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2012 Report of Free Press Supporting Organization

By Keti Arjevanidze
Tuesday, January 15
Almost every region of Georgia can access newspapers from press-distributors (vendors) in uniforms, rolling carts or bike-shelves. Free Press Supporting Organization cares about the public awareness throughout the country. The 2012 report by the Free Press Supporting Organization estimated the one year achievements of the organization.

From 2011 the organisation has been trying to fill the information vacuum existing in the peripheries of the country and the capital Tbilisi.

Over 160 rolling carts and dozens of bikes operate throughout the country within the framework of this project. The project employed 200 people with an approximate salary of GEL 500 in Tbilisi.

The Free Press Supporting Organization is a non-commercial legal entity funded from grants, donations, the deposits of founders, as well as private incomes.

International Charitable Fund Cartu was one of those whose financial support was the guarantee of the project’s realization.

“We are charitable organization; we are non profit-oriented, our goal is to make these intellectual products accessible for every citizen– especially when the demand for a free press is very high,” said Lekso Jikia, Executive Director of the Free Press Supporting Organization.

According to Jikia, their organization is not political or a governmental organization and that their main aim is to support free speech in the country and to defend the interests of the press distributors, as well as to support the development of journalism in Georgia.

After creating the logistics centers in Tbilisi in December of 2011, the first three press distributors appeared in the city streets. “The second step of the project was to go out from Tbilisi and observe the situation in the regions where the demand was huge; during this one year, special press distribution carts and bikes appeared in Ajara,” said the director of Free Press Supporting Organization.

According to Jikia, the organization started the distribution of press in Borjomi, Bakuriani, Ureki and other parts of the country.

Jikia also admitted that in the places where press distribution by car was impossible, the organization bought quadro-cycles (special vehicles). He also remarked that one of the aims of the organization is to efficiently connect publishers and consumers.

According to his estimation, Georgian society got the innovation well. "And the sales have significantly increased,” said the director.