On September 17, Voice of America’s PR office has issued a statement on the story by TV Imedi’s Main Sunday Program called “Anti-Trumpists’ Policy” aired on September 15, in which VOA says the words by Jim Malone, VOA journalist were “taken out of the context.” VOA statement reads:
“Veteran VOA journalist Jim Malone received an interview request from Georgian television outlet Imedi TV to discuss the 2020 U.S. presidential elections. He participated in an on camera interview on Friday, September 13th.
During the course of the interview, the Imedi TV reporter began to ask questions about U.S. foreign policy, asking him to comment on the positions of several American policymakers as they relate to the presidential selection process. As this line of questioning was completely outside the original topic of the interview, Mr. Malone stated that the names were not immediately familiar to him in that context and would not comment on them.
Mr. Malone is an experienced VOA journalist who has covered the U.S. political arena for many years. Any effort to take his responses in this interview out of context in order to undermine the caliber and expertise of VOA’s journalists or distort VOA’s reporting in Georgia or on any news issue is deeply troubling.”
Imedi TV responded with a statement earlier today, noting that “the authors of the story aired by Imedi TV on September 15, Rusudan Shelia and Imedi’s Washington-based reporter Demna Devdariani, were acting with full observance of professional standards and were guiding themselves by the norms of journalism ethics. Therefore, we cannot share the position stated by the management of this reliable media outlet, Voice of America, according to which Jim Malone’s comment was taken out of context. We are ready to provide full video coverage to the interested party. We do once again confirm our respect to Voice of America and hope that similar misunderstandings will not reoccur in the future.”