GEO

The management of the company Maestro neglects the professional freedom of its employees working in the shows “Business contract”, “Analytics” and “Sakmiani Dila”

03 June, 2016

 

The management of the company Maestro neglects the professional freedom of its employees working in the shows “Business contract”, “Analytics” and “Sakmiani Dila”
On the 31st of May, the author of three shows of the broadcasting company Maestro, Giorgi Isakadze, was dismissed from employment. The decision was made by channel director Zurab Nakeuri.  According to Maestro, the reason of dismissal was the conflict between the ideas of the employee and the employers; Giorgi Isakadze wanted to outsource his projects, while the management of the channel was against the decision. Additionally, Maestro has denied the journalist’s request for a wage increase.

Two days later, on the 2nd of June, journalists of the same projects, namely, Tamuna Kimertelidze, Telara Gelantaria, Elene Kvantchilashvili and Beka Batsikadze were also dismissed under the reason of their participation in the talk show of the company Rustavi 2 “Archevani”. Apart from the journalists mentioned, 32 employees of Maestro were also discharged from their responsibilities, as they were requesting the return of their colleague Giorgi Isakadze. Afterwards, the shows “Sakmiani Dila”, “Business contract” and “Analytics” were cut off of the programme of the broadcasting company. It is worth mentioning that above-mentioned shows are generally described as highly professional and significant for its depth of discussing both political and business matters.

In last few years, a number of popular political talk shows were shut down and leading journalists were dismissed because of the disagreements between the employees and the owners of the broadcasting company or its management. This fact is becoming alarming while taking into account the pre-election atmosphere of the country. In some cases, these facts lead us to raising the question whether employers and owners of the broadcasting companies retain their independence. We do believe that the severe decisions of the channel management regarding the interruption or suspension of the labour relations with its employees can have a negative influence on the general editing policy and motivation of the other journalists resulting in a downgrade of their working quality.

Private companies are independent in their personnel policy; however, all of them are obliged to ensure the independence of the general editing policy, as well as professional freedom of their journalists. The facts of dismissals indicate that media sources have not yet realised the high importance of their obligations. As a result, some of the shows that offer a critical outlook on current controversial issues are cancelled. Eventually, it deprives the citizens of the chance of making informative decisions.
 

Transparency International Georgia

Society and Banks

International Chamber of Commerce

Georgian Farmers’ Association

Georgian Sheep-breeders’ Association

Georgian Small and Medium Enterprises Association

The Economic Policy Research Center