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Tamar Karelidze

In my first year of journalism studies at university the lecturer, to clearly show us an immense impact of media, told us the following stor

15.02.2013 18:17

In my first year of journalism studies at university the lecturer, to clearly show us an immense impact of media, told us the following story: in order to see its impact on viewers one of the TV channels decided to conduct an experiment. In scorching summer heat the TV company made a forecast on frost to expect on the following day, and the individuals showing up at the TV premises wearing fur coats would receive some kind of surprise. On the following day at the TV premises there was a line of people wearing fur coats. The authors of the experiment would have never imagined such a an outcome of the experiment.

At a glance it might look ridiculous but this very case gives a clear picture of the extent of impact of mass media on the society. Looking through the Georgian reality Rustavi 2 was the TV company that carried out the Rose Revolution in 2003. Almost similar result was achieved by TV company Imedi in November 2007.

Let alone the aforementioned, once some clever people drafted journalism ethics to avoid panic in the society or discourage restriction of human rights. Hunting for sensations journalists should keep people on mind that are made into heroes in the stories and the people being delivered the stories.

In the aftermath of the October elections the rhetoric of the channels, that used to conduct PR campaign in favor of the ruling team, changed radically. They started covering the cases of looting, robbing and similar crimes that ultimately caused some kind of fear within the society.

Further enhances this fear the Law on amnesty, which was passed in December and has already entered into force. Along with that comes the Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s statement, who speaks of expected increase of crime, and also notes that the society should treat similar cases with understating.

Any media outlet shall cover the events ongoing in the country but somehow I think frequent and ardent coverage of robberies, lootings or killings in the main news programs on some of the TV companies is conducive to spreading panic in the people. The presenters keep reporting on criminal offenses in such a tone as if telling the audience that they deserve a way more for voting for the election new authorities when taking part in the elections held on October 1, 2012. 

Prior to the elections held I can’t recollect any TV company having devoted such a lengthy prime time TV air, let’s say, to the break-in into the branch of a bank. Even though crimes used to take place they were busy speaking about prosperity of the country. Leaving aside the assumptions who might benefit from public excitement, a part of the society can still guess the actual reason of covering criminal cases this way.

These televisions might even feel joyful: ardently covering criminal stories they keep attracting audience. But I personally believe that the current way of work is a way more ghastly than before, when repeatedly reporting on the re-opening of the same enterprise and ministers endlessly telling us goodnight tales about employment and IDPs’ good living conditions.

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