Go Group 
is the media organization working in the Caucasus

Mission participants:

Maia Tsiklauri, Liberali magazine
Malkhaz Chkadua, Interpressnews agency
Magda Lekiashvili, 24 Saati newspaper
David Kanchashvili, Netgazeti online newspaper
Eka Basilaia, Resonansi newspaper
Nino Mikiashvili, news agency

Magda Lekiashvili, reporter, 24 Saati newspaper
'I was curious about the life at 2300 meters above sea level'
Maia Tsiklauri, reporter, Liberali magazine:
'I finally met people I knew nothing about, but myths'
Nino Narimanishvili, editor, Samkhretis Karibche newspaper:
'I live in this region, but there are issues I did not know about before'  
Malkhaz Chkadua, reporter, Interpressnews agency:
'Journalists should demonstrate more active interest in this region'

Nino Mikiashvili, reporter, agency:
'The situation is hard, but compared to what it was eight years ago, it has slightly improved'


Should there be a special program of teaching Gergian language to non-Georgians?

Total votes: 32
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Ethnicity, Language, Justice

The journalistic expeditions arranged by the GO Group Media to the regions where various ethnic minorities live compactly, offer a simple way to contribute to the solution of a complicated problem of society dissociation. The unity can be achieved only through mutual understanding, and the only way to understand each other is to know each other. About 10 to 12 journalists from the leading newspapers, news agencies, radio and television channels usually join us in such expeditions. The articles and reports they write and broadcast tell thousands of people throughout the country about the problems, ideas and hopes of those who speak different language, live according to different traditions but still are the citizens of the same country. Therefore, such expeditions create some kind of a channel of communication between various ethnic groups within Georgia’s multinational society, they let people know each other and also contribute to overcoming of mutual detachment and tensions the sole reason of which is often a simple lack of knowledge.

 Samtskhe-Javakheti region was the location of another journalistic mission carried out in November 2010, with the representatives of the eight mainstream media outlets participating in it.
The region is made up by six districts: Borjomi, Adigeni, Aspindza, Akhaltsikhe, Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda. Two of these districts – with the centers in Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda - are predominantly populated by ethnic Armenians, who make up to 40 % of the entire region’s population. The mission focused on these two cities as well as on remote villages. Special attention was also paid to the families of Muslim Meskhetians, deported from Samtskhe-Javakheti by Stalin during the WWII and, during last years, one by one repatriating to the region, which consistently creates the problems of ethnic identification, language, and unsolved legal issues.
Ethnic minority communities in Samtskhe-Javakheti usually have no or little knowledge of the Georgian language. Therefore, the Georgian-language media are not comprehensible for the local residents. Moreover, the Tbilisi-based mainstream media mostly don’t have their correspondents in the places where the ethnic minorities live. As a result, media stories about the region often are based on rumors, they don’t provide opinions of local residents; the coverage of the communities’ social and economic problems in the Georgian media is minimal, and, consequently, people in the rest of the country have little knowledge of the real situation in Samtskhe-Javakheti. All these factors cause the discontent among the members of the Armenian-speaking community and aggravate inter-ethnic relations. Lack of communication between local Georgian and Armenian communities; often irresponsible attitudes of the local governments caused by the absence of the media watchdog; the unawareness of the political and social events taking place in the rest of the country contributes to the feeling of alienation in the public and, particularly, in the Armenian population.
With the background of the unresolved questions of regionalism, the substantial lack of transparency in regional politics and weakness of the local government, the abovementioned factors might offer fertile ground and become the main catalyst for the number of problems which have been cumulating in the region.

The journalistic mission is expected to reduce the information vacuum regarding the region.

Materials published by Mission participants

"Don't say aloud that you're Turks"

Nino Mikiashvili, agency

სამცხე–ჯავახეთის რაიონებსა და სოფლებში, სამხრეთ საქართველოდან 1944 წელს დეპორტირებულები და მათი შთამომავლები სახლებს ყიდულობენ. more... 
You can hardly find a Georgian in Akhalkalaki
 Nino Mikiashvili, agency
ახალქალაქში ქართველი სანთლით უნდა ეძებო, მაგრამ როცა იპოვით, დარწმუნდებით იმაში, რომ აქ არსებული ვითარება, გასულ წლებთან შედარებით უკეთესია. more 
They make Armani in Ninotsminda
 Nino Mikiashvili, agency
თბილისიდან ნინოწმინდაში ახლადდაგებული გზით ჩავედით და ყველაზე თვალშისაცემი, რაც დაგვხვდა (8-10 წლის წინანდელთან შედარებით), იყო ქართული წარწერების შედარებითი სიმრავლე.  more 
Uninvited guests
Magda Lekiashvili, the newspaper "24 hours"

სამცხე-ჯავახეთის შესა­ხებ მხო­ლოდ გად­მო­ცე­მით ვი­ცო­დი. სა­კუ­თა­რი თვა­ლით პირ­ვე­ლად ვნა­ხე და მოგ­ზა­უ­რო­ბი­დან გა­ორ­მა­გე­ბუ­ლი შთა­ბეჭ­დი­ლე­ბე­ბით დავ­ბ­რუნ­დი. more 

Aramani-style management
Malkhaz Chkadua, Interpressnews agency
"ARAMANI" – ნამდვილად არც თვითნებულად ჩამიმატებია და არც შემშლია რომელიმე ასო–ბგერა. more
'Is it the way to the town?'
Malkhaz Chkadua, Interpressnews agency
დღის ორი საათია, ქალაქის მოედანი ხალხით არის სავსე, აღმოსავლური მოტივები კულტურის სახლის შესასვლელთან საგანგებოდ დადგმული ხმის გამაძლიერებლებიდან ისმის...more
Samsari - the hidden village
GO Group Media
The village of Samsari is among the most remote ones in Samtskhe-Javakheti. Visiting it was a part of the journalistic mission organized by the GO Group Media. Samtskhe-Javakheti, Georgia, November 2010. more

'Meskh Muslims in Georgia',
GO Group Media

The film created by the GO Group Media during the Journalistic Mission to the region more

'They should not have been settled together, and then there would not be fear' - stories of deported Muslim Meskhs,
Eka Basilaia, Rezonansi newspaper
ახალციხეში ჩასვლითანავე გეზი რკინიგზის საბარგო სადგურის დასახლებისკენ ავიღეთ, იქ სადაც 1-2 წლის წინ ჩამოსულან მაჰმადიანი მესხები. more

'There, in Georgia... Do you still remember us?'
Eka Basilaia, Resonansi newspaper

სამცხე-ჯავახეთში ოთდღიანი მოგზაურობა ისე დასრულდა, ბევრი გულისტკივილი დატოვა, ბევრი პასუხგაუცემელი კითხვაც დარჩა. თუმცა, ბევრი რამ საკუთარი თვალით ვნახე და გავიოცე. more
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