Georgian Prime Minister distances himself from the recent cancelation of two popular political talk-shows on Imedi TV, stating that it is a separate decision of the TV company’s management.
“If a TV company cancels a talk-show, this is a separate decision by its top management, which I’m not going to comment,” – Irakli Garibashvili, PM, said to a dozen of journalists at the rugby training center inauguration in Didi Digomi, Tbilisi’s western outskirt.
“For the third year, the country and the government has proved that media freedom in the first place… The result is that media is free,” Irakli Garibashvili said, adding that in the last three years there has not been any instance of pressure on the media from authorities, and this fact “needs recognition and appropriate appreciation.”
Imedi TV, a large national Georgian TV company owned by the family of late mogul, Badri Patarkatsishvili, last 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.