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Journalist against Public Broadcasting Company

29.11.2006
Jurnalisti_marika.gifJournalist Marika Parunashvili blames the Public Broadcasting Company (PBC) for abusing her rights. She was fired from this company over the phone. 

"I used to defend others all the time, and I considered it to be a part of my professional duty.  However, I need to be defended because of my colleagues' lies," said Parunashvili, who was working in the Samtskhe-Javakheti office of PBC.

 "I was employed in June 2006, but I actually started working in September 2006. They told    me on phone, that the company was going to open Samtskhe-Javakheti office and they had chosen me to work there. Before that I had been employed by Inter-news for six moths and involved the project, 'Kvira' [Sunday]. The project was broadcast by PBC. Maka Fankvelashvili and Sofo Kvintradze were my producers. They recommended me to the company. Initially I was tested in June," said Marika Parunashvili.

She worked at the company for three months without a labor contract or payment.

"I worked for the company for three months. Although I had prepared nearly twenty items, I did not receive any money for them. Initially, they explained to me that the first month would be trial. I do not have anything against that, but this experimental period lasted too long and reached three months. I finally demanded a salary from my employer. Khatuna Kveselava, Chief of the Information Department, responded instead that I was fired. She said my two items were not enough work.  I was shocked. They almost left me out in the street," said Marika.

The journalist thinks that PBC was never going to employ her. She was tricked and made to work without payment.

"Five minutes after my talk with Khatuna Kveselava, I received a phone call from the company and was told that another journalist had accepted my job. They were looking for new candidate, and thus they fired me. I did not expect my favorite TV Channel had such impolite managers,' said Parunashvili.

Marika Parunashvili graduated from the journalism division of the Tbilisi State University's Akhaltsikhe branch. She published articles in the university newspaper. She worked at the News Service Department of the local TV Company, 'Lomsia'. At that time, she continued to work for another local TV Company, 'Meckhre Arkhi' [ninth channel].

"When they called me from PBC and offered a job, I left my job in Akhaltsikhe. Now I am unemployed. I want to meet the director of the Public Broadcast Company. If I had tried to meet her immediately, I am sure they would not let me in. I do not want to give up. I will appeal to the  media council. Everyone should be punished who has violated my rights," said Marika Papunashvili.

Other journalists, who support her, are emphatic, too.

"I witnessed her hard work. She was the only journalist in the region which includes six districts. Can you imagine how hard she worked? A one-month trial is quite acceptable, but if they did not like her work, they should have fired her after that period. She was dismissed without any explanations. I can make a statement as a journalist that PBC is deceptive. If that is so, I do not want such TV Company," said Keti Afriamashvili, journalist for another local TV Company.

Gulo Kokhodze, Akhaltsikhe

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