Opinion: Ivanishvili will help the print media of Georgia
Well-known Georgian journalist, chief editor of "GRUZINFORM" Arno Hidirbegishvili commented the initiative of the authorities to eliminate newsstands in Tbilisi and conducting additional auctions for these outlets.
Recall, the Tbilisi City Hall has announced a tender for the installation of a thousand stalls in the Georgian capital. According to city officials, it would be good for small and medium businesses in the capital. Local journalists, in turn, argue that this way the country's leadership intends to control production and sale of printed media.
According to Arno Hidirbegishvili, such decision of Tbilisi City Hall cannot be assessed unambiguously. "The fact that in recent years it (the sale of printed matter) has informal nature. Also the fact is that there was no direct pressure on the print media or levying extreme taxes. However, they were putting blind eye on many things that were happening in the print media, in contrast to the situation in the television and news agencies. Therefore, we cannot blame the authorities that they are offensive to the print media without grounds. Let us not forget that many media are directly or indirectly related to power. They perform particular order, they are directly or partially owned by people who are members of the supreme authority of Georgia", he said in an interview to GeorgiaTimes.
Arno Hidirbegishvili also added that according his information, media tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili is ready to assist in resolving this situation. "In response to this demarche of the authorities, he proposes his own money to create a new alternative service of distribution. He won't appear directly: they will elect a council of editors of the five most popular newspapers, who will choose a person authorized to deal with this issue", the chief editor of the agency "GRUZINFORM" said.