TBILISI, DFWatch — The audit agency in Georgia wants the chair of the Public Broadcaster to be changed, while groups demand reforms in GPB to return it to people and free broadcaster from government control.

Online newspaper Ambebi.ge conducted a questionnaire among readers about who they want to become chair of Georgia’s Public Broadcaster, among five candidates.

Lasha Tughushi, who is chair of Georgia’s Press Association as well as editor of daily newspaper Resonansi, received the majority of the votes – 38 percent.

The survey lasted two days October 25-26; 1271 people voted. Ia Antadze, journalist at Radio Liberty Georgia received 34 percent of votes; Giorgi Chanturia, current chair of GPB received 12 percent of votes, while Zviad Koridze, media expert and chair of Georgian journalist ethics charter – 9 percent, Shorena Shaverdashvili, editor of Liberali magazine – 6.6 percent.

Georgia’s Public Broadcaster is considered to be in a crisis together with the other pro-government media outlets after theelection. Channel 1, which belongs to GPB closed down two political talk shows leaving its authors and anchos confused, and the and recent scandal with Russian language PIK, also belonging to GPB, is ground for civil sector representatives to demand reforms at Public Broadcaster, which they claim is politicized and is to be returned to the people.

A week ago, the media coalition suggested steps to create a better media environment in the country.

Their recommendations are that GPB should request the State Audit Service to do an unscheduled audit of the broadcaster and to present the results to the Georgian parliament and society.

But before that, the NGOs consider, GPB should disclose its financial expenses and documents which will make clear GPB’s policy towards PIK and other channels belonging to the Public Broadcaster.

The media organizations ask for a review of the regulations of how to form the Board of Trustees of the Public Broadcaster, which would be one step closer to form GPB as an independent broadcaster.