Of Media, Freedom and Crossroads - M100 SANSSOUCI COLLOQUIUM 2015
24 September, 2015
Of Media, Freedom and Crossroads - M100 SANSSOUCI COLLOQUIUM 2015
”Satire must provoke shock” – declared Gerard Briard, editor-in-chief of the controversial French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo at the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium in Potsdam, Germany, as he prepared to receive an award for his publication’s outstanding contribution to freedom of speech. But while this was, true to their style, the most provocative one, it was by far not the only memorable speech that was heard on that day in the Sansoucci Orangery, which hosted one of Germany’s and arguably Europe’s
most high-profile annual media events yet again. Speeches by Dr. Ulrike Guerot on the concept of democracy, a curt yet to-the-point historical analysis by historian and professor Andreas Rödder and a congratulatory address by a famous writer Ferdinand Von Schirach were all insightful and enlightening. But the best of the bunch was still the speech given by 96-year-old Lord George Weidenfeld at the Gala dinner, with none other than one of the top German politicians, Peer Steinbrück, holding a microphone to him. The esteemed lord shared his insights on the dangers posed by the ‘Islamic State’, providing astute and sound analysis on the Islamic militant group’s insurgence.

The colloquium is held every year since 2005, with attendance of high-profile media representatives frogeotv.gem Germany and the rest of Europe becoming its trademark feature. Traditionally, the big day is preceded by a week-long workshop for young journalists, who receive important training and have an opportunity to meet their senior colleagues at the colloquium, setting up future contacts and acquiring invaluable experience in the process.

“70 years of Potsdam Agreement: At a new crossroads?” was the topic of discussion for the 2015 colloquium, and I was (along with fellow Georgian journalists who attended the Young Journalist’s Workshop) privileged to represent Georgian Journal at the event which offered insightful discussion and plenty of room for debate with media professionals of the highest calibre. A specific accent was made on Eastern Partnership countries, thus giving me an opportunity to provide a short analysis on Georgian media. As our readers may see in the little excerpt below, the speech didn’t exactly convey a lot of positivity, but then again, this was the shared sentiment among representatives of fellow EaP countries. Without further ado:

“Sadly, the only things we have in excess in the Georgian media environment are polarization and lack of public trust in what we do. That is, people watch TV, listen to radio and read newspapers, but rarely does anyone believe what he or she reads; this is especially true for the outlets that do not hide their support of this or that political force or figure.

As far as media freedom goes, in 2015, Thgeotv.gee Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index ranked Georgia 69th, placing it among the “partly free” states. Yet at the same time, Georgia has the best rating out of all Eurasian countries. Henceforth comes the question - Is Georgian media really free, or is it the “neighboring environment” that makes it look so? There is no denying that since the 2012 elections, media became more free and pluralistic (polarisation being an aggravating side effect), but according to the polls, public trust in news media outlets has decreased at the same time. For many, media freedom also meant more room for media recklessness: There are forces of ambiguous origin that took freedom for a green light to openly pursue their questionable agendas or, to put it bluntly, propaganda. One of most common and gravest examples of it is the alarming frequency of anti-Western propaganda masquerading under the Eurosceptic narrative.

All that has a widely negative effect on the Georgian audience and the media environment in general. Not only do the readers and viewers lose respect and trust towards the media, but such shenanigans also promote relativism and disillusionment; in addition, there is also a dangerous tendency of people starting to blindly believe whatever they hear and see, buying into the propaganda.”

geotv.ge

geotv.ge

Photo credit: M100 SANSSOUCI COLLOQUIUM 2015

Print
Other Stories
A new beginning
Our little darling GJ has done its good job and it is now leaving the public life arena as quietly as it had once come around eight years ago.
Left-hand, Right-hand...
Georgia has lately been flagrantly busy and obsessed with controversial talk about the right-hand-steering wheels
Always in Expectation
Georgia last felt stable, hopeful and unperturbed when the Soviet home of nations was still alive and kicking. As soon as the loud and hard-going Soviet collapse occurred
Named after Bush
Any time I am on my way to Tbilisi Airport together with another guest of mine, and pass the huge mural portrait of George
Remembering the Legend
The famous Georgian physician and scientist Joseph Zhordania would have turned 120 this year.
Impeach the Mayor? Then what?
It does not take excessive political qualification to know that democracy has turned out to be a complicated brain-twister
Rustavi 2
The current government got hold of the helm on a wave of promises to restore justice in the country, buried
What is it all about?
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” Just in Denmark, not in Georgia! Aren’t we lucky that nothing
Perpetuity of Conflict
Here, the difference of opinion is perceived not as the knowledgeable and well-organized Western political culture would dictate.
Welfare & Politics
Beliefs, principles, dogmas, views, political affairs, etc. are not edibles to eat, although they are fed to people
Polit-Economic Paradox
That the Georgian historical lands are occupied by Russia is part of politics, and the fact that Georgia
Freedom of Speech
All of our governments of various periods in the last twenty-five years have been at a loss when it came to the relationships
Narushilovka
I cannot imagine an American policeman – unless I am totally ignorant of reality or utterly uninformed on the matter
Jansugh Charkviani ‘The Gorgeous Death’
Translated from Georgian by Nugzar B. Ruhadze
Flashes in the Pan
In the twentieth century, before the eyes of the civilized world, we appeal to the conscience of civilized nations and all honest people
Pursuing happiness...
Georgia has of course taken the human rights issue very seriously – and this tells on the life of this nation quite considerably
Forms of Hatred
Anything that the world is concerned about and is dwelling upon verbally or practically has become a subject of discourse in Georgia too.
Do’s & Don’ts
What a silly month of year August is when it comes to feeding ourselves with news. In August, don’t even bother
USSR & USA
The United States, left in the battlefield all by itself and without a worthy opponent, is feeling somewhat
'Make America Great Again'
The title of this editorial is copied from a presidential campaign slogan – behold, somebody wants to make America great all over again.
“Georgia will be better off with Trump in the White House than Obama”
Bill Thomas is an author and journalist in Washington who has written about politics for more than 20 years.
Electoral Preferences
Call them as you wish but ask of them as much as, for example, the American people are asking of senators and congressman of their choice!
Why so critical?
Why am I so critical towards my native Georgia, its habits and inclinations, its people and government, its means and ways, its behavior
Into & Beyond Politics
It was Georgia’s good luck that several years ago we won the title of the host country of the 13th Summer European Youth Olympic
Off you go, Satan!
I am not a believer. Neither am I a pure atheist. Both of these stances are extremely hard to maintain. This is why I have sheltered
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
16.11.2018
17.11.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6818
2.6727
EUR
1
EUR
3.0299
3.0268
GBP
1
GBP
3.4332
3.4240
RUB
100
RUB
4.0185
4.0447
Other Stories
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6727
EUR
1
EUR
3.0268
GBP
1
GBP
3.4240
RUB
100
RUB
4.0447
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30