The Media Advocacy Coalition, a press freedoms watchdog, published a statement on 13 September in reference to TV journalist Telara Gelantia being denied entry into a meeting of the Government Administration, which demanded that her credentials be reinstated and emphasized that the “discriminatory treatment of journalists contributes to the formation of a hostile environment towards the media and worsens the quality of media freedom in Georgia.”
Gelantia revealed on 12 September that she was denied entry into the meeting on the grounds that she was “breaking the rules,” and “asking a lot of questions that disturb other colleagues.” Gelantia has been covering government sessions for the past ten years for various outlets. She now works for the Business Media Group (BMG).
Gelantia claimed that she had “reasonable doubt” that the recent critical report she authored about the lack of transparency in government decisions was the reason for blacklisting her.
The Coalition underscored that Gelantia’s example does not constitute the first fact of possible discrimination towards journalists.
The statement revealed that with the help of the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), Gelantia has addressed the Public Defender of Georgia to investigate the possible fact of discrimination against her.
The Coalition called on the Government Administration to “immediately clarify the fact of possible discriminatory treatment towards Gelantia.” “The state is obliged to ensure the unhindered access of Telara Gelantia at the next session of the government,” they stressed.