On May 2 the meeting between the representatives of the Administration of the President of Georgia and media was held. The meeting participants discussed the problems regional journalists encountered in the recent period. They also reviewed the Administration-journalists relations issues.
Irma Nadirashvili, Deputy Head of the Administration, Tamar Kintsurashvili of the National Security Council of Georgia and the representative of the State Security Service represented the Administration of President of Georgia, the other party was represented by Magda Popiashvili, Head of the Coalition for Media Advocacy, Mathias Huter Transparency International Georgia, Tamar Kordzaia, Executive Director, Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics, Natia Kupreishvili, Executive Director, the Georgian Association of Regional Broadcasters (GARB) and Ramaz Samkharadze, Head of the Georgian Regional Radio Network (GRRN).
“Our main goal is to ensure that all journalists have an equal opportunity to receive information and be on equal terms. I mean journalists who work in the capital and in regions too. The main goal of today meeting is to say that we are ready to co-operate with journalists”, - said Irma Nadirashvili reporting to Media.Ge.
Journalists’ Accreditation at the Administration
In the course of the meeting, said Irma Nadirashvili, the journalists’ accreditation issue was discussed. Even though the information on the accreditation was published on the website of the Administration of the President of Georgia and President’s press speaker Manana Manjgaladze provided information thereupon during the briefings regional journalists still failed to obtain accreditations. Therefore, the Administration of President of Georgia reached a decision that will enable journalists to obtain accreditation online on the website of the Administration of the President of Georgia within a ten-day period starting from June 4. From one particular media outlet several journalists are eligible to obtain accreditations, said Irma Nadirashvili.
“Holding this accreditation means permit to presidential events to cover it. I mean the events that are open to media,” said Nadirashvili.
Coverage of Presidential Events
In the course of the meeting the provision of information on the presidential events was discussed too. The Administration of the President of Georgia and the meeting participants agreed that all of the media associations that were attending the meeting shall commission a person to be notified, through the press service representative, of a forthcoming particular event.
“As far as you are concerned the number of journalists has considerable increased and especially in the regions. Therefore if the Administration decides to call and notify everyone separately then it will fail to prepare the event,” said Irma Nadirashvili reporting to Media.ge.
Deputy Head of the Administration also said the President’s press service mostly signals all of the media outlets. When no signal is sent journalists can attend and film the event. In case of overwhelming number of journalists the event will be exclusively filmed by the President’s official camera and if needed, another camera from any other TV company will be working together with it. The selection of cameras will be based on the principle of rotation and every media outlet will have access to the footage.
“I would like to cite a very standard situation as an example: when President is visiting a hospital and the number of journalists is huge, we allocate a special zone for the journalists to watch the event. But only President’s official camera will be working and afterwards deliver the footage to everyone,” Nadirashvili clarified.
Pressure upon Journalists and Meeting with President
The cases of pressure and illegal interference into their activities was another topic discussed during the meeting. According to regional journalists the President’s security guards or some unidentified persons hindered them to cover particular events. The Administration representatives alleged, Ramaz Samkharadze, Head GRRN said, investigation is being on into every case.
Reporting to Media.ge Ramaz Samkharadze said in the course of the meeting the discussion touched upon journalists’ wish to meet President Saakashvili and get answers to every question.
“Regional journalists have got too many questions accumulated and they wish to get answers to them in person. Nadirashvili promised us, she will raise this issue at the Administration,” said Samkharadze.