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Oleg Panphilov is going to teach the “freedom of speech” to the Georgians2009-11-10 18:04
As we have recently reported, notorious journalist Oleg Panphilov was recommended for the post of the OSCE Georgian Representative for the Matters of Freedom of Media. Mikhail Saakashvili granted him with the Georgian citizenship and a professor's rate at Tbilisian University for his "correct" coverage of the August war events.
Although the native of the sunny Tadzhikistan preferred residing in Moscow for the last twenty years, the fiery affection of the Georgian president pushed the journalists' rights "defender" to leave Moscow and move closer to Mikhail Nikolaevitch's Avlabar residence in Tbilisi.
Here are his comments on his decision to go to Tbilisi presented to a correspondent of radio Voice of America.
"Naturally, this decision has got a political background as well. However, the decision is primarily attributed to the fact that Georgia is a highly promising country offering greater opportunities for my profession, for the development of the journalism and creating favorable conditions for the journalistic education. That is why I made up my mind to accept the offer made by the president of the University named after Chavchavadze, gained a professor's place and now I am going to work here and teach journalism. I will set up a journalistic school for the post-Soviet territory. In Russia, there are no opportunities for the development of the independent journalism because there is practically no independent journalism there. There are some remnants of liberal newspapers, there is radio station Echo of Moscow and the Internet which is permanently persecuted: legal proceedings are continuously initiated against the bloggers and forum and chat participants. In Russia, there is simply no prospect for me to apply my knowledge and my skill".
Well, unlike Russia, Georgia is opening huge prospect to Panphilov. As soon as Mikhail Saakashvili's regime practically eliminated all the independent TV companies and snatched control over all the printed sources, the independent journalism in Georgia found itself in the minefield. The local press is either fully servicing the presidential team, or has to cease its existence.
While the truly independent journalists are forced to leave Georgia, Saakashvili is inviting the most scandalous journalists from all the corners of the post-Soviet territory, who are ready to serve "the pillar of the Georgian democracy" for the agreed amount of money.
Besides, so long as Mikhail Nikolaevitch is perfectly aware that the Georgian public will hardly receive the maxims of the Russian-speaking apologists of his regime on TV air (for that purpose, he has got the servile TV Companies such as Rustavi-2, Mze and ImediTV), he decided to establish a new TV Channel that would broadcast for the foreign audience in Russian.