The Media Advocacy Coalition responds to a part of the letter released by the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia on March 6, 2019, concerning three demands that should be met without any preconditions. Two of them were about changes in the editorial policies of two media outlets – TV Pirveli and Artarea. The Coalition supposes that in case of verifying the authenticity of the letter, it will represent interference in media activities and an attempt to infringe upon its editorial independence. This case also draws attention, because the addressee of the letter names the Deputy Prime Minister, who simultaneously is the Interior Minister, as the author.
It is not the first case, when the name of TV Pirveli appears in the cases related to various deals, with a desire to change the TV channel’s editorial policy being quite obvious. The studies show that this TV channel is impartial in its coverage. It is important for this broadcaster, as well as all other media outlets, to know that their editorial independence is protected by law. Journalists should believe that they are free to implement their professional activities and that they will not become a tool in the hands of various persons. For this to happen, it is important that each of such cases be investigated in a transparent manner.
We, the member organizations of the Media Advocacy Coalition will be carefully following the developments around TV Pirveli and Artarea. In addition, we call on the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia to carefully investigate the facts of alleged pressure on media outlets and carry out investigation effectively, in the shortest period of time so that to give comprehensive answers to all questions existing in the public.