Another workshop for the project "Media Voice”: Media - More Freedom and Less Self-Censorship" was held on June 4 in Tbilisi. In the coming months, workshops for journalists will continue throughout Georgia with the involvement of regional media workers.
“The project aims to support freedom of expression by enhancing the viability of the media and creating a supportive media environment. It also strengthens the resilience of media workers in dealing with self-censorship and fear. Media and law experts contribute in achieving these goals” – said MCERC chairwoman Mariam Gersamia.
Media Voice trainers and experts are as follows:
Irine Kurdadze - Director of the Institute of International Law (TSU), Professor;
Teona Tskhomelidze, media expert and journalist;
Zura Vardiashvili, Editor-in-Chief of Publika, Lecturer;
Tamar Aleksidze, Expert and Lecturer in International Law (Institute of International Law).
The project was opened by the founder and chairman of MCERC, Prof. Mariam Gersamia. During his session, Mariam Gersamia she spoke about self-censorship and freedom of expression, in particular, she said: "Everything that affects self-censorship also affects freedom of speech and expression, the free flow of information and the access to it. The effect of self-censorship and censorship is similar: both silence the journalist, restrict the flow of information ... One of the factors that reduces self-censorship is a supportive media environment in the newsrooms and from the public". Tamar Aleksidze, an expert in international law, spoke about the role of freedom of expression in international human rights law.
"Solidarity is the enhancement of social justice, which is expressed in respect for the dignity of all individuals - regardless of their beliefs, qualifications or achievements. Solidarity journalism covers sensitive topics in an unbiased way, covers human stories of victims and goes beyond the opinions of officials and experts about these people or groups. Solidarity reduces self-censorship as well" - said associate Professor and MCERC Board Member Maia Toradze.
Media expert and journalist Teona Tskhomelidze spoke about the specifics of covering vulnerable groups and sensitive topics like femicide. "The standards of femicide coverage are quite clear, but the media usually do not take them into account. Depending on the story about the femicide, the audience might fight the fear or become even more scared. Responsibility is up to a journalist. Femicide is not just a murder and its coverage needs a special approach” – she said.
Zura Vardiashvili, an expert on “Media Voice” and editor-in-chief of "Publica", spoke about the specifics of criminal coverage based on specific media cases: "Ethical coverage is no less important for a fair judge than a fair judge itself ... We must work for the public interest and not for the public curiosity" – he said.
Sessions continued in fluid-response and live-discussion mode. The focus of the discussion was relations between politicians and journalists, self-censorship and media standards.
The “Media Voice” project will help raise awareness of the challenges of freedom of expression, self-censorship, and solidarity journalism; the network of professional media support and solidarity will be strengthened; Journalists will be able to cover human rights issues more accurately, without fear or self-censorship. Within the framework of the project, training and seminars for media workers, forums, meetings, and discussions in support of solidarity journalism, a series of podcasts and awareness-raising campaigns are all planned throughout Georgia in 2022-2023.
MCERC actively cooperates with media organizations and higher education institutions. The main partners of the project "Media Voice" are the TSU Institute of International Law (Jean Monet Chair / UEUPE), the University of Georgia, and Publika.
MCERC project "Media Voice: More Freedom, Less Self-Censorship in the Media" is implemented with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Georgia.
To participate please register at the following link: