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Georgia: Media Doubts

Casting doubts over the reliability of the media in the South Caucasus, TOL Georgia says that an earlier report about one protester dying as a result of the clash in Tbilisi last week has been removed from the pro-opposition news source. During the April 2004 crackdown on opposition protests in Armenia, the pro-opposition A1 Plus outlet also reported that there were deaths, but did not issue a correction when it turned out there were actually none.


  • I would not say that the source that wrote about the story is pro-opposition, it is more like pro-governemt.

    Resistance Georgia blog claims that this information was confirmed by a “reliable source”.

  • My understanding is that the Georgian Times is an anti-Saakashvili media outlet. That’s what I remember from 2004 for sure, and a quick search on the Internet revealed the following:

    The Georgia Times remains one of the only consistently critical media voices in Georgia. Its present editor, Rusudan Kbilashvili, told BHHRG that for this reason, its circulation has risen in the past year. But, the paper has problems. It has been raided by the financial police and subjected to court proceedings over alleged copyright infringements. It also has difficulty attracting advertisements, particularly in its Georgian edition. For example, the US embassy and US chamber of commerce boycott the paper.

    A standoff continues between the authorities and the opposition newspaper, Georgian Times, which made its name by publishing sensitive materials about Saakashvili and his government. On July 14, financial police conducted a warrant-less search in the Georgian Times office and seized the newspaper’s financial records. […]

    The opposition New Rightists political party stated that pressure on the Georgian Times has hindered the newspaper’s journalistic investigation and dissemination of “inconvenient” information about some senior representatives of Saakashvili’s government (Interpress, July 15; Mtavari Gazeti, Resonance, July 16).

    Unless something has changed since then, I though it was still pro-opposition and vert critical of Saakashvili’s government unless someone wants to explain otherwise (maybe it was bought out or whatever). That’s why I’m going to believe this story when Reuters, AFP or the BBC report this alleged death.

  • Actually, I’ve taken a look at the Resistance Georgia post on the alleged death and the source quoted is the same which is now no longer available online. The reliable sources instead refer to protesters in critical condition in hospital. However, it should be pointed out that Resistance Georgia is an anti-Saakashvili blog. So far there has been no mention of it in any foreign news reports.

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