Thursday, November 08, 2007

An Email From Tbilisi

My friend Margie started the J school in Tbilisi, and I worked with the program for a few months the first year (visual journalism), and have been back nearly every year since then to work with each year's new crop of students.
The school has produced what are now the leading journalists in the country.

The following are email excerpts from Anna--a former student who is now a teacher in the school--- about the events that unfolded in Georgia today.

"Right now... special forces have just entered Imedi TV and supposedly arrested (journalist) Giorgi Targamadze"

"but who the hell knows what is going on in this country, you can read about the events that have been happening all day online, but right now they've cleaned up the territory of Imedi - haven't arrested any of the (other) journalists, but broke the equipment and they are not broadcasting anymore. Misha (Saakashvili) issued a decree declaring a special situation in Tbilisi, prohibiting demonstrations and limiting announcements in media, etc...

"President's decree says that during the next 15 days none of the media outlets except the public broadcaster is allowed to collect or disseminate any information, no CNN or BBC on TV, but I still can read online the Post and NYT. During the next two days the Parliament has to pass the president's decree and they say, maybe it won't be necessary to have the state of emergency last 15 days if during the next two days everything and everyone will calm down."

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