Pursuant to decision by the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC), Imedi TV again apologized on March 20 for its fake news report a week ago about renewed war with Russia.
In a statement, along with viewers, Imedi TV also apologized to those Tbilisi-based foreign diplomats, whose archive footage was used in the fake report.
On March 15 GNCC ordered Imedi TV to announce in its primetime news bulleting within five days those provisions of laws and regulations, which it had violated by airing the fake report and to apologize for doing so. At the time of this decision by GNCC, Imedi TV and its top manager had already apologized and some considered the regulator's ruling as too soft calling for fining the television stations.
Law on broadcasting envisages fining of a television station with 0.5% of annual income in the event it violates the law, or code of conduct of broadcasters or terms of its broadcast license.
27 minutes after the launch of its 8pm news bulletin on March 20, anchor of the program read out Imedi TV's statement, which said that the television station had violated law on broadcasting, code of conduct of broadcasters and terms of its license.
”We apologize to the society for a misleading broadcast, as well as to diplomats accredited in Georgia, whose footage was used in the simulated report without prior agreement with them," the statement says.
It also apologized to an audience, which was gathered at a talk show, which followed the fake report to discuss Russian-Georgian relations.
"Because of this broadcast, they [guests of the talk show] became in the center of unjustified negative criticism," the statement says.
Many participants were criticized, as during the talk show only few of them spoke out against the way the broadcast was made - without a disclaimer caption on the screen while the report was running.
"The goal of Imedi TV staff is to demonstrate to viewers work done with highest standards of ethics and broadcasting, which is of special importance in coverage of upcoming local elections and electoral campaign," Imedi TV said.