TBILISI, DFWatch – Zaza Gabunia, representative of the opposition Christian Democrats in Tbilisi City Council, claims that ‘the dismantling the press kiosks in the city is impacting the newspapers distribution and the newspaper circulation has decreased with several thousands.’

He see this as a consequence of Tbilisi City Hall’s decision to remove newspaper kiosks in the capital.

Subscriptions is not a viable distribution system in the country. Therefore, the only realistic way to get the papers out to readers is selling them in the kiosks.

Representatives of print media see city hall’s decision as an attempt to destroy the free media.

Georgian newspapers are seen as the freest media sector, while national TV networks are widely considered under control of the government. There exist a few small stations, but they are not able broadcast nationally.

Zaza Gabuna says they suspected that when City Hall announced the tender about locating new booths around Tbilisi, they didn’t expect there to be such a strong reaction from press interests as we are witnessing. According to him, several newspaper distribution booths are already removed in the capital.

Gabunia thinks that newspaper publishers should have an opportunity to freely distribute their publications, otherwise it will harm the public and people who get their information via the press. They will have to do without newspapers.