Black-ribbon accreditations and journalists at the Inauguration Ceremony
Unlike regular citizens media pays special attention to the preparatory period for President’s Inauguration. Accreditations, press-lounges, day schedule – there’s always a lot to take care of; and you should not miss anything.
Approximately 10 days before the inauguration the conditions for receiving accreditations were posted at the government website. According to the text only journalists and cameramen with a pass to Government Chancellery had the right to cover inauguration (actually there are not many such journalists as the limit for Chancellery accreditations was set last year.) They made us to send photos, IDs; anyway everything was done as it had to be done. When I went there to take back my ID they gave me just a badge with Press on it, which was in force together with the ID. I do not understand what they needed all those photo for, but I presume they wanted to place photos on the accreditations but did not have time.
Another surprising element of the accreditation was the ribbon. I could not come to a conclusion for two days why this celebration badge had to have black ribbon. I understand red is not popular any more, and even irritates many, but if it was about another color why did they have to choose black?
As for the inauguration process itself the lounge for press was at the last floor balcony from which without binoculars one would at least have problem to see what was happening down there. If we try to justify putting journalists up there it would seem that it was convenient more for news agencies’ and radio journalists. It is also understandable that televisions received live broadcast from the tower but how about those media outlets that did not have technical means to receive the signal?! Nobody gave an answer to this question so they had to use others’ footage.
As for the photographers: Giorgi Gogua wrote that before the start of inauguration, during the rehearsal some photographers were allowed to shoot and some not. The reason they gave was that only personal photographers were shooting, although there were also others. When Gogua protested and spoke out he was told that only foreign photographers could attend (foreigners’ image is a separate phenomenon in Georgian reality; I’ve always wanted to know why they think that a foreigner is more talented or will shoot better. They are always privileged. We can recall the press-conference of the already former PM.) Let this aside, photographer of the largest and most popular news agency in Georgia Interpressnews, who had this black-ribbon accreditation was explained that there was no place for him left.
Closed event was held after inauguration and it appeared that journalists also were present together with invited guests. I understand that such events may be closed for journalists but I sincerely want to know for what merit and experience certain journalists are invited. Naturally I’m as always far from the thought that this kind of invitation may be intended for hugging-mutual understand and in case of necessity stepping aside.
As we speak about experience and merit I remembered this: on the last day in office our already former President gave King Tamar Orders and Medals of Honor to Maia Asatiani, Nanuka Zhorzholiani, Sofo Mosidze, Inga Grigolia, Nino Shubladze and others. As it was clarified Saakashvili dedicated his last day in office to those who “have greatly contributed to the formation and development of the state by their professional activity.” Part of them did not have information about it at all; part said they would ask him why he gave them Orders if they had possibility and part, with usual humbleness said they felt uncomfortable and did not deserve the Order at all. Come to think about it, if you are so confused and surprised why do you agree to receive the Order until the situation is cleared?!
P.S. … and I keep thinking about the phenomenon of the black ribbon of accreditations.