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Tamar Karelidze

“What’s Going On?!”

15.12.2012 09:03

Yesterday, late evening, Gia Chanturia resigned from post.  I could not fulfill my plan, he said, and left.  Meanwhile until yesterday there was information that reorganization was planned at the channel.  Process of serious staff cuts was to start and those staying to work would face salary cuts also. 

In the light of the above mentioned plans Chanturia’s resignation seems a little bit odd, despite the fact that yesterday already in social networks people expressed allegations about pressure that the Public Broadcaster faced lately (financial inspection, severe critics against management, Bidzina Ivanishvili’s statements and so on.) 

Today, the already former Director of the Public Broadcaster speaks about plans that he set for the development of the channel when appointed to the post.  He says he failed to fulfill the plans in the given period of time.  Chanturia worked at the GPB for three years and it is quite interesting what those channel development plans were that he needed so much time to get assured in failure to fulfill them? 

Chanturia says that during his work the channel made a serious step forward; that the Public Broadcaster gave voters a chance at latest elections to “make informed choice” (this is probably confirmed by the well known “operativeness” of the GPB in airing the videos of torture of inmates in prisons); that there was a six-year plan agreed with the European Broadcaster, the existence of which (not to say about content) was unknown to majority of society until today; although the only change, that I, as a viewer noticed after Chanturia’s appointment to the Public Broadcaster, were the newscast modern studios; if we discuss news coverage during pre-election period, the Public Broadcaster was so critical to the then opposition as none of other private channels; meanwhile it was just as loyal to government as critical to opposition. 

I know that I may ask amateur question, but in such conditions, what can be said about moving forward and developing a television?! 

I have realized long time ago that by its sense, specifics and Georgian national understanding the Public Broadcaster is an infinite topic.  It is surprising after great critics, concern and condemnation, but today, after elections, there is a period when the given television fulfills its functions and criticizes government (unfortunately, this did not come as result of new understanding by the GPB, but change of government and it again clearly shows the position of the management of the television.)  It is hard to say in what conditions and situation Gia Chanturia wrote the resignation statement, although it is hard not to have odd doubts in the light of increased attention by Prime Minister and society to the GPB. 

According to the Law on Broadcasting, the Board of Trustees elects GBP Director based on open competition for six years.  Channel must get a new Director after resignation of previous one within one month.  If we think logically, we will know those willing to head the GBP in the nearest future (pages in support of some of them have already been created in Facebook) and I somehow think that the given process will have great similarity with the selection of Public Defender:  we will have many candidates, some of them good, some of them bad and some of them even great, but the new Director will be selected after the topic loses importance in the society. 

It is probably early to say this, but I believe Chanturia’s resignation may be a mistake, as it creates a chance for the given television to get into the frames again, which has caused such furious critics against it. 

Do you remember Koka Kandiashvili’s program?  It was a good program, as they called from Danmark and said only positive and nostalgic things.  From the very first words it was understandable that they wanted to know, but had no idea about what was going on in the country.  That’s why, due to latest events I feel like those Georgians living in Danmark – when you know something and you don’t know something and ask naïve question:  what’s going on?!  

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