OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir says that he is concerned by recent developments in Adjara TV and Radio Public Broadcaster of Georgia, a state-funded media outlet in the autonomous region of Adjara in western Georgia, and about ‘reported management interference’ in the channel’s editorial policy.
Desir has tweeted:
Worried about recent dismissals & resignations of some Public Broadcaster Adjara TV & Radio key staff in #Georgia, and about reported management’s interference in its editorial policy. Independent service public broadcaster plays a vital societal role & is key to media freedom.— OSCE media freedom (@OSCE_RFoM) March 10, 2020
Situation got tense around Adjara TV after the dismissal of Natia Kapanadze as the director of the channel in the Spring of 2019, who took the post at the end of 2016.
Two members of the Adjara TV Advisor’s Council Giga Chkhartishvili and Irakli Dartsmelidze, who appeared in the council with the quotas of the Georgian Dream ruling party and the United National Movement opposition party, demanded Kapanadze’s dismissal as the latter “does not respect the council, the rating of the channel has been halved under her leadership and top priorities of the channel are never met.”
Four of five members of the council supported Kapanadze’s dismissal.
Kapanadze said that her dismissal was related to the wish of the Georgian government to exercise control over the channel.
Since then several managers and journalists have left the channel with similar accusations.