For a week now several individuals, on behalf of Media Group news agency, have been accompanying journalist Ekaterine Dugladze of INFO 9 Zestaponi bureau and keep posing questions about ties with the Georgian Dream coalition. The aforementioned individuals are wearing white T-shirts with Media Group logos and film the journalist with several cameras. Their badges contain the Media Group insignia.
Media Group chef Inga Jajanidze alleges she has not assigned anyone to pose questions to the INFO 9 journalist.
Inga Jajanidze confirmed to Media.ge that Bichiko Gnevetadze is one of those posing questions to Dugladze is linked with Media Group through a contract.
“He is assigned to attract ads. But thus far he has not brought any customers. I haven’t given him any particular orders, neither posing questions to Dugladze. I have not signed an exclusive contract with him, therefore he is free to work anywhere else too,” said Inga Jajanidze.
Media Group, she said, has been operating for four years now. The agency is registered at the entrepreneurial registry to an individual entrepreneur Inga Jajanidze. The latter denies any acquaintance with any of the aforementioned individuals but Bichiko Gvenetadze. She did not specify though why the individuals posing questions to Ekaterine Dugladze are wearing T-shirts with the Media Group logos on.
They are not familiar to Ekaterine Dugladze. “According to my source they are Kutaisi-based activists of the ruling United National Movement,” Ekaterine Dugladze told Media.ge.
The footage released by INFO 9 features the individuals wearing white T-shirts, calling themselves journalists, posing following questions to Ekaterine Dugladze: “Has Georgian Dream ordered you not to speak?” “Is it a prescribed scenario, Ms Eka?” “Has your cameraman been assigned to force you into the car in case you refuse to answer our question?”
Ekaterine Dugladze thinks their main goal is to provoke the journalist.
“They keep asking some absurd questions, and don’t’ even listen to the answers, they aim to unnerve me. The way of giving questions is also absolutely illogical, they keep sticking mics into the mouth. They are trying their best to anger me, incite my protest, so that they could produce and air the material in a way favorable to them,” Ekaterine Dugladze pointed out.
The INFO 9 journalist supposes they are carrying out the orders by the Zestaponi Municipality Gamgebeli Givi Arabidze. The INFO 9 camera crew, says Ekaterine Dugladze, always finds it hard to get into the Gamgeoba building. While the individuals calling themselves the Media Group reporters move freely therein.
“Besides, I know from my sources that when traveling to one of the villages to conduct some filming Arabidze called the State representative to the village to inform of journalists’ visit to the village. This very team of Media Group arrived there,” said Ekaterine Dugladze reporting to Media.ge.
The moment the INFO 9 camera crew appears in Zestaponi, she said, the individuals declaring themselves as Media Group reporters show up. The video featuring them interviewing Ekaterine Dugladze appeared on itv.ge in an edited form. “Even my voice was changed,” said Dugladze.
INFO 9 belongs to TV company Channel 9 owned b the spouse of Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of the Georgian Dream political coalition.
According to INFO 9 psychological pressure was being exerted upon their journalist and professional activities of a journalist was illegally affected which is subject to punishment according to the Criminal Code of Georgia. The news agency is demanding the launch of the investigation into the case.