Media of Georgia

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The media in Georgia includes television, newspapers and radio. A large percentage of Georgian households have a television, and most have at least one radio. Most of Georgia's media companies are headquartered in its capital and largest city, Tbilisi.

Television[edit]

The Public Broadcasting Channel is publicly funded, and broadcasts on free-to-air television and radio.

The Rustavi 2 network produced significant coverage of the 2003 Rose Revolution. The station currently reaches around 84% of the country's population, as well as Europe, the European part of Russia and the Middle East via satellite.[citation needed] The station was frequently critical of the Eduard Shevardnadze government, and reported on corruption and human rights abuses. In 2001 a security police raid on Rustavi 2 resulted in mass street demonstrations against governments pressure, after which President Shevardnadze fired his entire cabinet.[1]

Other major television broadcasters 2008 include Imedi TV, Maestro, TV 9, Caucasia.

Press[edit]

Whilst the authorities finance some publications,[which?] there are some 200 privately owned newspapers.[citation needed] Most of these are based in Tbilisi, which is home to a number of newspaper publishing houses. Georgian newspapers include the daily 24 Saati (24 Hours), Rezonansi (Resonance), Alia, Akhali Taoba, and English-language newspapers Georgian Messenger, The FINANCIAL (weekly), Georgia Today (weekly), The Georgian Times (weekly).

Radio[edit]

Tbilisi radio stations include Imedi Radio (105.9FM), Fortuna, and Radio 105. Imedi mainly concentrates on news and commentary, but broadcasts pop music as well, particularly at night-time.

Censorship and media freedom[edit]

According to Reporters Without Borders in 2005, Georgia was in 89th position on a list of countries ranked by press freedom; behind Moldova (85th) and Mongolia (86th) - both countries deemed to be in transition to Democracy from Communism.[citation needed] This ranking was primarily due to the limited diversity in media ownership, and self-censorship.

During the Sandro Girgvliani murder case the media businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili, owner of Imedi Media Holding, stated that the Georgian authorities were mounting pressure on his station and other businesses after it had broadcast details of the scandal. "It is no secret that Imedi television was the first one which reported the circumstances of Sandro Girgvliani’s murder...this alone became a reason for the authorities’ dissatisfaction, which triggered the financial authorities to actively launch a probe into my businesses and my companies so [as] to force me to mount pressure against [my] journalists..and facilitate the creation of a favorable image of the authorities," Badri Patarkatsishvili went on to say that he would never yield to pressure from the authorities.[2]

In addition, on July 6 Eka Khoperia, an anchor with Rustavi 2, announced during her live program that she was resigning, after refusing to follow instructions from the authorities.[3]

On 27 March 2012, the editor of Forbes Georgia, Revaz Sakevarishvili, resigned because of alleged censorship, claiming that "there has been quite a serious attempt to put pressure and establish censorship." According to Sakevarishvili, the owners of the Media Partners, the holding company which owns publishing rights to Forbes Georgia had actively tried to alter materials about opposition parties or prevent their publication altogether.[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]