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02.06.2012 13:11

Talk Shows and Inviolability of Private Life

Maia Tsiklauri
Media Discusions

Talk shows on Georgian national TV channels tend to violate the inviolability of personal tragedy and private life and promote stereotypes towards minorities, reads the findings given in the survey carried out by the Media Development Foundation (MDF). 

Within the period of April 15 – May 10 the author of the survey Ninia Kakabadze monitored TV programs including 100 Degrees Celsius (Imedi), Nanuka’s Show (Imedi), Profile (Rustavi 2), Auditoria (First Channel), Life is wonderful (First Channel).

According to the survey findings in the course of Nanuka’s Show of April 24 Paragraph 2 of Article 33 of the Code of Conduct for Broadcasters was violated. According to the given article broadcasters should avoid inaccurate and misleading statements regarding minorities and their social problems, should not promote stereotypes or identify an individual’s ethnic origin or religious faith unless necessary. Broadcasters should avoid causing offence to any religious, ethnic or other groups by using, among others, certain terminology and images.

The survey points out that the article was violated since at the beginning of the third part of the program the program hostess Nanuka Zhorzholiani invited four Afro-Americans out of the audience to the studio to ask them why they are attending the program. “This passage most likely had not been preset in the program scenario. In a few minutes four Afro-Americans are getting back to audience to further watch the program,” says the author of the survey and clarifies that “they found themselves on the Nanuka’s Show stage due to the color of their skin. Even though the program hostess was favorable to the guests in this case we have discrimination in place, since inviting four dark-skinned guys to the stage and showing them to public means stressing their difference from the rest of the society and promoting stereotype. While the only difference is the color of their skin within the society they represent minority, this kind of action is discrimination.”

Within the monitoring period another violation was observed in Nanuka’s Show which according to the author of the survey is not directly stipulated in the Code of Conduct for Broadcasters but it evidently violates the right to inviolability of personal tragedy.

In the program of May 2 the first Georgian TV series House in Old District produced in the 1990s was being discussed. The TV series was the one of those so-called mystic movies. In the 1990s the movie was the topic of public doubts and rumors. Nanuka Zhorzholiani, following the rumors, is asking one of the movie actresses: “Mrs Leila, after this movie your child died. Do you relate the death with your participation in the TV series?“ According to the author of the survey “the program hostess fails to realize that she accusing mother of her child’s death and through the question underlines that her child’s death was preconditioned by her participation in the TV series, hence violating the inviolability of Leila Dzigrashvili’s private life and re-traumatizing the trauma.”

The right to inviolability of the private life was violated in the course of the May 4 program 100 Degrees Celsius when the second part of the program offered viewers live from Moscow featuring famous faith healer Juna Davitashvili. The program presenter Nodar Meladze is asking her: “Mrs Juna, you have saved the lives of many people, why were you unable to save your own child?” In response Juna Davitashvili started crying, saying many accuse her of being unable to resurrect her child. “Why are you telling me things like that? Have you got no heart? How would I have been able to save my child’s life if he had been killed? He was killed by seven people.” The respondent is crying and the program host keeps on asking her: “Why was your son killed? Who killed him? Why were you unable to help him?” While the respondent in an unbalanced condition says she will definitely resurrect her child and if she fails to then she will go to him, the presenter further questions how she is going to bring her child back to life. The conversation lasts for about 15 minutes. The faith healer is crying, speaking in a deranged way and the host keeps repeating questions about her dead son. The host of the program also reminds her of the attempt to raise him out of the grave three months after his funeral. The respondent is again trying to justify herself, saying she failed to bring him back to life,” the author of the survey points out.

Ninia Kakabadze clarifies that the questions posed to the faith healer go far beyond the main topic of the program (paranormal phenomena) and the presenter starts to manipulate with the respondent’s emotions to further involve the viewers. One question “Is it true you have beaten Alla Pugacheva?” posed by the presenter evidences how much far the host of the program deviates from the topic. The last block of the program is aimed to absolutely “yellow” the program, with making the particulars of Juna Davitashvili’s private life into the matter of interest instead of paranormal phenomena. Nodar Meladze ignores respondent’s right to inviolability of the private life,” says the author of the survey and thereby underlines that Nodar Meladze’s professional work within the May 4, 2012 program can be assessed as the violence of top category. It’s an attempt to revive the past trauma of the respondent being in the state of psychological disorder while being invited to the studio as a faith healer requesting the presenter  to quit asking her the questions about his dad son. The case represents manipulation with respondent’s emotions, an attempt of interfering into her private life and tragedy and a gross violation of her rights.”

To view the full version of the report in the Georgian language please, download the file attached.

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