Analysis of “Geobar” issue

“20-year-old Pako Tabatadze had taken part in popular “Geobar” reality-show, which broadcasted in Rustavi 2. Soon Tabatadze had declared his homosexuality and he expelled from the reality- show. And he said show producer’s wanted him to declare it. Tabatadze said after this, he has to hang his head low, when walking down the street.”

This is the essence of Tabatadze’s incident. I want to compare two stories which written in this topic. One is Salome Asatani’s story, which was published in Eurasia.net under headline “Georgian TV show reveals country’s changing mores”. The second story- “Gay Man Expelled from TV Show” comes from http://www.civil.ge. The first one is feature-analysis story; the second is just news story. Author Salome Asatiani began this story with Tabatadze’s incident. She just described one man had problem. But is just a way to reflect “changing public attitude to gay issue”. She just uses this incident to investigate this topic. From the headline, it is clear. Author of this story uses many facts that said from Pako himself. She told Pako’s incident with the words of Pako. She did not call him “gay”. Pako said it in this story. Ex: “It was the show’s producers who told me [to do this] — they told me they would include me in the project if I was going to admit that I was gay,” Tabatadze said.” Also she want to do interview with the opposite side- representative of Rustavi 2. But they refused. It seems, author wants to be balanced. Other source for this story was Georgian Patriarchate. Ex: “The Georgian Patriarchate told RFE/RL that to the church’s knowledge, no official complaint had been filed in relation to this episode of “GeoBar.” But also she gave the words of Eka Aghdgomelashvili, Inclusive Foundation project manager, who said “The influential head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Ilia II, said such an event would be “unacceptable” and could lead to physical violence.” So author gave a chance to her readers to think and to get a result themselves. But she used speculations in her story: “Some say this is a legacy of the Soviet system, under which sexuality in general was a taboo topic and homosexuality was criminalized. Others point to the Caucasus’s traditional cult of machismo and strictly defined gender roles. And the influence of the Georgian Orthodox Church — which, like its Russian counterpart, has strongly expressed its anti-gay views — cannot be overlooked.” Also she gave an information from the law. At first she gave an excerpt from the Labor Code, then did interview from the Sopo Japarizde, an attorney and member of the Young Lawyers Association in Georgia. Ex: “The country’s new Labor Code, adopted in 2006, protects employees from being discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation. And homosexuality was officially decriminalized in 2000.”- Excerpt from the Labor Code. “The 14th paragraph of Georgian Constitution says that all people are equal in the face of law, regardless of their race, sex, etc. — and then concludes this sentence with a full stop,” Japaridze said. (An interview from S. Jaaridze) The second story from civil.ge called “Gay Man Expelled from TV Show”. From the headline, journalist called Pako “gay”. While reading a story, it seems story is biased and unbalanced. Because as a source, he/she used just representative of Rustavi 2. But author did not! give any sentence of the Pako Tabatadze. There is no balance in this story. This paragraph is not for news story. “In July an outdoor event – All Different, All Equal – dedicated to tolerance was canceled for fear of violence. Labelled by many as a gay parade, the Georgian Orthodox Church warned that any participation by sexual minorities would lead to confrontation and clashes.” Because, it gives to reader to think “gays are bad, even church don’t like them.” “Although homosexuality is legal in Georgia, it is generally regarded as immoral.”- this sentence is not fact, though it given as a fact. Because, who said it? It is unknown. Which law author means? Author used her opinion.


When you go to Bambis Rigi street, 7 (it is parallel to Chardin Street in Old City, Tbilisi) you can see red advertisement board which is written on it “Contemporary Art Gallery” with white letters in the left side. The name is also written in the up of the door. When you enter inside throw the big glass doors, as if you fall to the sorcerer of art. There are nearly 80 exhibits, which 50-60 of them are paintings. Others are figurative and utilitarian-decorative art like sculpture, enamel, graphic and etc. I also fell to the sorcerer of the paintings which hanging on the walls. Paintings are in different themes from different painters. Life, abstracts, seasons, love, oldness, family, and portrait – these are themes of exhibits. Generally, there is going development on the art area in Georgia now. Therefore, new galleries are opened, mostly in Old city and well-known places. Georgian painters’ professionalism and feeling beauties of life gives them to opportunity to develop. Because of Contemporary art gallery are situated in Old City they have many local and foreign visitors. Although it is inside of the three stored old building, but not all building belongs to gallery. Gallery is only in the entrance hall of the building. The way to the upstairs goes from inside of the Gallery and as if the works stay under of foot of people who goes to upstairs. (There are business centers in upstairs.) Another words place has not been elected correctly. Also Gallery has only one hall and it is small for 80 exhibits. Some of these are in the ground. Also the reception for upstairs is in here. It is dangerous for works, because they can be injured by accident. But when you look at the paintings, you go inside of them. You think, you feel yourself there – in painting. Your emotions go and come. You feel the aura of exquisite taste of different aged painters from 17 to 70. Georgian painters have own stile. Their conceptions are real, although they paint abstractions, too. They give positive energy and this gives to people to feel paintings as you see it. Contemporary Art Gallery works every day from 11.00 am to 11.00 pm. This is private Gallery, and visiting is free of charge. Works are also for sale. All works have Originality Certificate. The exhibits are renovated regularly. They said their priority is to provide the most comfortable, high-quality and fast services to their customers.

Katie Lomiladze, 29, bought her cell phone for 1300 lari in December last year. She could buy it now for 600 lari.

Georgia, which was briefly shielded from the world financial crisis by the $4.5 billion in donor money it received after last August’s war with Russia, is starting to feel the crunch, and its luxury electronics goods sector is the first to suffer badly.

“We’re having to concentrate on goods that have more demand and are more accessible to our customers in prices,” said Ia Gogoladze, advertising manager of JSC Elit Electronics, a retailer selling home appliances, cellphones and laptops..

The crisis spread from the banking sector to business, said Emzar Jgeneria, an independent finance expert. Banks aren’t lending people money so they aren’t able to buy high-end electronic goods.

Elit Electronics, which has been operating in Georgia for 13 years, missed its sales target last year and expects figures to fall further this year. In 2008, sales revenue was expected to be 360 million lari, but the actual figure due to the current situation was 255 million lari. Company’s sales will decrease by 30% for this year, Gogoladze said.

62-year-old Yura Sarukhanov bought a TV set for 290 Lari two months ago, but now it costs 260 lari. He thinks companies are cutting prices because of the crisis, something Gogoladze denies.

Other problem is decreasing selling of technology. Jgeneria said, it decreasing 80%. According to him, the cause of this problem is people do not have money for buying them. Therefore, demand of people goes down.

Lali Elikashvili, 40 said she bought her washing machine a year ago. She wants to buy refrigerator but she has no money.

Gogoladze said that the demand of people is very low now. Customers now prefer low priced techniques. Therefore, the demand on expensive items has decreased.

Many firms held discounts to increase their sale.

Shavershova Khatuna, 34 bought her computer in discount. It costed 950 lari, but she bought it for 755 lari.

Gogoladze said Elit Electronics concerns discount on every type of products and campaigns will be held in every two weeks. However, expert Jgeneria said discounts do not have big influence during economical crisis. Indeed, people have not money buy them, he said.

Elit Electronics said that, they have not any loss of discounts. Nevertheless, there are some cases the company gains no profit, as campaign products price is the same as the cost of sale, Gogoladze said.

The future of technology consumer market is considered to get down and down. Jgeneria said the selling of computers decreased for five times in the first quarter in 2009 than fourth quarter of 2008.

Jgeneria said that consequently, firms passed to standby regime. Gogoladze also said that they frizzed several important projects. “We had to close 6 stores”, she said.

Jgeneria also said the firms like Elit Electronics, Vestel and Beko stopped their activity in fact. Their sale is zero.

Elit Electronics have plans to avoid from the crisis. Gogoladze said, they make focus on low priced and everyday use items. They bring new products in their stores and plan to increase their sales. They also are preparing for various stimulating campaigns.

Jgeneria said they should change their strategy for real time. Because economical crisis might be, last 2 or 4 years more. For little suffer they should diminish their stores and workers. Another case they can be bankrupt.

Eka Janashia, Head of Public Relations Department of Ministry of Economic Development said that if companies are closed, Government will give them Cheap Credits.

Cheap Credits program started in 2008 and has being existed 2 years. The goal of this program to help businessmen to increase their business. They will not pay for credit in the first two years. After 2 years, they have to pay for credit during 7 years.

The four-year-old program to computerize Georgia’s school system has started its second phase, which aims to complete the process of introducing computers and Internet access to all schools and training teachers and students in the use of technology.

The program will continue for three more years, until 2012.

The Deer Leap school computerization program has itself undergone some changes, to eliminate conflicts with a separate effort to repair and upgrade Georgian schools. Deer Leap bought computers, and installed equipment and fixed wires for the Internet in the schools.

Then the program Rehabilitation of Schools began last year to repair classes Rehabilitation of Schools removed the computers from the  classes and wires for computers and Internet from the walls during the reconstruction process. After schools were repaired, the computers were returned. Computers also became dusty because of the repair work going on. However, wires for the Internet were  fixed again after Repairs were completed.

Deer Leap is now divided between two departments in the  Ministry of Education: The Department of Programs,  and the Infrastructure Development Agency. The first is responsible for holding competitions, trainings and seminars and integrating Information Communication Technology into the curriculum. The second part of Deer Leap is responsible for technical support, computerizing and Internet access.

The Rehabilitation of Schools program also is part of the Infrastructure Development Agency.

The Deer Leap program was created by the Deer Leap Foundation, which was established in the Ministry of Education in 2005. The program was responsible for technical support, computerizing, providing Internet access and organizing trainings for teachers in use of software and using technology in teaching.

The first phase of Deer Leap lasted from March 2005 to December 2008. It began with the help of a similar program in Estonia, called Tiger Leap. As part of a Georgian and Estonian teachers’ exchange, Estonian colleagues shared their experience using Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the teaching and learning process, and creating a virtual learning environment.

The major goal of Deer Leap is to introduce Information Communication Technology into teaching and learning in Georgian schools. Tamar Kakutia, program manager for Deer Leap, said the program aimed to provide schools with computers, make teachers and students familiar with computers, provide Internet access and technical support, and also provide public schools with software programs and other means for studying.

Georgia has 2,400 schools. So far, in the first phase of the program, Deer Leap computerized and provided Internet access for 70 percent of the schools.

By 2012, Deer Leap has to computerize and provide Internet access for the remaining 30 percent of schools.

Seventy percent now have one computer for each 20 students. The other 30 percent have one computer for 22 or 23 students.

Deer Leap has also established 72 resource centers in Tbilisi and 40 in the regions. The resource centers provide schools with information, library and program support archive.

Deer Leap Foundation is currently paying for internet access for all schools and it will pay until 2012, when the project ends.

“Then schools will decide which (Internet) provider they prefer. Our goal is only to create all conditions for this,” Kakutia said.

Each of the 2,400 schools in Georgia has at least one information manager, who took part in the first training offered by Deer Leap and who can teach basic computer skills. The same training involved 40 per cent of all 70,000 teachers in Georgia. The program also has mobile trainers who go to the regions and hold seminars for teachers on database information.

As part of the first phase of the project, 16 experts worked to create strategy, goals and methods of introducing technology to Georgia’s schools. Kakutia said because of the division of Deer Leap into the two departments, it is unknown how many people will work on it now. The general budget of the program from 2005 to 2008 was more than 30 million lari ($18.8 million). The program was financed 95 percent by the Ministry of Education. The other 5 percent was sponsored by a Georgian who wished to remain anonymous. This money was spent to buy equipment, provide Internet access to schools and to organize trainings for teachers.

The program bought brand-name computers such as Fijutsi Siemens and Hewlett-Packard (HP). David Kiziria, former ICT integration manager, said that the program bought 30,000 computers in the first phase. Deer Leap held tenders among companies for the computer purchases. Winning companies had to provide schools with computers and technical support.

For 2009, Deer Leap will have 10 million lari ($6 million). For the last three years, the budget is unknown, becausethe budget is defined yearly.

The second phase is scheduled to finish in 2012. But Kakutia said that she does not know if the program will finish in 2012 or not.Possibily, if all goals cannot be met, the program might continue beyond 2012, she said.

In Tbilisi, nearly all 193 schools have Internet access. Some schools in Tbilisi do not have internet access because of technical problems, Kiziria said.

Schools situated in Georgia’s major cities now have internet access because of Deer Leap. The Internet line that comes from Europe to Georgia passes through big cities like Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Rustavi and Batumi. But the small regions, which are situated in mountains and far from the Internet line, faced problems getting Internet service.

Kiziria said that to provide these regions with Internet access is difficult and expensive. But Kakutia,said, all 2,400 schools in Georgia will be provided with the Internet within the next two years.

Simon Janashia, director of National Curriculum and Assessment Centre of the Ministry of Education, said that in the second phase, Deer Leap would continue to organize trainings, seminars and competitions. .

Tamar Verulashvili, information manager for Public School Number 51, said that all teachers and students have participated in competitions and seminars held by Deer Leap since 2005.

As an example of how students use computers, Anna Churcilava, a student at Public School Number 51, said that students gather information about culture and traditions of the places of interest or villages, and then create an electronic page of the places.

Lali Otosashvili, another student, said that students study Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office and Linux programs.

But students in that school said they have a problem: they say there are not enough computers. If there are 40-45 students and 20 computers in one class, students said, they do not get enough time on computers.

But Kiziria said providing all students with computers is impossible, because of the high cost.

There are 2161 students in this school. And they have 102 computers for 2161 students. It means there is 1 computer for 21-22 students.

After participating in Transition Online’s (TOL) New Media Workshop for Media Professionals and NGO Workers (30-31 May of 2009) in Tbilisi I decided write something about it. Starting from this I’ll write about every training which I participate… Ok! Let’s begin..:)))

30 of the May- the first day of this training. Training held in ZP Hotel, 11 Betlemi Street in Tbilisi. As it is my column, I will write here all my opinions about it.

Training started at 9 in the morning.

The day before the manager of Georgia, Elza Ketsbaia called me and asked me to come before the time (before 9). Moreover, I decided to come there at time. J  I took a taxi and after 15 minutes was at hotel.

At 9 workshop began. It held in the second floor of the hotel. This was a right-angled hall. The tables were arranged face to face. There were papers of schedule, a pen and a notebook in a portfolio for each (20) participant on the tables. In the up of halls is fixed a projector for presentations.

So, at first, began Elza Ketsbaia.

Elza Ketsbaia– is country manager of TOL for Georgia. She worked for different media organizations many years and now has blog on new media situation in Georgia. (georgianblog.wordpress.com)

She gave brief information about situation in Georgia. After 15-20 minutes, Kevin Anderson showed his presentation and began talk about Traditional and New media. Then we had a 15 minutes coffee break, and then Anderson continued and added Twitter and Mobile services to his speech.

Kevin Anderson– Kevin Anderson is the blogs editor for Guardian.co.uk, where he focuses on journalism innovation. He uses blogs, social networks, Web 2.0 tools and mobile technology to break news, to engage with audiences and tell the story behind the headlines in multiple media and on multiple platforms.
Kevin has been a digital journalist since 1996, writing for both web and print, and broadcasing on the web, television and radio. Before joining the Guardian, he worked at the BBC for eight years. He joined the BBC in 1998, as their first online journalist based outside of the UK. From their flagship Washington bureau, he covered the US for the BBC’s award winning news website, and covered politics and technology coverage for BBC radio and television.
Kevin came to the UK in 2005 to develop a blogging strategy for BBC news. After coming to the UK, he was worked on the launch of Radio 5Live’s programme covering weblogs and podcasts and also the launch of interactive radio programme World Have Your Say on the BBC World Service.

Traditional and New Media: Why should blogs matter to traditional media? Transforming mass media into social media, Case studies: successful blogs and social media, building community and involving your audience, using blogs to cover niches and cater to personal passion, video as a new form of engagement.

At one, we had lunch. After lunch, Anderson continued 1 hour more.

At 3 Emin Huseinzadeh started his presentation.

Emin Huseinzadeh– (TOL Project Manager for the Caucasus) is a Baku-based new media expert and media trainer who has worked for RFE/RL and numerous Azeri online and print publications. Most recently, he worked as managing editor of the Caucasus Times, editing articles from all over the Caucasus and overseeing 10 reporters in the region. He received a master degree from the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management and holds an MA and BA from Azerbaijan State Economic University. Up until now,  he has conducted more than 15 local workshops in Azerbaijan and one international training in Georgia. He is teaching Cyber Diplomacy at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy.

It was about Security and privacy.

Security and PrivacyEstonia, Azerbaijan and Georgia cases, viruses, malware, firewalls, free software and security issues, crowd sourcing as a basis of ultra-security, introduction to privacy issues, weakness of systems and sensitive information, Tor. proxies, ISP’s and stolen information, emails, IM, encryption, saving files for own use, slow Internet solution, is it possible to be totally secure?

It lasted until 6 pm with one coffee break.

The second day was the term of Dan McQuillan.

Dr. Dan McQuillan FRSA is currently Digital Guru at the Make Your Mark campaign. an is a former Director of The Open Rights Group and is lead consultant for Interactive Tech Tools for Transparency which uses crowdsourcing and mashups to promote anti-corruption and good governance in Central & Eastern Europe. In 2007 he co-founded Social Innovation Camp and he blogs about open source activism and social innovation at www.internetartizans.co.ukHe trained for Transitions Online in Prague and Riga, and is one of the founders of Social Innovation Camp. He also used to be Internet guru at Amnesty International.

He talked about his lovely websites, which we approximately everyday looks at. Ex:



His topic was “Social media, social impact”.  He explained why we have to open blogs, and what we can achieve in this way and meaning audience for blogger.

After his workshop we had a brainstorm, so we- each of us had to write an idea. Then Dan grouped it. we  separated to 3 group. The first was young group, second- environment, third- refugee group. I was in young group. Each group presented the project of the Website which they’d like to create.

Actually, I liked this training. I learned a lot of  Websites, type of blogs, privacy and etc. And the main thing is that I got new acquaintances… Thanks to everybody… :)))

Activists from the Why? Public Movement reported a second attack on two groups of activists at 9.30 pm on Friday, April 10.

The activists claim one of their attackers was a National Movement Party member, President Mikheil Saakashvili’s party. But the public defenders office, who is investigating the attack, refused to confirm whether anyone Saakashvili’s party was involved.

No one was hurt in the attack, which occurred on Tabukashvili Street, near the activist group’s office. The group members had earlier in the evening noticed two unfamiliar cars parked near their office. When two of the activists, a male and female, walked to a nearby shop, ten men carrying clubs got out of the two strange cars and confronted them on the street. They tore the man’s shirt, and tried to grab the girl and put her in the trunk of a car.

At this point, the woman said, she recognized one of the attackers as a National Party member and personal acquaintance. He told them to release her, and both ran back to the office.

Five minutes later, about eight other Why? Activists were returning to the office, and were also attacked by the same group of men, according to Natia Kobalia, a Why? Leader. Again, the attackers approached the group with their clubs. But several activists fought with attackers and broke one of their car windows. Then activists run into the office, Kobalia said.

The women who recognized her attacker said she later received a phone call from him, claiming that the attacks were a “joke” and she should “leave the movement.”

This is the second attack on the group in two days. Three activists were pulled out of their car and beaten Thursday night by attackers, giving one of them a concussion.

The Public Defenders Office is investigating both incidents, and will hold a press conference later today or tomorrow with more information on the attacks.


The Why? Public Movement says they don’t want answers to the provocative questions they’ve been posting to President Mikael Saakashvili around Tbilisi city streets for the past three months.

“Why war? Why do police do terrorism act to people? Why people are being killing in the streets? Why court is under pressure of the government? Why did Saakashvili bring masseuse during the war with budget money?” and thousands of “Why?” questions were reason of creating this Movement. They give these questions to Mikael Saakashvili, President of Georgia and his political team.

“These aren’t questions, these are verdicts,” said Irakli Kordzaia, one of the leaders of “Why?”

The activities of “Why?” Public movement were started by seven activists secretly. The organization began to spread banners, stickers in the street at nights. But three weeks ago they held press-conference in an underground in Freedom Square and began to open activity. They thinks that this action means to go out from darkness to freedom. The movement has 160 members from Tbilisi and 20 from Batumi. Now they are working to draw in more people from whole Georgia. They have 15 coordinators which are responsible to draw in the movement.

According to Kzodzia, movement is financed by Georgian businessmen who are unhappy with the Georgian government. Kzodzia said that they will remain anonymous unless Saakashvili’s resigns.

The activists of “Why” will carry out flowers and candles to the Freedom Square at 5 in the morning to remember memory of the April 9 tragedy, happened in 1989 by Soveit Army.

At 12 am they will join to protestors.

Kordzaia said, they did not know in which direction they will join. “We will be there where we are needed. We will be in the epicenter of the protest,” he said.