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Equality on air2009-10-01 22:31
Georgian authorities seek ways of cooperation with the opposition. Part of the opposition has agreed to a compromise with the government and is working on key issues. A number of radicals are against concessions. Two opposition parties have refused to discuss candidates for the Board of Trustees of Georgian Public Broadcaster.
One of the accusations the Georgian opposition brings against the authorities is the lack of democracy and limitations to freedom of media in the country.
At the height of political confrontation the protesters barricaded the public TV building with the cell cages (the symbol of police regime in the country - I.P.). The journalists that advocate National Movement's ideology were passed through corridors of shame.
The opposition called to stop pressure on dissident media and give objective presentation of events on TV.
By autumn the situation has not changed dramatically. Imedi TV is now possessed by mysterious Arabian RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA) holding from the UAE which by the opposition's version is a cover-up for Georgia's top ranking officials. At any events the political shows were removed from the channel. The viewers content themselves with entertainment programs. Opposition-minded Rustavi 2 - once a herald of the Rose Revolution - now is the National Movement's projector.
Georgian Public Broadcaster that used to be simply named First Channel has always been an ideological ground for the ruling party, even in Soviet times.
There are two opposition channels. The trouble is that Maestro and Kavkasia broadcast only in and around Tbilisi. The regions with majority of the population traditionally supporting the country's leadership have no access to the cry of the opposition.
More than once did the opposition leaders address foreign diplomats. It should be mentioned that all suggestions from overseas amount to a copybook maxim: the country must reinforce democratic institutions, oppression of media is inacceptable.
The question is in what way the democratic institutions must be reinforced when practically all formerly opposition media are now pro-governmental? Now the Georgian authorities have decided to make a knight's move. Chairman of parliament David Bakradze recently suggested that the opposition should participate in formation of the GPB board of trustees.