"Journalist Breakfast in Freedom Office" for Georgian Journalists

Opinion15.12.2015
JBFO
FNF South Caucasus

For FNF South Caucasus, the question of media freedom and integrity has always been important. Today it became one of our strategic goals to support regional media organizations in their development and efficiency. In order to support media organizations FNF South Caucasus recently engaged in several media projects, including: “Modern Journalism Supporting Project” with the Center for Civil Involvement (CCI) and the “Tell the Truth” workshop with the Institute for Democracy, Media and Cultural Exchange (IDEM). Despite the success of these two projects, it is the firm belief of FNF South Caucasus that its support of media should not be limited to only educational workshops. The goal of “Journalist Breakfast in Freedom Office” (JBFO) is to create a sustainable media network which will unite members of various media organizations and strengthen independent and free media. 

The “Journalist Breakfast in Freedom Office” project itself is a monthly event. Since its conception, the project’s aim has been to introduce new ideas and to discuss the challenges that media faces. It also allows the participants to meet and discuss various joint activities.

The first event was held on 26 June at the FNF South Caucasus office with representatives of Georgian media to discuss "The role and impact of Georgian media on the upcoming local pre-election process". The journalists represented a lively spectrum of Georgian media. During the discussion, an investigative film was shown relative to the subject of discussion and was prepared by the partner organization Center for Civil Involvement. 

The second event was executed within the Freedom Week 2015‬ activities, on 25 October. During the event, the German expert and senior consultant Dr Jürgen Wickert spoke about his experience with media in Indonesia and also about the German Press Council and the German Press Code. The goal was to gain new partners from media circles in Georgia. For this reason, the Georgian Media Ethics Charter Organization, a very influential journalistic union modelled after the German Press Council, was invited in addition to several other information agencies and CCI “Modern Journalism Supporting Project” Participants. The discussion was followed by the opening of the photo exhibition "Freedom Frame" which was attended by individuals from different media organizations.

The latest JBFO event was held on 30 November, its topic the issue of vocational education in Georgia. It was emphasized that despite the fact that Georgian universities teach journalism, they fail to provide the practical experience necessary for journalists. For that, reason Dr Gunther Diewald, an expert working for the Georgian Ministry of Education and Science, spoke about the benefits of vocational education centres, after which the participants visited the Public College “Spectri”, one of the biggest vocational training centres in Georgia. 

Although it has only been active for a few months, the JBFO project has proven to be very successful and it is crucial to continue its work to create a truly sustainable network which will ensure that all future communication and cooperation will be as efficient as possible.

For photos from one of the JBFO events: