Statement by Media Advocacy Coalition on Composition of Georgian Public Broadcaster with GDS Staff

Recent staff changes ongoing at Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) confirm the reports that emerged following the 2016 parliamentary elections about the planned closure of public and political programs at GDS and transfer of GDS staff to the public television.

Recruitment of 30 employees at GPB, with most of them being former GDS staff members, confirms that the new director general, who also is a former employee of GDS, is really carrying out such a plan.  

Noteworthy that according to the data disseminated by Sulkhan Saladze, member of the Georgian Public Broadcaster's Board of Trustees, salaries of newly recruited employees amount to GEL 80 000 per month, although since the very first days, GPB's new management talked about the need of saving money and even planned to carry out mass dismissal of its staff for this purpose.

The management justifies recruitment of GDS staff at GPB with the new needs of its newsroom; however, the disseminated data show that newly recruited staff does not get jobs only in the so called integrated newsroom. Recruitment of new staff comes ahead of the competition announced at GPB on selecting the programs.

The Media Advocacy Coalition has repeatedly criticized the steps taken by the new management and continues watching over the developments at the broadcaster, including its competitions on selecting the programs. The coalition expresses hope that the competition commission will manage to protect the interests of the public broadcaster rather than its management, to assess the submitted projects under professional criteria and present them to the public. 



APRIL 2018

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