Editor's comment
A new beginning
24 December, 2015
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. Yes, we are indeed going out of business and this is painfully lamentable for all of us here at Georgian Journal, the exquisite and already very popular English-language weekly newspaper published by Media House Palitra in Tbilisi, Georgia. This fact has its reasons, which should likely be interesting to our faithful
readers: Georgian Journal will merge with Georgia Today, another great English-language paper, to strengthen both newspapers. Both will be now issued under the title of Georgia Today. The number 414, seen in the title bar, is a mechanical error – somebody somewhere must have confused the count. I know it because this editorial is No. 423. I have accurately kept the paper’s numerical track. I have not missed one single issue, and all of them are proudly sitting on the shelves of my private archive. In addition to my famous editorials, I have managed to run on those lovely pages of Georgian Journal, throughout its meaningful albeit brief lifetime, 126 regular stories, 52 social research essays and 37 interviews. I remember like it was yesterday the moment when I was kindly asked by Palitra Media owners Irakli and Giorgi Tevdorashvili to give a start to this wonderful publication. And I did it without a second of hesitation and for no charge. I simply loved what I had so resolutely decided to embark on. And I am sincerely grateful to the two brothers for the support and cooperation they have bestowed on us - the fitters, welders and turners of Georgia’s current media works - in order for us to make the most of our talent and journalistic energy. Certainly, no Georgian Journal would have been possible without unmitigated efforts of the team we had put together at that memorable moment: Nugzar Ruhadze, Valery Chkadua, Otar Mateshvili, Natia Gordeladze, Keti Cheishvili, Zura Nikolaishvili and Lika Lazariashvili.
Without wasting time and with huge enthusiasm, we took the bull by the horns and did the job – hard but challenging: A Newspaper was born! And the pleasure was all ours – owners, founders, editors, designers and correspondents. We had correspondents in America, Russia, England and many other places. Vladimir Voina, Khatia Essartia, Mariam Makatsaria and many others profusely wrote for Georgian Journal on a systematic basis. Their distinguished stories never missed the point, which attracted many of our readers. Our local correspondents did a great job too. Unforgettable is the series on Georgia’s history, told in dialogue between historian Simon Maskharashvili and journalist Madonna Siharulidze. This wonderful newspaper went through many changes and alterations in the hands of its editors-in-chief of various times: Valery Chkadua, Geno Jokhidze, and Vazha Tavberidze. Vazha put together a great team of the youngest generation of GJ doers: Nino Akhaladze, Will Cathcart, Temur Sikharulidze, Sopo Beriashvili and Zura Amiranashvili. Cooperation between older and younger generations, who worked hand in hand made the paper as interesting as it could possibly be for the army of our esteemed readers. The special page, dedicated to our children and titled GJ for Kids attracted the attention of our youth. Notably, it was edited by thirteen-year-old Giorgi Shamkhalashvili and the young journalist of the page Nick Kikvadze. The style and language of Georgian Journal truly surprised all who ever had anything to do with it. I have even heard it was successfully and intensively used by teachers of English for practicing the language. Writing this closing editorial, it is hard to imagine that I will not be hovering over my weekly editorial pieces which used to be born in intellectual clashes within my mind and through the sweat of a journalist who has tapped his way towards his readers’ hearts and minds in painful deliberations on determining the newsworthiness and national value of his stories. I am talking about eight years of dedicated journalistic labor, through which we all got a little older and a little wiser, always introducing something new into our paper’s story-telling style. For instance, Vazha Tavberidze brought in an overall renovation of its format and content, which made Georgian Journal more readable than it has ever been before, focusing on what Georgia is all about and never forgetting about the goings-on around the world. I constantly heard the feedback from our foreign readers of our English-speaking citizens. I would also like to emphasize that some of my funny editorials often became talk of the town, especially when I was smart and lucky enough to hit the bull’s eye. Anyway... whatever it was, it was good and valuable – Georgian Journal has played as significant role in the life of this republic and in the important process of shaping the foreigners’ opinions of Georgia, which matters a lot. Are we saying complete goodbye to our beloved keeper of time? Yes and no! Georgian Journal will appear on the web under the same good old title. That’s not bad at all. As a matter of fact, that’s good. Many cheers go now to our GJ. Good luck and happy closing to you!