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Society Is Waiting for Independent, High Quality Media; Nowadays Media Is Very Poor

On December 10, representation of the EU to Georgia published results of media survey in the country. According to the survey, although according to the Index of Freedom of Printed Media Georgia has highest index in the regions, there are many problems in the field.

Director of the Caucasian Research Resource-Center Koba Turmanidze said at the presentation that main source of the information in Georgia is still television. Besides that, population is aware that the information reported by television is biased and population resolves the problem by watching various channels and comparing different positions. However, watching TV-channels with different editorial policy from central TV-companies outside the capital is very difficult.

According to the survey, Georgian people protest all kind of censorship from the government and society is eager to have more professional, impartial and independent media sources in the country. Besides that, citizens think, political events are mostly reported by media while people want to pay more attention to social and human rights as well as freedom of expression.
TV-Company “Rustavi 2” is the most popular among national TV-channels. However, population has different attitude towards this channel. More precisely, although 59 % of respondents partly trust the news program of “Rustavi 2”, 51 % thinks they expose governmental interests. “Rustavi 2” does not release impartial information but they are operative,” this is the attitude of the population.

As for journalists, the survey showed that people pay attention to their talent (59 %), bravery (34 %), correctly asked questions (19 %) and good reporting (18 %). Poor reporting and provocative behavior of journalists are considered to be two most unpopular features of Georgian journalists.

49 % of interviewed people think the journalists are pro-governmental. More precisely, the survey exposed that interests of the government (83 %) and media owners (79 %) influence the work of TV-journalists more than their own attitudes (49 %). Besides that, respondents think weak institutional base of independent journalism hinders development of high quality journalism. Another issue is, journalists do not have freedom because there are no neutral media sources in Georgia.

Respondents are very interested in investigative journalism. More than 75 % of respondents think journalists shall investigate the situation in healthcare system, judiciary system, elections, freedom of expression and relationship between politicians and Orthodox Church.

Final conclusion, which was prepared by the representation of the EU and Caucasian Research Center, is the following – society is waiting for independent and high-quality media. Nowadays, media is very poor in the country.

Representatives of the EU stated at the presentation that similar researches will be carried out in future too. The goal of the next researches will be to inform the society about the changes in media-field. Research of Georgian media was carried out within the CRRC project of the Eurasian Partnership Foundation and was funded by the EU.

Source: News Agency “Pirveli”

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