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Compiled by Sopo Datishvili
Wednesday, May 6
50 Imedi journalists demand a change of policy

Rezonansi reports that Imedi TV journalists have appealed to their directorate to change the channel’s information policy. In a special statement the journalists gave the directors until May 6 to do this.

The staff have made on the record comments about this, but the head of Imedi’s news and analytical programming says that nobody has approached him with such a demand as yet. The head of the Imedi media holding, Giorgi Isakadze, has confirmed that the journalists have made an official demand but will not make further official comment on this.

Chief Director of Imedi Bidzina Baratashvili has said that the employees haven’t appealed to him and all he has is unofficial information. He also added that the directorate is ready to meet the journalists and discuss the problem with them.

The journalists’ statement, given exclusively to Rezonansi, outlines exactly what they are forbidden to do during their work. They say that, for example, they are not allowed to investigate the problems of IDPs as this could cause problems for the Government. They also say that they have not been allowed to interview certain people since September 2008 and have not been allowed to show the real number of people attending the protest rallies.

Why did Salome Zourabichvili run off?

Recently Salome Zourabichvili, leader of The Way of Georgia, walked out of a scheduled interview with Inga Grigolia. In an interview with Alia, Inga Grigolia says: “I cannot tell why Salome Zourabichvili was so upset. She entered my studio at Radio Utsnobi after I had finished talking to Gubaz Sanikidze. While a news bulletin was being broadcast, my producer told me that Paata Davitaia had come into the building to talk about possible snap elections so I asked him to connect me with Davitaia as soon as possible. This meant that Salome had to wait five or seven minutes longer before being interviewed. She suddenly removed her headphones and left the studio.

"I asked her what she was doing and she answered that she wasn’t going to wait for anyone. In my opinion Davitaia was talking about an interesting topic and it was also in the interests of Zourabichvili to hear him first. I felt insulted and astonished. Honestly I cannot remember such a thing happening in my career. She left and I think this is very bad because I was going to speak to her about what was happening that day."

Asked by an Alia journalist if she thought that part of the opposition does not approve of people expressing different opinions, Grigolia answered: “Let us remember the media policy which has appeared this year. You tell me that you are going to topple Misha in a few days and you come to me to discuss this on air. You complain about how incorrectly journalists act and how they hide the real facts and suddenly you run off during the show because you cannot wait for 5 or 7 minutes. I think this puts a huge question mark against the attitude of the opposition to journalists.”

Tamar Chkheidze - "The opposition should have worked out a common position"

Akhali Taoba has interviewed the head of the Ilia Chavchavadze Society, Tamar Chkheidze, and asked her about the current anti-Government protests. She said: “I can’t yet see any results coming out of the meetings some of the opposition are holding with the authorities. The fact that a certain public protest towards the Government exists has become obvious, and the mistakes made by the Government have created this protest. But it is also true that the Government has seen this and learnt from it.

Unfortunately the people are more irritated by these demonstrations than the Government. As regards my own position, first of all I don’t like the fact that the opposition reject every suggestion except their own radical demand. The opposition should have worked out a common position on certain topics to begin with. Such issues should have included: a change in the system of governing, the democratization of the election code and the most important issue, a plan to free Georgian territory from the occupiers. They should have had a united position on these issues when they started the rally. But they make only one radical demand to the Government, and this doesn’t sound serious”, she said.