Workshop on the topic – Freedom of Information and Accessibility of Public Documents

News 12 July 2012

On July 6, 2012, in the hotel “Betsy”, a workshop has been held for the representatives of  media on the topic - Freedom of Information and Accessibility of Public Documents.
The seminar was held within the framework of the joint program of Council of Europe and European Union – “Promoting freedom, professionalism and pluralism of the media in the South Caucasus and Moldova” in partnership with the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI).

The seminar was opened by the representatives of the Council of Europe Batu Tsulukiani and the Chairman of the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information Levan Avalishvili.

The presentation about freedom of information and the relevant legislation, as well as the Georgian practice of access to information was delivered to the audience by the director of IDFI Giorgi Kldiashvili and the chairman of the Institute Levan Avalishvili.

Giorgi Kldiashvili discussed about the history of freedom of information, the international legislation of freedom of information and the modern trends of freedom of information.

Levan Avalishvili talked about the legislation of freedom of information in Georgia and the practice of public information accessibility in the administrative organs.

It is often very difficult to receive the desired information from the public institutions in time and in a complete form. This mostly depends on the content of the requested information; however, there are important factors, which, if taken into account, facilitate receiving of information. Firstly, it is important to know the rights defined by the law. Correct and clear formulation of the request is of decisive importance. Also, it is necessary to follow certain standard while preparing the request.

Discussion was held about the general situation in Georgia in terms of freedom of information, those problems, which the journalists, non-governmental organizations and ordinary citizens are facing while requesting public information, and also about the achievements concerning proactive disclosure of issues of public interest on the official web-pages.

  The head of the legal group of the Access to Information Program, Alexander Kamushov, shared his experience with the Georgian journalists and told them about the legislation of freedom of information in Bulgaria and its usage by the journalists.

A documentary “Mass Media and Access to Information” depicting 5 stories about the successful journalistic investigations by Bulgarian journalists was shown at the seminar.

The editor in chief of the newspaper “Rezonansi”, Lasha Tughushi, discussed with the audience about the experience of the Georgian media and the particular importance of the role of free, active and healthy media. The topic of “Must Carry” was also of active discussion.

The seminar was held in the format of active discussion. The participants were journalists and lawyers of print and internet media, as well as television.  

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