TBILISI, DFWatch–A Georgian TV company on Sunday announced that it will suspend two popular political talk shows ‘temporarily’ until 2016, promising to change their format and offer viewers ‘a new product.’
Imedi’s decision was met with a negative response from viewers. Opponents of the Georgian Dream coalition say the cancellation is indicative of how the government is pressuring the media and see it in the continuation of a court ruling to seize all of Rustavi 2’s property until the end of a private lawsuit.
The two talk shows in question are Reaktsia, aired every Friday, and Imedis Kvira, aired on Sundays.
Earlier on Sunday, before the decision was announced, rumors were circulating in social media that Imedi profile Inga Grigolia’s talk show might be shut down.
Grigolia, a well-known Georgian journalist and host of Reaktsia, claimed that Imedi TV’s decision was political.
In discussions on Facebook and other social media, people refer to earlier similar cases when talk shows were shut down on the Public Broadcaster back in 2013, and also draw comparison to the time when several journalists left Maestro TV, citing interference in their work.