We believe, that public attention should be focused on the very threatening precedents observed in Georgian media resources concerning the facts of spreading and making the issues of public discussion people’s personal secrets. On March 14, the invited respondent – Mindia Ugrekhelidze made comments on the Prime Minister’s statement regarding the health condition of the Chairman of the Supreme Court of Georgia and he stated: "… a person suffering from a severe disease, feeling the strong support from the government, has to give up with working in the sphere of justice, because he won’t be able to be impartial”.
We are not discussing the ethicality and the compliance of the fact with the respondent’s statement, but want to pay your attention on the journalistic position of the talk show anchor – Nino Zhizhilashvili in such situation. We consider, that as the anchor of the program she had to note, that such statements are inadmissible, as such statements violate not only the obligation of the protection of personal secrets character, but also harms his personal and professional dignity.
It’s regrettable, that the tolerance and ignorance regarding such inappropriate and incorrect expressions became the tendency among the anchors and journalists from various media means of Georgia. That’s why we are calling for media representatives to remember the regulation of the Code of Conduct for Broadcasting, that obliges them: "Broadcasters shall ensure that individuals’ right to privacy is not infringed in the making and broadcasting of programs. Broadcasters shall seek to balance the freedom of information with the legitimate expectation of privacy by individuals.” (Article 34. Principal of privacy). Moreover, that the issue of discussion – Judicial reform has nothing in connection with the health condition of the Chairman of the Supreme Court, represents a personal information and is protected by the law. The professional standard requires from the interviewer in case of such unjustified parallels made by respondent to adequately respond such illegal and unethical expressions.
Media Development Foundation, MDF
March 15, 2013