IAGJ: The Media Must Be Freed from Political Ownership
22 October, 2012
IAGJ: The Media Must Be Freed from Political Ownership

The Independent Association of Georgian Journalists appeals to the new government to implement reforms in media ownership

With the handover of power the media market in Georgia is being redistributed among political groups, a process associated with the violation of journalists’ rights, closing down of television programmes, unfair dismissal from service and not paying of wages.

Journalists Vakho Sanaia and Eka Khoperia stated that their TV programmes were shut down by the Director of Georgian Public Broadcaster Gia Tchanturia without any

prior discussion. Broadcasting company PIK has cut journalists’ salaries. Financial problems emerged at Real TV, which has suspended broadcasting for an indefinite period. After giving back the broadcasting company Imedi to Patarkatsishvili’s family, the channel has temporarily suspended the broadcasting of news.
The processes caused by the governmental changes demonstrated once again that Georgian TV media is in a state of deep crisis and is far from independent media standards. The allocation of shares among the members of former governors, the unjustifiable and unfair recording of debts for some broadcasting companies is creating an unhealthy environment in Georgia’s media space and further worsening the situation of freedom of speech in the country.
The Independent Association of Georgian Journalists considers that over the years, the management and subsidization of broadcasting companies and the advertising market by members of the government hampered the development of independent broadcasting companies and print media. As a result, the quality of freedom of speech has worsened and credibility of the journalistic profession in Georgia has fallen.
After the parliamentary elections on 1 October, a new opportunity has been given for the mistakes of the previous years to be corrected. Government, media and civil society should ensure together the exemption of broadcasting companies from political ownership.
Legislative changes should be implemented in the field of the regulation of media ownership and policy. These changes should exclude the possibility of media monopolization and subsidization by the government or politically motivated groups close to the government.
To develop a mechanism of implementation for this purpose it is necessary to begin discussions between all interested sides in the immediate future.
Media owners should sign such agreements with journalists to ensure their independence and editorial non-interference.
The changes should apply to the National Communications Commission, which has been limiting the distribution of broadcasting frequencies to independent media-companies. Changes must be applied to the Public Broadcaster as well to rule out the possibility of the implementation of government policy and the violation of journalists’ rights in the future.
Journalists must show solidarity, guided only by the principles of journalistic ethics and not by political or financial interests.
The Independent Association of Georgian Journalists, member of the International Federation of Journalists, urges the new authorities to pay attention to the issues of media independence. The Association calls on all media-organizations, international organizations and authorities to start joint discussions on changes to be implemented in Georgian legislation and in the media in general. IAGJ, together with its partners is more than ready to facilitate these discussions and assist the new government with these changes.

Zviad Pochkhua, President of the Independent Association of Georgian Journalists

Geno Jokhadze, Vice-President

Beso Maminaishvili, Vice-President


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
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
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
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
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
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
A series of hard-hitting government adverts featuring people smoking cigarettes with a tumour growing from the end is being launched in England.
Addiction medicine specialists and Duke University experts warn that baby boomers are vulnerable to drug abuse.
GEL Exchange
January 2020
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 31