We were fourth-year students of the University when our lecturer Natia Kuprashvili divided us into four groups at the lecture. She gave common news written on a paper to the first group. They had to read the news and tell it the second group. The second group had to tell it to the third group and so on.
Finally when we wrote the news on four different papers it appeared that we seriously did not match the original.
Entrance of social networks to traditional media had just the same effect which is so characteristic for Georgians in general: it too much. News agencies and portals are competing for rating between each other. They often do it by using Youtube, but for attracting customers they do not avoid interpreting the news.
You probably all remember Nino Kalandadze’s (Deputy Foreign Minister ofGeorgia) statement circulated by news agencies last week in which she announced desert church property ofAzerbaijan.
Initially the given information was posted by one of the top rated and trusted news agency. Just a little later the same news was posted by other news websites. In reality Kalandadze just said that the border demarcation process between the two countries has not finished yet and by Soviet borders the church was at Azerbaijan territory.
Naturally, when the topic is important and is of interest for many people, it circulates fast, so Kalandadze had to make clarification in two days. The given case creates additional quite serious problem in Georgian journalism: despite the fact that journalists are covering the same news, they are also copying texts of each other.
I detected the second such fact in the case of LGBT Society and Union of Orthodox Parents. The title was: “Gay Parade Underway at the Philharmonics.” In fact, several people gathered in front of the Philharmonics and it had nothing to do with a gay parade. Still, the given story brought the result: readers were attracted and quite a lot of readers.
Everyone makes mistakes but in current situation of Georgian media, when we mostly receive partial and biased information, a serious news agency should be questioning its image because of attracting several hundreds of readers. Their management must be aware that lose of trust along with positive image will also affect their website ratings.
From the exercise that I spoke about at the beginning of this post I understood very well how careful one needs to be before sharing news with others. That was the first time I felt that there are over-responsible professions also.