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Has the appearance of new talk shows on Georgian TV increased the level of freedom of speech?

Friday, February 6
“I think yes, but still there are a lot of things to do in this sphere, one or two TV shows are not enough in the current situation”
Gela, lawyer, 29

“It doesn’t matter how many TV shows there are. This Government doesn’t listen to either the free media or the people.”
Meri, retired, 63

“I don’t believe that these shows can raise the media freedom level in Georgia. Much more is needed.”
Koba, sportsman, 26

“I think these talk shows were allowed because international organizations published several reports accusing Georgia of oppressing the media. Now Saakashvili is trying to show that journalists are free to say what they want. Everything is done just for show; it won’t solve the problems with freedom of speech.”
Nino, biochemist, 39

“Of course the talk shows are good and necessary, but in order to say that a free media exists in Georgia we should have at least one news programme that can be called unbiased.”
Revazi, journalist, 27

“I think everyone in this country can express his or her ideas openly and talk shows help them do so. Yes, we have TV companies controlled by the authorities but this is not only true in Georgia and everyone knows it, and we have pro-opposition TV companies such as Maestro and Kavkasia. So, we should not cry that someone is prevented from speaking openly.”
Tamta, student, 22

“The problems will still exist, it dos not matter how many talk shows are on air. Without these talk shows people already know everything very well and know what their politicians or officials are doing, because we know them, we know their characters and abilities. We know that the opposition always assaults the Government and vice versa, so freedom of speech is not a big problem here.”
Davit, driver, 51

“I don’t think so, because almost all TV stations are biased towards either the authorities or opposition, we don’t have an objective one which just tells us what is happening in the country. When you switch on Rustavi 2, you adore the Government because if you listen to them the authorities are for the people, they are heroes, they are doing everything well and right. On the other hand when you turn to Kavkasia you hate the Government immediately and adore the opposition. I’m neither an opposition activist nor pro-Government, I want to know what’s going on!”
Lali, housewife, 47