Tbilisi Tour of Old and New

TBILISI, Georgia, 24 May 2014 – The old section of this city is a rich blend of old and new. Heading out to the eastern city of Gurjaani on Monday for another three-day workshop.

I’m in Georgia at the invitation of the U.S. Embassy to give a series of workshops, presentations and discussions with professional journalists, journalism students and general public.

The central theme of my two-week visit to Georgia is this:

A revolution in technology has empowered vast sections of the world’s population to communicate instantly, globally and in a language, the visual language, that all can understand. We stand at an extraordinary juncture in the history of mankind, technology and communication. Even more important than the Gutenberg press, the advances in digital cameras and the Internet provide us unprecedented opportunity. Ordinary citizens of the world now wield the power to communicate in the visual language, which supersedes both the written and the spoken word. This visual language is one of the most powerful tools of our time. The government and the people of the United States believe that a free and unbridled press is essential for a free and open democratic society. Now, professional journalists, backpack journalists and citizen journalists can “Raise Your Voice,” as the State Department’s video interview of me observes. ( With this new-found power comes responsibility — the responsibility to wield this power with great care, as it can be as destructive as it is instructive.

(Photos by Bill Gentile)