Another workshop for journalists of the project "MediaVoice: media - more freedom and less self-censorship" was held in Kutaisi on June 18.
"The goal of this project is to support freedom of expression, strengthen the viability of the media and create a supportive media environment. Our research shows that it is necessary to strengthen the resilience of those working in the media in dealing with self-censorship and fear. In this, we are helped by media and legal experts," said the chairman of MCERC, prof. Mariam Gersamia.
"MediaVoice" trainers and experts are:
• Irine Kurdadze, director of the International Law Institute (ILI), professor;
• Teona Tshomelidze, media expert and journalist;
• Zura Vardiashvili, editor-in-chief of "Publica", lecturer;
• Tamar Aleksidze, international law expert and lecturer (Institute of International Law)
A meeting with journalists was held within the framework of the project "MediaVoice: Less self-censorship, more freedom", where Mariam Gersamia, within the framework of her session, spoke about self-censorship and freedom of expression. An interesting discussion was held on the relationship between self-censorship and ethics. "In ethical media, it is easier to identify self-censorship and reduce it... In the end, the effect of self-censorship and censorship is equal. Both silence the journalist and prevent the free flow of information" said Mariam Gersamia.
International law expert Tamar Aleksidze conducted the session "Freedom of Expression and Media" and spoke about the place and role of freedom of expression. "Maybe your thoughts are unacceptable to me, but I will sacrifice myself so that you have the right to express them" - the speaker started the conversation by quoting Voltaire. An interesting discussion was held on changes in the law on illegal wiretapping and human rights in the context of international law.
Associate professor and MCERC board member Maia Toradze spoke about the content and importance of solidarity journalism. "The goal of solidarity journalism is to generalize and bring the truth of vulnerable groups" - said Maia Toradze.
The discussion highlighted interesting themes and local cases. "In Kutaisi, we very often have solidarity actions, where we show our support for the media. We have to make each other's voices heard and show the public that support is important," Keti Berdzenishvili, director of "Old City" radio, said. "It is very important to develop the community media, so that the voice of the community can be heard everywhere," said Mzia Tadumadze, professor of Akaki Tsereteli State University of Kutaisi.
"MediaVoice" expert Teona Tshomelidze spoke about how to cover human rights accurately. In particular, Teona Tschomelidze focuses on: peculiarities of coverage of the queer community. The expert focused on terminology and shared recommendations with the attendees. "When covering LGBTQ+ issues, the media should be in solidarity and always protect the interest of the community" - noted Theona Tshomelidze.
"MediaVoice" expert Zura Vardiashvili spoke about the peculiarities of coverage of ethnic and religious minorities. "We should not leave negative views, unsubstantiated accusations, stereotypes, xenophobic opinions expressed by the respondent about minorities without reacting. It is important not to use such vocabulary and images, shots or photos that may be humiliating to any ethnic or religious minorities," he noted.
MCERC actively cooperates with media organizations and higher educational institutions. The main partners of the "MediaVoice" project are TSU, the Institute of International Law (Jean Monet Chair / UEUPE), the University of Georgia and the media publication "Publica".
The MCERC project "MediaVoice: more freedom, less self-censorship in the media" is implemented with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Georgia.
See training’s coverage in local media:
"Media Voice" Messages from Kutaisi