Journalists Pressed by Respondent – Result or Merit?
Journalists Vs Kakha Bendukidze
When making arrangements with the respondent over the interview it means the journalist has some kind of survey over the topic carried out, is more or less aware of the issue and has got certain questions to pose. When agreeing to the interview both of the parties assume some responsibility – questions and answers should be adequate.
That’s about theory but in reality mass media representatives seldom get prepared thoroughly when meeting their respondents. Superficially produced journalistic work we unfortunately offer in great numbers does not require much scrutiny. Nevertheless, there are some respondents with whom, due to their character or approach to journalists, we need to get well prepared in order not feel ashamed of ourselves after the meeting.
In Georgia Kakha Bendukidze has been long considered the respondent of the kind. The programs with his participation are legendary and when meeting him to give some questions you know what you are going to face. At this time it’s essential to look at yourself, as a journalist, from aside: get acquainted with some of the materials, get sure of some things through facts and at least once set a precedent of ruining the public myth of uninformed journalist when meeting the respondent of a sort.
The thing the meetings with Bendukidze end up with insults against mass media representatives is the guilt of both of the parties. We often hear justification from journalists, alleging the Minister of Economy is rude and unethical and they have no possibility to normally pose questions but I can’t remember Bendukidze ignoring any question. The main issue is our lack of competence. The lack of competence the respondents respond to differently. Some of them for instance clarify the case in a peaceful manner, some just pretend, some answer and try to believe that the question was misunderstood, Kakha Bendukidze’s response are not like others, they are mostly fair.
I remember few month ago one of the journalists giving a question about environment to the member of the legal committee. The respondent was not aware of the topic and provided a general answer. I do remember I felt awkward because of my colleague. I had a similar feeling on Saturday after hearing several questions in the TV program Press-Press directly replied by the respondent stating he was unaware of the issue and urged journalist to quit applying some cheap tricks.
TV program Press-Press, with the full meaning of this word was held, unfortunately the way it had been expected, journalists and respondents exchanged their roles. The hostess of the program made a mistake too, having fully handed over the reins of the program to the respondent after a few questions and assuming the role of a punished child, having failed to prepare homework.
Instead of critical questions, correct remarks and journalistic master class we watched one-man show who did not provide answers to the questions of the society but surely indulged many of the Georgian media critics. Interestingly journalists too smiled at Bendukidze’s ironic remarks and did not look offended with former Minister’s behavior. Frankly speaking the greater majority of his remarks, like previous time, sounded rather fair this time too.
For journalism students and the journalists of the new generation Press-Pres must be virtually a good example not to become a respondent in the authorship program, to refrain from posing questions that are not considered to say the least, to respect oneself not to show up at the meeting unprepared, and not to waste precious time on some useless topics when it’ possible to uncover interesting issues…
This time Press-Press pressed journalists. I wonder whether that was a result or merit?!
P.S. Kakha Bendukidze, for an hour, was on air wearing the Agrarian University T-shirt and indirectly advertising his university. That’s actually nothing much but for the channel taking money for advertising that should be a matter of concern.