourth place according to his popularity, followed by Parliament Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan.
One of the questions asked to respondents was about the most disliked public figures. According to the researchers, while a majority of respondents did not name anyone, 26 percent said they disliked most the third president of Armenia, Serzh Sarkisian. Other most disliked figures included senior members of the former ruling Republican Party Armen Ashotian and Eduard Sharmazanov, followed by Armenia’s second president Robert Kocharian and first president Levon Ter-Petrosian.
Researchers said that the polls show that fewer Armenians have the desire to leave the country permanently as compared to similar surveys conducted in the past. Nearly 60 percent of respondents said they will definitely not emigrate from Armenia.