A New Year’s Appeal from the Editor of "Hetq"
Dear Readers, For the past ten years “Hetq” has been providing investigative news reportage from Armenia and we have garnered a loyal host of readers from within the country and in far-flung countries worldwide. I can only assume from your letters and comments that you trust “Hetq” as an invaluable source of news and analysis. As of September, we have been publishing the “Hetq” weekly newspaper. Its sole aim is to reach those who have no access to the internet in Armenia. This segment of the population reaches a staggering 80%. Within the confines of our limited resources, we report on developments taking place outside Yerevan, in the regions, as well as in Artsakh, Javakhk and the Diaspora. However, our articles and news stories are beyond the reach of many Armenians living in faraway border towns and villages in Armenia and Artsakh. No wonder so many of these community residents feel neglected and abandoned, not an integral part of the wider nation. We write about the issues these people face on a daily basis. Consequently, we want to get the newspaper to as many of them as possible. We want to provide an information alternative to these people and offer them a broader perspective regarding the developments that impact them on a very personal level. Sadly, local T.V. oftentimes presents a skewed picture of this reality. We have been distributing the newspaper for free in various regional towns and villages and on the streets in Yerevan. I wish to thank all those individuals and organizations who have assisted “Hetq” in getting the word out. However, we cannot continue to distribute the newspaper at no charge. Thus, I call on all our readers, individuals and organizations alike, to subscribe to “Hetq” if they have the means to do so. More subscribers translate into a greater revenue base for us and with additional resources we can increase our print-run and get the paper to even more Armenians living in the hinterland. We would also be able to increase our reportage from the heartland of the country. Again, I urge all our loyal readers in a position to do so to donate a “gift subscription” for any village, school or library of their choosing. Your gift would make a world of difference I am sure that you can imagine the difficulties we face in maintain a team of reporters in the various outlying regions of Armenia. These journalists, in search of a story, visit remote village communities and different districts in Artsakh, sometimes at their own expense. Only your financial assistance will ensure that “Hetq” remains an independent news source with a team of professional reporters that will continue to provide top-notch investigative journalism. Believe me when I say that only you can guarantee our journalistic independence so that we are never beholden to corporate or political sponsorship, as is so often the case with other news outlets in Armenia. So please, chose any village, any village school or library, and make a gift subscription in their name. Rest assured we will get the paper to them. And don’t worry if you can’t come up with a deserving recipient. Just call or write us and we’ll supply you with some names. I would like to make a special appeal to our friends and compatriots overseas who follow developments in Armenia from afar. Now is your chance to make a real difference in the lives of your fellow Armenians “holding down the fort” in border communities and Artsakh. Your donation will keep the abreast of the news that is important to them. This is direct empowerment in action. A one year subscription costs 10,800 AMD; about $30. With the holiday gift giving season fast approaching, what better way to say you care about protecting the free flow of information in Armenia to those most in need. Subscriptions can be placed via the accompanying Pay-Pal link. Thanks and Best Wishes for 2010, Edik Baghdasaryan "Hetq" - Editor