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Tamar Karelidze

Mail Carriers, Mouthpieces and Incorrectness

15.05.2013 23:36

თამარ კარელიძე

Monthly meetings with journalists, answering their questions, even edifying them sometimes, are the components of the new government’s project called “open management”. Well, that sounds good. At least for the moment one is allowed to put down the comments of the government representatives they make regarding various subjects. And do that without the fear that the angry press-service will seize him by the scruff of his neck for putting a wrong question.

Press conferences of Bidzina Ivanishvili are always special not only by the memorable answers on his part, but as well with the attitude he has towards journalists.

It’s true that none of us is an expert in economics, politics or law. Some of us do not perfectly comply with the standards of ethics, some misrepresent the facts, or isn’t familiar with the subject. Some even follow the habit of a friend of mine and attend press-conferences and shooting in order to check their appearance in the mirrors of the elevators, make some photos holding a microphone, and upload them later on Facebook. Yet no matter how imperfect journalists may be, still there should be the right form of reprimanding them.

Bidzina Ivanishvili has been distinguished with his critical attitude towards journalists since the day he came in politics. Some of his criticism was due though. Today’s meeting has attested to the aforementioned fact.

Not all of the journalists were given the opportunity of putting a question, just as it happened in the past number of times, allegedly due to the lack of time. At today’ press-conference is has been due to the lists. According to the press-service, the list had been comprised of the media outlets that didn’t manage to put a question at the earlier press-conference. Naturally, the given criteria wasn’t extended to the central televisions;

Each time the Prime Minister demands the journalists to analyze the facts. Yet he forgets that respondents play an important role in that process, and that sometimes he himself is a respondent;

The Prime points out to incompetent questions on the part of the journalists, while not letting them to end their question,  and cavils at every word;

He even calls upon the journalists to enter into an argument with him, forgetting , however, about the precious time which a press-conferences always lacks. And using the time of others’ is an improper thing to do (despite the fact that nobody really pays attention to the rule of putting only one question during the press-conference);

“A journalist should be more than just a mail carrier,”- the PM states, but when a journalist says that she’s not a mail carrier, that she simply wants an answer to her question, the PM refuses to answer.

Bidzina Ivanishvili starts analyzing in a didactic tone the questions put by the journalists, gives them exceedingly rigid reprimands. Yet when being pointed out towards correctness, he himself calls upon the correctness on the part of the journalists, wondering why do they see aggression in his statements.

The PM never misses the opportunity to remind one of the journalists regarding her time in Real TV, and stresses the “invaluable” service that the television had rendered him during the pre-election period.

After all that the Prime-Minister states that he wants media to be independent, and that his “masterclass” serves this very purpose, and that journalists shouldn’t be upset over his remarks.

Another person that expresses negligent attitude toward journalists is the Minister of Education,  being currently a candidate for presidency. Such attitude is evident in the tone of Giorgi Margvelashvili’s address, in his answers, etc. The fact is clear the Georgian journalism is far from perfection, but the form of address attests to the level of person’s tactfulness. Sense of tact is equally important for both the government members and journalists.

The duel between the PM and journalists is supposed to last for a long time. Some enjoy it, some get upset over it, but journalism won’t become respected until it is associated with mail carriers, mouthpieces of somebody’s behalf, and ignorance. 

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