They risk their lives for us

The U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, John Bass, recently criticized Georgian journalists.

He said they don’t ask difficult questions, aren’t skeptical towards answers they receive, avoid certain topics, and aren’t asking follow-up questions after receiving vague answers.

That’s bad.

Bass thinks this low level of journalism is partly due to a lack of professionalism and partly due to a biased editorial policy at certain broadcasting organizations.

I agree with both reasons, but I place more blame on government-controlled broadcasters.

No big news. The problem exists throughout the world and the results are similar—journalists support the ruling party rather than battling on behalf of the general population. And I’m not sure how I’d react if I were a journalist in Georgia who was not lucky enough to work at an independent news organization. I like to think that I challenge authority when necessary, but . . . it’s difficult to walk in another’s shoes.

I realize that the photojournalists in East Timor depicted in this 6-minute video are censoring themselves, but they deserve respect. Jose Belo and his peers are challenging authority. They are not only risking their jobs, but also their lives.

That’s good (which means I’m proud of them).




About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

One Response to They risk their lives for us

  1. Sam says:

    Very good Keith . Kind of article I like. CheerS!

    Just returning from Easter in Gonçalves.

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