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“Fried” news from Georgia2011-11-28 14:02
Tbilisi puts an equality mark between the press and shaurma. Special stalls where newspapers can be bought will soon be forgotten to be replaced by new ones with the press sold together with sandwiches.
The government of Tbilisi seems to have too much trust in the phrase "spiritual food" that is mentioned in mass media still more often. As a result, they suggest that newsagents should be shut down to sell the press together with shaurma and drinks in order to please both brain and stomach. These shops will also be used for first necessity goods like shoes for example.
Old newsstands will be closed, and the city authorities will hold an auction to open new booths. Remarkably, future "points of sale" will replace old ones literally: spots where newsstands are operating now are offered as auction lots.
The decision of the mayoral office of Tbilisi caused serious resonance in Georgian mass media whose management justly concludes that treating the press at the level of sandwiches is humiliating to freedom of speech.
Alia newspaper editor Dmitry Tikaradze stated that the country's authorities want to take control of press sales, and free mass media must counteract that. "Free mass media must get consolidated. We must counteract the threat to free distribution of press", - Tikaradze remarked. Nothing to add: breaking is not making, shutting down is not opening. Soon old newsstands will be closed, and when new ones appear only God knows how they will unite shaurma and newspapers.
Soso Goginashvili, Ahali Taoba newspaper editor is of the same opinion. "If that tendency continues, distribution of press will become impossible and we must do our best to bring the danger to zero. Things now taking place are not good: either for press, or society, or authorities", - Goginashvili says anxiously. And here he is wrong: after all, interests of the society have nothing to do with the interests of the authorities. If Georgians read independent newspapers less, it will be easier to brain-wash them through dependent TV.