Manana Shamilishvili # 11
Georgian Journalism in The process of Democratization
Keywords: Georgian Journalism; Democracy; The Rose Revolution,
According to the conditions of moving into the informational society, ways of mass information changes as well. In this period a lot of factors appear, without taking them into consideration, media would not be able to function valuably, frequently, its existence would be in danger. In terms of globalization and market economy, the problem of regulation of mass media, in forms of economic control from the state, legislation of mass media, in the western democracy the principles and forms of dependence on the three branches of government, sharing the western experience while working on national legislation, - this is the incomplete list of problems in which the Georgian Journalism is interested.
“Whoever acts is always dishonest, only spectator is honest”, - this never faded words of Goethe is as correct for the modern media as for its direct addressee – the Government. But the life itself is like this and not it’s fisting private person. In it’s needful to understand the time, the epoch in which you work. Only in this case you will be able to see and stay on the surface, on top of ruling thought, create the system of research, measure, to see and evaluate the reality from the future stand point, its real essence. However I think that, this thought are becoming like willing to show the desired as a reality. Making these requirements, as the poet says, requires the blood drops from the heart and its confrontation to one particular period of time, especially, in terms of young democracy, when “teen age” finished and when it is so difficult for the media to escape its complexes, and cannot be considered lawful.
About the freedom of press and conversation about it, as a governmental institute, political weapon did not start today. It is a subject of numerous thinkers for a long time already for a long time. Almost a century about was written the work of German thinker Oswald Spengler’s “Philosophy of politics” and thoughts about an effect of Mass communications on social consciousness remains to be actual nowadays.
According to Spengler, today’s press (we leave unchanged the measurement of the 8 decades, in our case, grows, only the possibilities of informing –M. SH.) is the biggest army and has the best organization. Journalist is an officer and the reader is the warrior and “here happens the same as in every army: warrior believes without doubt… reader does not Know and is not supposed to know what they want to make them do with their own hands… worse satire about the freedom of thinking cannot exist. In old times the free thinking was not allowed. Nowadays, it is allowed to think whatever you are supposed to think and this is considered as your freedom of thinking” (Spengler 1995: 29-31). The second side of this freedom is that everybody is allowed to talk whatever they want, but it is the work of press whether or not they will take it into consideration.
This is the view of freedom of press in the entourage of modern world by the author of “Sunset of Europe”. This is the style of 20th century; however the 21st starts the same way. Philosopher analyzed not only the present of his time but predicted the future perspectives as well. If we paraphrase his saying, the situation of modern Georgian press, “dictator of silence” would be suitable. It is true that, everything said here is connected with the associational parallelism principle, but this kind of deepening is the different sphere of broad research, therefore we will not stop here for a long time.
Today, possibilities of Georgian mass communication, well of bad, is connected as well to the global informational creation processes, as to dynamic of transformation of life processes. Moreover, Mass media itself represents the system which is complicated organized, which functions with the general and specific, only its laws. Only research of these significances will allow us to determine the role and place of media in the Georgia of the beginning of 21st century.
Exactly the deep scientific analysis, full perception of problems, full study of subjects would be the best way to reflect the situation of modern Georgian journalism, as well as for improvement of mistakes, which are made by our media on every day basis ( for the example the above mentioned philosophic example would be enough). This way we would be able to vanish deserved or undeserved skepticism which we hear towards Georgian media so often.
Moving the attention towards the journalistic problems, sharing the western research experience seems highly actual from reexamination of research traditions and using them is practice point of view. This is especially valuable on modern level, today in forming the public opinion, if not main, one of the main roles is played by journalism, which is often determined by secret of obvious will of ruining the fundamental values, national consciousness and very often is the result of political-ideological order.
In this context the big the issue of self regulation of mass media becomes very important. Just recently, according to western standards worked out journalistic professional ethic codex (connected to its press boards, work of ombudsmen and so on.), as a form of internal control in journalism, became the topic of debate between us as well.
With so obvious negative tendencies of work of mass media today, (helping the destruction of moral basis, no objectivity during the reflection of real event for sake of particular social power, hiding information of vital necessity from the society, prior determined disinformation, insinuation and so on.) not only journalistic researchers become interested in this, but it becomes the subject of discussion among literature specialists.
With their correct estimation in conditions of unification of modern professional technologies often exactly individual and independent beginning becomes armament; while reporting the vital events originality is being lost and non standard approach. But can’t we spread this mood on the whole journalistic work? For strengthening the mentioned point of view the brilliant publications of Georgian writers, periodical literature editions, continuation of traditions of journalism, newspapers and magazines searching for the “golden interval” would be enough, which on every day basis goes through the political conjuncture and no matter of the many internal or external factors it tries to save and protect the real values.
From this point of view, does two sides of journalism point out, so called “black” and “right” journalism and which factors, objective or subjective does stipulate the creation of “right” journalism? These questions became even more actual in the process of modern politics. In these conditions of deficit of journalism, society needs someone who would honestly make the professional and civilian duty; special requirements are formed for impartial journalists. Democracy is strong only in those countries where the base is strengthened by journalists who have the sense of high responsibility.
There are a lot of preconditions to perform this condition. The main is the painful process of destruction of stereotypes. New is being inculcated difficultly, step by step makes its way. The crisis of modern Georgian journalism is its follower event, here the main word is up to addressee – the society, it has to make the right decision, where the theoretical sciences have the orientation role. Of course no one can offer the ready “recipes”, but the theory will help to acquire the results of practice.
We have to remember that the work of journalism is the unique and multiform display of socio-cultural and professional phenomenon and therefore, it is important to research the identity of work component, past and present, creative experience of national and foreign journalism, to recreate it into the practical, working instrument.
So, the problems in which the modern Georgian journalism should be interested, is branchy. Especially important is identification of the problems which are in front of journalism on the basis of learning and solving the global and national problematic; what is the real practice of mass media - social responsibility of journalists and competency, which, on its part is an adequate reflection of actual problems of mass media and is one of the major factors for real involvement of journalism for solving them.
But first is taking into consideration your own, national significances and not unctuously applying everything foreign, even is its very effective and perfected. Therefore, Georgian scientific journalism must withstand the position impartiality and objectively examine those painful events which lack the point of his point of view so desperately.
From this point, “the rose revolution” and cooperation with press is especially interring; what effect did the above mentioned event had on Georgian journalism, how did is change the existing space of press, how did it determine the destiny of editions of periodical press, their character and destination. If we take into consideration the evaluation of Robespierre, we may say that today the place of fire is taken by the silence, - according to this, self restriction, self liquidation and obedient, willing must.
Given period can be named as “from eulogy to disappointment”, where by taking a glance at media you can read our newest history. Process is clearly pointed out – most of the revolutions supporter newspapers transfer into the oppositional one even in days of November. And if we try to determine the reasons for the transaction, we will find out, that today press is in the worst situation, because of the “means nothing” policy chosen by the government towards press. Post revolution tendency is obvious – pro governmental and radically opposition newspapers emerged, and those searching for “golden middle” gave up or were forced to give up.
We hope that the crisis, mentioned numerous times, is nothing but temporary obstacle in search of new, in the long process of obtaining innovations thoughtfully (and not without criticism!).
Spengler 1995: Spengler Oswald. Philosophy of Politics. Tbilisi, 1995 (in Georgian)
Volume 4, Issue 1