Training for journalists in Georgia

Eighteen journalists came together on November 17-18 in Borjomi, Georgia to discuss the impact of a series of ILO training courses on reporting on labour issues, and to identify possible next steps. The training was organized within the framework of the ILO Human Rights for All Project funded by the EU.

News | 19 November 2018
During the past 2 years, the ILO has organised a series of 6 trainings for journalists to raise their awareness of labour issues, what to bear in mind when reporting on these issues, different tools and approaches available, as well as the international context of the work of the ILO, and in particular the role of the international labour standards of the ILO. Representing print, social, radio and television media outlets from across Georgia, participants were very positive about the impact of the training.

”If we acknowledge and recognize the role of the media and its power to influence public processes, then it will be clear how important such trainings and meetings are. If journalists are talking to their audience about labour rights, then they are expected to have substantial knowledge about this topic, and they should be aware of problems and legislative amendments as much as possible. Such meetings expand the horizon of reporters, and let them understand the whole essence of this issue and make them think of the ways of communicating valuable information to the public.” Medea Imerlishvili, journalist, Radio of the Public Broadcaster

Amongst possible next steps identified by participants were the need for more training for journalists on specific topics, sectors and media tools, engaging with journalism educational institutions, developing national information campaigns on labour rights, and developing mechanisms that would allow journalist from different regions in Georgia to more easily share information.

”With the seminars and practical activities that we undertook during the summary training, I became aware of the challenges that even the journalists are facing in Georgia and in its regions. It is necessary to make changes and advocate for labour rights, which motivates me to work with workers, but not just with them. I saw the need to plan a media campaign with my colleagues, which will let us regularly cover a topic concerning a violation of labour rights from various regions. I think such awareness and-analytical campaign will be effective and improve the environment. The training is an incentive for us to carry out specific activities.” Tata Kachkachishvili, Radio Liberty

In addition to reviewing past trainings, the journalists were also provided with new information concerning issues such as occupational safety and health and gender equality in the world of work. The discussions and practical exercises undertaken also prompted journalists to reflect on their own positions as employees of the media outlets for which they work, and the challenges they face in this respect.

“Labour rights probably is the area that I should cover more actively with my colleagues and write more about. However, I also feel that my labour rights are often grossly violated too, and this does not give me the courage to pay more attention to this topic. I think this is why it is important and necessary to have such meetings and discussions where we can exchange information among other colleagues and hear specific cases. I think that these meetings should be organized regularly, so that we can stay alert in this respect.” Natia Tsitelauri, Interpressnews

The training was moderated by a number of national experts on labour issues, with inputs from Lejo Sibbel, Sr. Specialist on International Labour Standards and Labour Law of the ILO DWT/CO Moscow.