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Media training to bring Georgia to European standards

By Salome Modebadze
Thursday, April 14
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the support of European Union (EU) launched the series of professional media trainings for TV companies from different regions of Georgia. The training delivered by Agence France-Presse (AFP) – one of the world’s leaders in news reporting - is part of a wider ongoing initiative which aims at increasing the independence and professionalism of the Georgian media and to provide balanced and neutral information to the public.

“We are happy to have the AFP experts to help share their experience for regional journalists, camera men and other technical people. The media is like a barometer of change as it informs the public of the ongoing issues. That’s why this part of seminars is aimed at improving skills and understanding the rules and responsibilities of media towards the society in Georgia,” Jamie McGoldrick Head of UNDP in Georgia told The Messenger confident that these trainings would help Georgian media professionals share the reporting skills and principles acknowledged by the world’s premier news companies.

From April to November 2011, more than 50 reporters, camera people, editors and TV producers will attend 7 rounds of intensive training sessions. The training will bring together media professionals of 20 regional broadcasters from different parts of Georgia. Blending theory with practical exercises, it will focus on various angles and principles of TV journalism, such as: media legislation, ethical standards, access to information, news reporting, investigative journalism, and professional skills of a reporter and an anchor.

As Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia, Ambassador Philip Dimitrov said at the closing session of the first training round on April 13, independent and balanced reporting is one of the important pre-conditions of democracy. Stressing that the EU would continue supporting media development in Georgia through various initiatives, the Ambassador explained that the aim of the program is to help media representatives improve their skills in the frames of the international broadcasting standards. “Journalists and camera men should be professional watchdogs and act in the frames of law; they should relevantly reflect the issues and give professional view on things going on around us,” Dimitrov told The Messenger.

Lela Kharshiladze, camera woman of Marneuli TV station, said the three-day seminars had been very interesting for all her colleagues because they became familiar with the European standards of broadcasting and she wishes they would often have such trainings in future. Assia Shihab, Journalist and the trainer of AFP from France 24 delivered course about ethics for camera men. Stressing the need for improving the standards of ethic in Georgian broadcasters Shihab shared the participants with the basic conduct in media, in particular in TV. “What I found out there are some problems and most of participants were basically aware of what they should and shouldn’t show on TV but mistakes are always inevitable,” Shihab told us concluding that the chiefs of TV stations should such training too.