News-Room of the Telavi Television Has Stopped Working
Long controversy between the local government and the Telavi TV Company Tanamgzavri resulted into ceasing the working of the news-room for the company. Daily TV program Matsne has not been functioning for two weeks already. The program used to spread the information about the situation in the Kakheti region.
After the Rose Revolution, the TV Company Tanamgzavri has had several problems with the local government. “It was almost impossible to get any public information from the Telavi Municipality for our correspondents. In November 2005, under Gocha Mamatsashvili’s order, financial police raided the TV Company. The fact hindered our activities. Later on they tried to detain the Director-General of the company, Enri Kobakhidze. Representatives of the Financial Police assaulted the journalists during the raid. Finally, they could not find any faults with our work and then raided the enterprises whose activities were advertising by our television. As a result, to avoid additional suppression, these organizations stopped cooperation with us. Thus, we faced financial problems and we had to stop the working of the news-room,” said Nato Megutnishvili, the head of the News-room and journalist for the Tanamgzavri.
Before the news-room was closed, the board of the TV Company stopped broadcasting of the weekly program “Dialogue”. Enri Kobakhidze assigned both facts to the eviction of the Tanamgzavri from its office. Three-year-long argument between the founders of the company resulted into a verdict of the Georgian Supreme Court, according to which the office was granted to Zurab Kumsiashvili, one of the founders. TV studio was functioning in that office and the programs were prepared there too. Afterwards, the Tanamgzavri continued its functioning in the building of the NGO, “Center for Protection Constitutional Rights”. The local government did not give the TV Company board to find any alternative accommodation to move in.
Megutnishvili said that the Telavi district interim Gamgebeli and later chairman of the Telavi Municipality, Gocha Mamatsashvili did not let the Tanamgzavri to carry out its activities. “Negotiations with the owners of the places where the company wanted to move in, either through renting or purchasing ended in failure. The district authority threatened and suppressed those people,” said Megutnishvili.
According to the information, yesterday, Mamatsashvili resigned from his position of the chairman of the Telavi Municipality. Employees from the Tanamgzavri cannot give exact information about their future yet.
Although the items, broadcast by the Tanamgzavri, did not have high quality, the population demands the TV Company renewed its activities.
Gela Mtivlishvili, Kakheti
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