About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 10:55 - 1 May.'18
Saakashvili: Claims on Media Freedom Problems ‘Bullshit’
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 28 Apr.'10 / 21:32

Speaking to an audience at a Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles on April 27, President Saakashvili said he would “partly” agree with criticism over judiciary, but brushed off complaints about media freedom in Georgia as “total bullshit”.

“On judiciary I would agree partly; we are not still there; we are introducing jury trials this year [in Tbilisi],” he said and added that public confidence towards judiciary was only 20%, but increased “over 50% now”.

“It’s a cultural transformation to get independent judiciary; it’s very, very hard… I hope we will achieve this, but it takes time,” he said.

“On freedom of press it’s total bullshit; basically it’s done for naive foreigners; it’s an easy cliché to sell, also for your station for instance,” he told Jeffrey Gedmin, president and CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, who moderated a panel featuring President Saakashvili.

“I usually hear complaints that there is no press freedom live on television. Georgia has channels that are more or less sympathetic towards the government, tend to be sympathetic [towards the government], but there are channels, that are totally against the government, [they] hate the government,” Saakashvili said.

“But even sympathetic ones are less sympathetic [towards the Georgian government] than CNN towards the Democratic Party and print media is 95% against the government. Everything is said in Georgia, there are no taboos; there are no libel, defamation laws,” he said.

Saakashvili also said that recently the Georgian Public Broadcaster launched on its Second Channel a C-SPAN-type programming to which “every radical group” had an access and where even “calls to kill minister of interior” were made – he was apparently alluding to remarks by ex-PM Zurab Nogaideli, leader of Movement for Fair Georgia, who said on April 7 about Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili, that ballot fraud “may even cost him his life”.

On public broadcaster he also said that in its board of trustees half members were opposition representatives. Four members of the 15-member board, elected in December, 2009, were endorsed by several opposition parties.

He also said that the public broadcaster’s newsroom was advised by experts from BBC, but despite of that, Saakashvili said, the public broadcaster had only 3% of audience.

“Hopefully they will get more; it takes time,” he said. “But the problem is with journalistic standards.”

Latest News
01 May.'18 10:55
We Have Moved to a New Platform
Direct Your Bookmarks to https://civil.ge.
29 Apr.'18 03:54
Ruling Party Candidate Wins MP By-Elections
Givi Chichinadze will represent Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency in the Parliament of Georgia.
28 Apr.'18 09:40
Polls Open for Vani and Khoni MP By-Elections
48,123 voters are eligible to cast their ballots in Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency.
27 Apr.'18 17:23
State Dept’s Europe Affairs Point Man to Visit Tbilisi
Wess Mitchell will meet senior government officials and address the NATO-Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum.
27 Apr.'18 13:45
In Quotes: Georgian Politicians on Ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Comeback
Bidzina Ivanishvili will be approved as the Georgian Dream party chairman at the upcoming convention.
26 Apr.'18 18:15
SG Jens Stoltenberg: Georgia NATO’s ‘Very Close’ Partner
The NATO Secretary General says Foreign Ministers meeting tomorrow will recognize the country’s progress.
26 Apr.'18 14:24
Ex-PM Ivanishvili to Chair Georgian Dream Party
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said Ivanishvili was ‘best equipped’ to add new dynamism to the party.
26 Apr.'18 11:12
Lawmaker Proposes Criminal Liability for ‘Insult of Religious Feelings’
The parliamentary human rights committee decided to set up a working group for scrutinizing the draft law.
25 Apr.'18 17:21
New Abkhaz Government Head Appointed
Gennady Gagulia has served as the Abkhaz “prime minister” twice - in 1995-1997, and 2002-2003.
25 Apr.'18 14:43
Watchdog Improves Georgia’s Press Freedom Ranking
None of the countries of the former Soviet Union (except the Baltics) are ranked ahead of Georgia.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2023, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.