Transparency International Georgia will defend interests of producer dismissed from Imedi TV Company
Transparency International Georgia denounces the dismissal of producer Maia Stepnadze from Imedi TV Company. According to the journalist, she was fired from the TV company over a critical opinion about the government expressed on the social network Facebook.
Specifically, she said that she was summoned by Company Director Giorgi Kalandarishvili, who forced her to resign over concrete critical posts. Maia Stepnadze has a long experience working as a producer. Her programme enjoyed quite a high rating, which made the Imedi management reward her by increasing her salary one month before her dismissal. Considering this circumstance, it is unclear what any other basis for her dismissal could be.
Dismissing a journalist for publicly expressing his or her opinion is an infringement on the freedom of speech and freedom of expression protected by the Georgian legislation and international acts. It is appalling when such incidents take place in a media outlet which should have a particularly good understanding of the significance of the freedom of expression and of a different opinion. Such occurrences strengthen self-censorship among journalists and threaten the existence of critically inclined media.
Such cases of violations of journalists’ rights have an unequivocally negative effect on the quality of the media environment in Georgia. It is important that journalists do not tolerate violation of their rights and openly talk about it. Such actions will prevent similar incidents from happening to other journalists in the future. Our organization protects journalists’ rights and is ready to support them in each one of such cases. Transparency International Georgia will represent Maia Stepnadze’s interests in court.