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Georgia Slightly Improved its Position in „Freedom House“ Rating in Terms of Media Independence

Pursuant to Freedom House, Influential human rights organization, annual report Nations in Transit 2007, Georgia has slightly improved its position in terms of Media independence. 

The 2007 Freedom House study ratings reflect the period January 1 through December 31, 2006   and is focused on 28 former Soviet countries and Kosovo.

In terms of media independence Georgia has won 4 points in a 7-point rating system. The ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 representing the highest level of independent media progress and 7 the lowest. In the same study of 2006 Georgia had 4,25 points.

Under the report 2007 Georgia recedes only the Ukraine (3,75 points) among the CIS countries.

The points of the countries being at the stage of NATO integration are to be noted: Albania – 3,75, Croatia - 4, Macedonia – 4,15.

According to Freedom House rating system the ratings vary in Georgia  through the categories: Electoral Process (EP) -  4,5; Civil Society (CS) – 3,5; National Democratic Governance (NGOV) – 5,5; Local Democratic Governance (LGOV) – 5,5; Judicial Framework and Independence (JFI) - 4,75; and  Corruption (CO) - 5.

In total Georgia counts 4,68 points on average (4,86 points in the previous year – media.ge). Georgia still remains a partially independent country.

Newspaper “24 Hours” published the article including the discussion about Freedom House report by political scientist Gia Nodia, Head of Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development, (CIPDD). In the country with no tradition of institute of democracy the government is demanded for more compared with developed democracies - says Mr. Nodia. Leaders of Georgia might not be pardoned for the deeds that can be considered normal for their counterparts in the United States or Germany. For instance, Helmut Kohl Germany's chancellor never gave interviews to the most powerful German magazines such as “Spiegel” and “Stern”. No one would ever say that German Government is fighting against independent media – since the media itself was powerful and the government was to be scared of it – notes Nodia.

Our media, says Head of CIPDD, is far from its Western counterparts, both in terms of quality and economic basis. Thus the steps considered as natural controversy between Western governments and means of media is easily perceived as pressure over media in Georgia that is rather disputable issue, from the experts’ point of view.

As regards the level of corruption, Gia Nodia believes that Georgia deserves a higher score. No radical turn has been made but it takes time to prove it.

“And in the end the government is to strip off the perilous illusion as if Georgia is already a democracy but some bad people are not willing to see it. Democracy never means formal reforms, but the process of building institutions and evolution of the society and it naturally takes time” – Nodia underlines.

Source: Media.ge

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