October 6, 2008

Georgian Opposition Names Conditions Needed for Freer Media

Text of report by private Georgian Imedi TV on 6 October

[Presenter] The first step towards a free media - this is the title of a joint appeal signed by non-parliamentary opposition groups. The opposition held a briefing outside the building of the Public Broadcaster today to read the appeal. Eka Soselia joins us live from outside the Public Broadcaster. Eka, what is the opposition demanding?

[Correspondent] The non-parliamentary opposition's appeal consists of five points concerning the freedom of the media. Zviad Dzidziguri [opposition Conservative Party leading member] spoke at length on this topic, while Davit Gamqrelidze [New Right party leader] said that discussions on the August events must be broadcast in the media.

[Dzidziguri, addressing the briefing] Number one: the public- political talk show "Primetime" [popular live talk show on Rustavi- 2 TV that was suspended indefinitely in June 2008] should resume broadcasts on the Public Broadcaster and political debates should be held every day.

Number two: a group of independent journalists who enjoy the support of society should be given airtime on the Georgian Public Broadcaster for investigative journalistic activities.

Number three: Imedi TV must be returned to its rightful legal owner [the family of channel founder Badri Patarkatsishvili].

Number four: Maestro TV [cable station available in Tbilisi and parts of central and eastern Georgia] should be allowed to produce public-political programming.

Number five: the public should be immediately given exhaustive information about the identities of the owners of all TV stations working in Georgia.

[Gamqrelidze] We of course do not trust the temporary commission set up in parliament that is supposedly to study the August events and we think that open and public debates, discussion and hearings should be held on these events - the crisis and catastrophe that befell Georgia in August - in order to determine what happened, why it happened, what consequences it has had for Georgia and who is responsible for these events.

Originally published by Imedi TV, Tbilisi, in Georgian 1300 6 Oct 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Central Asia. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.