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Tamar Karelidze

See the Nudity

19.10.2012 12:36

First there were large, piquant banners; after they appeared in not yet quite developed social networks and different websites.  There was the intrigue but nobody knew what the brave and creative advertisement meant. 

Time passed; the slogan – ‘See the Nudity’ – appeared to be of a new television.  The channel really managed to surprise the viewers, but mostly by its journalistic standards and not by reality of facts.  Officially the channel owner was LiaDolidze, although there were rumors that in fact owner of the channel was GuramDonadze. 

Several years before that was launched a channel which attracted viewers a lot.  It aired programs of new type which were interesting; there were new journalists and what is the most important unlike other channels the news policy of the channel was more or less balanced.  All this of course affected the rating of the channel.  Creating and sustaining independent media in countries like Georgia is very hard.  Although the first owner of Imedi, as he was saying had such intention, with the tension created in political sphere with his activation in it, the rhetoric of the channel changed immediately. 

Starting from there the competition between channels having different political interests started more openly.For example when one channel showed footage of a peasant angry with low prices of grapes set by receiving factories cutting down his vineyard, second channel showed the same person saying that he has not cut down anything.  At one, not very good day, due to events underway in the country, state of emergency was announced.  In parallel Special Forces intruded Imedi TV.  The channel was closed down temporarily. 

Majority of journalists did not protest against what happened.  I cannot recall many protest rallies in support to Imedi. 

And the second part of the story started. 

Some of Imedi journalists changed place of work.  Part of them did not let the channel down and stayed.  The channel resumed broadcasting in several months, although with another owner and radically changed editorial policy.  Journalists who stayed at the channel (the ones that during the intrusion by the Special Forces were locked inside the building and received serious shock) got used to new rhetoric quite easily.  

After that came the staged Kronika (The Chronics – Imedi newscast), which Imedi aired as a regular program; after came priorities of newscasts – natural disasters happening abroad; after soap-operas and talk-shows.  Step by step Imedi started to look like the channel that I started this given blog with. 

After the announcement of results of Parliamentary elections nothing much changed in view of media environment; channels are bought and sold for “a few cents”; millions of debts of channels have been annulled; in two days Real TV newscast was closed down.  There were serious rumors that Imedi would be closed down too, but it came as a surprise for many that the channel was returned to its old owner. 

The survival instinct of a human being is limitless, so how part of journalists acted?  They met the old owners of the channel in the hall with applauses; like they usually meet the liberators.  It was like for years they were making the “stunning” video-reports in newscasts because of pressure; like they never used self-censorship themselves; like they never had the chance to move to other media outlets…

When you see people like this it is hard to feel yourself well.  They somehow look like journalists who go from journalism to politics, return back to journalism, then go to politics again and so on.  When you see that they change their values without any problem you get an impression that they have no personal principles.  Such people cannot be trusted in business.  Despite humane values, I personally would dismiss all old employees of Imedi and in the first place those who applauded to the old new owners in the hall. 

By human viewpoint I am sorry for all those many journalists who will be without jobs (in case of winning the Court trial Chkhartishvili’sMze TV will not be able to employee all the employees of Real TV and Imedi.  Despite the fact that we all knew everything, the latest events clearly showed the “nude truth”:  majority of televisions were financed by the government. 

Along with the fact that the newscast was closed down the prices of shares dropped down also quite suspiciously.  Who would ever think that 100% of shares of any television would be cheaper than one-room apartment in a suburb of the city?  However surprising it may be the new owner of Real TV appeared to be a co-founder of international union Obiektivi.  The television was sold for USD 30 000 before it showed the “nude truth” to viewers.  Many probably see irony in the given motto, but I think owners of the channel refrained from showing the “nudity” due to ethical reasons.  Acting according to ethical norms is one of the standards of journalism isn’t it?!

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