TBILISI, DFWatch–According to a new survey the main problem in Georgian media is polarization.
This is the main finding of a new report based on data gathered by four Georgian NGOs: Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), Internews – Georgia, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), and the Civic Development Institute. The study was sponsored by the European Union and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The NGOs examined the main trends of the 2012 parliamentary election coverage in Georgian press, broadcasting and online media.
The survey considers information broadcast Georgian TV companies unreliable and notes that TV companies reported the same events so differently that it was difficult to find out which one was trustworthy.
“Monitoring results revealed that during the elections, TV media was quite polarized. There were channels identified, where the main emphasis was laid on positive presentation of the authorities in main news releases; these channels were: Rustavi 2, Imedi and Real TV. The authorities were portrayed in a critical and negative way by Maestro and the Channel 9” the report says.
In addition to the polarization, there were listed several key findings about Georgian media: print media overall provided a diverse picture of the campaign. All monitored newspapers were more or less critical of the government. Radio was quite balanced and unbiased, and online media was characterized by thematic diversity.
Also DFWatch is mentioned in the report and was subject to monitoring from May 11 to November 30, 2012.
“Dfwatch.net is distinguished with diversity of articles; other than political parties, the website pays quite much attention to the coverage of activities of international organizations, local NGOs and the Central Election Commission. Besides, quite much attention is allocated to the problems of the media, e.g. discussion of ‘must-carry’ and seizure of the satellite dishes of the TV company Maestro. Dfwatch.net is quite balanced and there was no case of gross violation of journalistic standards at all during the monitoring period. However, in some cases there is a critical disposition observed towards the authorities, but this criticism is always politically correct,” the notes.