YEREVAN — President of Armenia Serge Sargisian sent a congratulatory message to editor-in-chief of Azg daily Hagop Avedikian on his 70th birthday this week.
“You are one of the distinguished representatives of modern Armenian journalism. You have made significant contributions to developing journalism in Armenia.”
The Lebanese-born Avedikian is the founding editor of Azg, which appeared in the early days of Armenia’s independence. Prior to moving to Armenia, he was the editor of Zartonk daily in Beirut.
Azg is a sister paper to the Mirror-Spectator.
On the same occasion, Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian awarded the veteran journalist a special commendation.
Avedikian was trained under the legendary editor Kersam Aharonian and succeeded him as the editor of the daily Zartonk in Beirut.
When Armenia declared its independence, Avedikian moved there and settled in Yerevan with his family.
It is then and there that his pioneering mission in journalism began. He became the founding editor of the daily Azg, which was destined to transform the image and the function of journalism in Armenia.
He was instrumental in changing the dull and dour image of Soviet journalism by introducing Western methods and technology in the fledgling business of newsgathering.
In addition to editing a dynamic daily, which at first hit 40,000 in circulation, Avedikian rallied young and promising journalists around the paper. At that time, Azg became the most powerful and respected daily in Armenia. He was also smart enough to realize that those in the diaspora would want to read about Armenia, therefore he put out online translations of the main stories in English, Russian, Arabic and Turkish.
Many journalists, who later on embraced more ambitious careers as editors and diplomats, took their maiden steps in the editorial offices of Azg.
In addition to his profession as an eminent editor, he also became an educator, which in a way complemented his editorial mission. Indeed, he was invited by the State Pedagogical University to serve as a professor of journalism. Thus, he trained the new generation of journalists who ended up in the editorial offices of other newspapers and online publications, as well as in the TV stations as broadcast journalists.
Azg daily was initially supported by the ADL and it became an ADL organ. However, later it became and independent paper, continuing to serve as a proponent of liberal democratic ideals.
Azg also operated within the pool of ADL publications feeding and being fed by sister publications of Abaka in Montreal and the Mirror-Spectator in Boston.
Because of financial hardships, Azg recently became a weekly, mostly serving the intellectual and political elite in Armenia and in the diaspora.
Hagop Avedikian is rightfully considered as the dean of modern Armenian journalism in Yerevan and deserves all the accolades bestowed on him.
The editorial staff of the Armenian Mirror-Spectator joins the president and the foreign minister to congratulate him on his 70th birthday, wishing him many years of contribution to Armenian journalism in the years ahead.