Georgian TV channel’s deputy director resigns under pressure

first_img GeorgiaEurope – Central Asia Media independence Conflicts of interestFreedom of expressionEconomic pressure At least five journalists attacked while covering Georgia’s election campaign Help by sharing this information October 1, 2020 Find out more Receive email alerts RSF_en February 5, 2020 – Updated on February 14, 2020 Georgian TV channel’s deputy director resigns under pressure Organisation GeorgiaEurope – Central Asia Media independence Conflicts of interestFreedom of expressionEconomic pressure Mounting pressure on Georgia’s media in run-up to elections July 20, 2020 Find out more Follow the news on Georgia to go further Concern about alleged plot to murder Georgian TV host Credit: Adjara TV News News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned about the latest example of political pressure undermining media pluralism and free speech in Georgia – Natia Zoidze’s resignation this week as deputy director of Adjara TV, a regional public TV channel based in the coastal city of Batumi.“My resignation is not voluntary,” Zoidze announced in a Facebook post on 2 February, adding that it was the result of a “political process.” In December, she had accused the TV channel’s new director, Georgi Kokhreidze, of applying pressure for a change in editorial policies.The TV channel’s “alternative” trade union issued a statement on 3 February blaming Zoidze’s departure on “interference in editorial independence” and reporting that it was not an isolated case. “The outflow of professional and ethical staff from this broadcaster has become a permanent feature,” the statement added.After Adjara TV staff members accused the new director of interfering in their work on 30 September, a demonstration in support of the staff was held in Batumi on 6 October.“Natia Zoidze’s resignation is indicative of the growing political pressure on state-owned media in Georgia,” said Jeanne Cavelier, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “At the same time, government allies are increasingly getting control of critical or independent media, such as Rustavi 2. In the run-up to next October’s parliamentary elections, we ask the Georgian authorities to guarantee media independence and pluralism, which are essential for a democratic debate.”Georgia’s TV channels suffer from politically-biased government measures. The finance ministry’s announcement on 24 December that it would begin to seize overdue taxes from several TV companies prompted accusations from civil society and from the opposition to the ruling Georgian Dream party that it was applying the sanctions selectively.The government agreed to postpone collection of the 15 million euros owed by leading commercial channels Imedi TV and Rustavi 2, but stepped up the pressure on small, critical TV channels such as TV Kavkasia and TV Pirveli.Dramatic changes at Rustavi 2 in the course of 2019 have transformed the Georgian media landscape. Previously Georgia’s most popular TV channel and champion of the opposition, Rustavi 2 completely changed its editorial policy after its ownership reverted to previous owner Kibar Khalvashi as a result of a European Court of Human Rights ruling.The change in ownership led to the departure of the majority of the newsroom including director-general Nika Gvaramia, who was fired and who has since been prosecuted by the Georgian authorities on a charge of “abuse of power.” The authorities have also prosecuted Avtandil Tsereteli, the father of TV Pirveli’s founder.Georgia is ranked 60th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. News News June 18, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Phylicia Rashad-Led Head of Passes Extends Run

first_img Head of Passes The cast of ‘Head of Passes'(Photo: Joan Marcus) Head of Passes, starring Phylicia Rashad, has extended its off-Broadway run for the second time. The Public Theater production, which opened on March 28, will now play the Newman Theater through May 1; it had previously been set to shutter on April 24. Tina Landau directs the Tarell Alvin McCraney drama.Inspired by the Book of Job, Head of Passes is set at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Shelah’s (Rashad) family and friends have come to celebrate her birthday and save her from a leaking roof but unexpected events turn the reunion into the ultimate test of faith and love. As her world seems to collapse around her, Shelah must fight to survive the rising flood of life’s greatest challenges.The off-Broadway cast also includes Alana Arenas, Francois Battiste, Kyle Beltran, J. Bernard Calloway, Robert Joy, John Earl Jelks and Arnetia Walker. View Commentscenter_img Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on May 1, 2016last_img read more

Two fined for ‘lewd’ Dinagsa fest dance

first_imgCadiz City Mayor Salvador Escalante Jr. (left) talks to the two Dinagsa Festival revelers who went viral due to their recent lewd “pole dancing” act Monday morning, January 27, 2020. PHOTO: City Information Center of Cadiz City Facebook page “We would like to remind the publicthat the display of obscene messages on placards, lewd acts and the likes arecertainly unacceptable and have corresponding punitive measures,” he said. “Those involved in the indecent actshave already been identified and have signified their intentions to issue apublic apology for what they did,” Escalante added. Meanwhile, another woman has issued anapology after her placard went viral for showing “indecent” words inpublic.  Escalante met with Wilma and Bautistayesterday to impose a P3,000 fine or an imprisonment of 10 days for violating acity ordinance by showing “indecency” in public.      Wilma and Bautista chose to pay theP3,000 fine as they promised not to replicate the act next time.   He added Cadiz City observes diversitybut the public should not go beyond the bounds of good taste, decency and theaccepted norms of the society. Bacolod City – Two persons who went viral on social media for their “lewddancing” during the Dinagsa Festival in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental haveissued an apology as they agreed to pay a fine imposed by the citygovernment.      Escalante said he invited the woman tothe city hall for a meeting and to make a personal apology.  The two were only identified throughtheir social media accounts as certain Boomba Wilma and Laura Beatrice Bautista– residents of Silay City in Negros Occidental. “Dinagsa 2020, no doubt, like itsprevious outings, was a huge success. We cannot overemphasize our elation thatour cultural and religious festival has grown into a major tourism event overthe decades,” said Escalante./PN He said he will ask the SanggunianPanglunsod of Cadiz City for the possible measures “to safeguard the interestof Dinagsa Festival as both a cultural and religious event.”  Meanwhile, Escalante was grateful forthe thousands of revelers who joined this year’s Dinagsa Festival. Wilma and Bautista earned the ire ofthe public for dancing while allegedly showing their private parts during thefestival on Saturday.  The “indecent dancing” reached MayorSalvador Escalante of Cadiz City. last_img read more

Deery Series is bound for Boone on Memorial Day

first_imgBOONE, Iowa – Still looking for a repeat winner this season, the Deery Brothers Summer Series travels to Boone Speedway for its traditional Memorial Day show next Monday, May 25.Corey Zeitner, defending champion Justin Kay, Joel Callahan and seven-time IMCA Late Model tour champ Jeff Aikey each have single series wins so far. Andy Nezworski, however, has yet to finish outside the top five and brings the point lead to town.The main event at Boone pays $3,000 to win and a minimum of $300 to start. Pit gates open at 2 p.m., the grandstand opens at 3 p.m., hot laps are at 4 p.m. and racing starts at 5 p.m.Grandstand admission is $15 for adults, $7 for students ages 13-17 and free for kids 12 and under when accompanying a paid adult. Pit passes are $30.Forty-two previous Deery events have been held at Boone, 13 of them on Memorial Day.Five of Aikey’s series-leading 64 victories have come at Boone, including the 2013 and 2014 IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s main events. Gary Webb is a four-time Super Nationals champion and Ray Guss Jr. counts last year’s Memorial Day checkers among four career Boone Speedway wins of his own.Completing the holiday program at Boone are IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, running for all applicable points.More information is available from promoter Robert Lawton at 515 987-1220 and at the website.Deery Brothers Summer Series top 20 point standings – 1. Andy Nezworski, Buffalo, 188; 2. Justin Kay, Wheatland, 180; 3. Corey Zeitner, Omaha, Neb., 169; 4. Joel Callahan, Dubuque, 167; 5. Scott Fitzpatrick, Wheatland, 165; 6. Tyler Bruening, Decorah, 152; 7. Jeff Aikey, Cedar Falls, 145; 8. Joe Zrostlik, Long Grove, 141; 9. John Emerson, Waterloo, 138; 10. Todd Malmstrom, Silvis, Ill., 137; 11. Charlie McKenna, Clear Lake, 134; 12. Andy Eckrich, Oxford, 128; 13. Jeremy Grady, Story City, 120; 14. Brian Harris, Davenport, 118; 15. Matt Ryan, Davenport, 113; 16. Darrel DeFrance, Marshalltown, 107; 17. Ryan Dolan, Lisbon, 101; 18. Curt Martin, Independence, 91; 19. Brunson Behning, Davenport, 88; 20. Jason Rauen, Farley, 86.last_img read more

Mason City council approves contract to look at what improvements need to be done for High Line Trail

first_imgMASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City this week approved hiring the local office of WHKS to provide services relating to the High Line Trail project.The city back in March finalized the purchase of the railroad right-of-way property from the Union Pacific for the purpose of constructing a recreational trail connecting the northern and southern parts of the community.City engineer Mark Rahm says that includes four bridges that are in various conditions and require inspection and analysis prior to being incorporated into the trail system.   “They have four to seven bridges in that area, and we have one that we would like to address just as soon as the report comes in and we can we get some recommendations on what to do there to improve the safety that bridge.”Rahm says his department will also be looking at what needs to be done to prepare the land to become a trail.  “My department is going to get out and start doing some surveying later this summer and fall, and start to put some plans together for those trails, and we hope to have our first project next spring.”The contract with WHKS will include field inspections, analyze the information and preparing for the city a report with their conclusions and recommendations on what needs to be done for the trail. That contract is for up to $5200.last_img read more