Business Time, a local media outlet with the focus on business and economy, is striving to attract more readers, increase its rating and establish itself as a reliable and vocal news agency.
Read below to find out more about the plans and goals of Business Time in an interview with Editor-In-Chief, Levan Chitanava.
Q. Business Time is a newly created media outlet. The market is saturated with different online media outlets offering various content. Why did you decide to start Business Time?
A. The main motivation for our decision was to do what we know how to do and what we wanted to do. The market may be saturated with online publications, but we are confident that we will find our place and our voice soon. The goal is also to provide readers with more information about business Georgia.
Q. You said that Business Time will find its place soon. What will it be in your opinion, what is your goal?
A. Although our agency has been established for several years, the pandemic situation slowed down our plans, but we believe the best is still ahead of us.
In January we completely updated our website, introduced a modern design and new sections. We make a kind of fresh start, with a new attitude and more potential. Of course our goal is to attract more readers and establish closer cooperation with businesses. We have many plans for the future, and our team is working 24/7 to achieve that goal.
We are considering adding small interviews on interesting topics to the video section, which we think will further promote our outlet.
As trade relations with China grow, we are considering the possibility of adding Chinese language along with English to our website.
Since 2023 large businesses have also started cooperating with us, which is a sign that we are slowly but surely moving in the right direction. The trust expressed by the business is an incentive for our team to be more in shape and live up to expectations. Our main focus is to be everywhere there is business.
Q. Business Time is mainly involved in covering business and economy related issues. Why did you choose this sphere?
A.Our priority is business and economics, although we do not limit ourselves to this.
One of our important points of reference is society – we are active in this direction as well, and of course we have a special section “Ukraine”, which everyone is very interested in, and within this section we try to cover the economic situation of the country at war and what is happening directly on the front line.
Regarding your question of why economics and business — we have a lot of experience in this field. In 2011-2016 we published a business magazine with Azerbaijani investments, which was analytical and was published in the English and Russian languages. In 2016 the investor decided to leave the Georgian market, and we reinvested our experience in an information agency that will definitely have the last word!
Q. What is the role of the media today in the “information war” and how difficult is it to maintain the standards of journalism and ethics and fight propaganda?
A. Today media is quite diverse, the competition is high and the standard in our segment is increasing, which is only welcome. As they say, competition only strengthens.
Fighting propaganda is not an easy task, but when you rely on the primary source and bring verified information to the reader, after some time you get proper feedback, which is called trust. You should never offer false information to the reader, so by spreading the right information, you fight propaganda and at the same time gain the trust of the reader, which is the most important point for us!
Today in Georgia too many media outlets openly state their position, and the media seems to be divided into two parts — opposition and government. This kind of media environment was one of the reasons why we decided to place more emphasis on business, economy and other public topics and to “withdraw” from politics as much as possible. Of course, all the issues are related to the politics in the country, including the topics that we focus on, although not to the same extent as some other media outlets.
We talk only in numbers, we try to be as neutral as possible, we are not financed by any political party, our income is advertising, and perhaps this is the main protection against being partisan. In our work it is necessary not to forget the ethics of journalism, and the more we learn it, the more it will affect the quality of work, and competition will become healthier.
Q. What is it like to be the head of a media outlet in Georgia today?
A. Leadership means responsibility. While other employees go home after performing daily work, the leader stays responsible for all the people on their team.
As a manager I believe that the main thing is teamwork, and my employees know this very well, since we discuss all important issues together. Employees must also enjoy their work and not just be in it for the money. Today we are a small team but with big ambitions. Ambitions that have objective foundations. You are a good manager when the agency works directly without your intervention in all the details, when the employees love their work and you create all conditions for the realization of this work.
Q. Please tell us why you decided to support the Golden Brand awards ceremony?
A. I would like to answer this question by first thanking the organizers for their cooperation.
It is very important for us to participate in such events in order to tell the business community who we are. Our ambition is to contribute to the success of the sector. It is most important to participate in Golden Brand where successful business representatives gather. This is a window of opportunity for us.
Q. How important are such events to the business sector of Georgia in your opinion?
A. The answer is unequivocal — of course, very important! Encouraging business is necessary, business that creates products, jobs and, what is also important, contributes a substantial amount to our budget in the form of taxes. And of course to establish direct business communication, which can become the basis of partnership in the future. Golden Brand can thus be called the “golden place” for businesses.
Q. Does Business Time itself have any encouraging activities for businesses in Georgia?
A. Yes. We have special offers for startups, we will prepare an article about them completely free of charge, then we create video stories for them and provide information support for a certain period of time. For us this is an investment in relationships, after strengthening the startup it can become our loyal and serious partner in the future.
Q. Levan, please tell us more about yourself as well — what else do you do besides Business Time?
A. I cooperate with international media, and work at Radio Maestro, where I host the business program Maestro’s Business Time, the main focus of which is economy and business. There we provide listeners with more information about business in Georgia.
In addition, I provide PR consultations to various companies in the country.