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Tamar Karelidze

“Life is Beautiful” on Air?!

24.09.2012 21:06

Being eager to identify the quality of democracy in the country we should first of all focus on media activities during critical situations to see the accents, what is being aired and to what extent. This principle applies to Georgia as well: we have got media too.

While the people appalled with the prisoner abuse screened by several TV companies were gathered at the Philharmonia Concert Hall the Georgian Public Broadcasting (GPB) was airing a TV program Life is Beautiful.

No news that GPB, in terms of reporting, wakes up late. According to this logic no surprise the broadcaster started reporting on the prisoner abuse film, having shocked the whole of Georgia, almost a day later. Delayed reporting is not embarrassing in case you are going offer viewers reporting from different angle which is absolutely impracticable in case of GPB1. That’s why the youth having gathered at the TV premises were irritated by Gia Chanturia’s statement the Georgian public broadcaster was quasi airing everything live.

From our pockets we are paying millions to the channel that should be serving us. But ahead of voicing complaints against this channel we should remember that we are in Georgia, the country where the greater majority of the population is for easy life. Accordingly for a Georgian the GPB’s logic is simple: why should it keep its nose to the grindstone to offer viewers necessary and useful produce while there is no public demand for anything of the kind?!

The society too is guilty for the GPB’s failure in fulfilling its function. We find GPB 1’s indifference funny, we laugh at its renewed but still Soviet programming and we fail to think about the money we are daily paying for the news. While other channels are airing gruesome torture of inmates Life is Beautiful is on GPB air. Hard to blame the channel – it is taking care of the society, its nerves, health, spiritual peace through offering viewers a pleasant evening show to relax.

Yes, the First channel is out fault, do we need the scandal of State importance to suss out what our belonging is and what we are wasting the money on.

Apart from the public broadcaster the rest of the national broadcasters provided virtually no coverage of prisoner abuse on the first day (September 18). I think it’s right time now to behave adequately and make independent decisions even under censorship, but fear is a weird thing: self-censorship starts which bears a bit of slavish nature.

By the way, out of the national broadcasters Rustavi 2 excelled in reporting but the morning TV air loaded with special T-shirts with ‘No to Violence!’ would be better considered as populism.

Another phenomena is Imedi TV which on September 18, like GPB 1, was entertaining the audience with Nanuka’s Show. Taking into account the angle and accents of reporting I come to think that this television deserves preservation for the future journalists to enable them see, during studentship, what is not to be done and the way things should not be done.

I cannot hide my outrage towards Maestro TV having aired the prisoner abuse film through the violation of ethical norms - without masking faces. It is understandable that the footage was reportedly copied from Youtube but it is absolutely incomprehensible why it was so hard to realize that the footage was not to be aired in an unedited form. Television should not be making such elementary but costly mistakes.

In regard to media development and advancement of Georgian journalism paying more attention to ethics and trying to provide unbiased coverage, refusing to do whatever was done years ago, still nothing changes. Reporting on extreme situations shows that we are moving around the circle. Yellow material has naturally got more viewers but there is a line, or let’s say so called “golden mean” Georgians always find so hard to take.

Shortly about the explosion of journalism moral following the government’s confession of mistakes being in place in the penitentiary system. Zealous criticism towards current situation, shots made at the prison and afterwards screened, sudden and radical change of stance of some journalists (of national broadcasters in the main), T-shirts demonstrating solidarity – all the aforementioned raises suspicion, suspicion and distrust.

Through the two-day “unbiased” reporting media and society drifted further apart than when holding the ostrich posture since sudden awakening and meeting people’s interest is a bigger lie than the shows being on air  when the population is in the state of shock. And I would show preference for Life is Beautiful than to the lies of the kind.

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