Equality movement vs. unidentified journalist of interpressnews.ge

Violated Principle : Not Upheld;
Head of Council: Nana Biganishvili

Council Members: Tamar Uchidze, Kamila Mamedova, Lika Zakashvili, Giorgi Suladze, Gela Mtivlishvili, Giorgi Mgeladze

Equality Movement applied to Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics. They thought, that the published by interpressnews.ge violated 8th principle of the Charter because of the photo of minor being used.

Representative of applicant, Tamar Razmadze attended the hearing. Journalist was not indicated in the article published. . Coucil secretariate asked the media company to identify, who was responsible for the material, but the information was not given and therefore, nobody was identified. In these situations, according to Charter guidelines, “unidentified person” can be given in the decision.

Council member Giorgi Suladze recused himself from the closed discussion of the case, because he works in the respondent media company.

Motivation Part

According to the 8th principle of the Charter – Journalist is obligated to protect children’s rights; prioritize children’s interests in the professional work; not prepare and publish materials about children, which will harm them. Journalist should not interview or shoot a photo of a child less than 16 years old without their parents’ or guardians’ approval about the issues which concern their or other children’s well-being”. The product in question was published on interpressnews.ge and was about minor being murdered by their uncle. Article was accompanied by the photo of minor. Applicant thought that by publishing the photo of deceased Charter’s 8th principle was violated. Council asked applicant about specifically what interest was being neglected by publishing the photo. Applicant said that other media companies did not use the photo or blurred it when publishing’ therefore, they thought that it was unethical to show the photo in this situation too.

Charter Council thinks that it is unacceptable to publish photo to only emotionally load the story and not give additional information to it, but the publishing of the photo did not violate interests of the minor, because there was nothing more to damage. Moreover, the photo was published after several hours of information about the murder, therefore, close people already knew about the situation and there was no risk that the photo would have been the first source of information. Photo was taken from publicly accessible source, social network. It is also worth mentioning, that the photo was not of the tragic fact but taken at a different time.

Therefore, Council thinks that the 8th principle was not violated.
Resolution Part

According to information provided above:

1. Unidentified journalist of interpressnews.ge did not violate Charter principle 8.