Coping under Pressure

Not Media Polarisation but the Government Is the Problem in Georgia

26 March 2020

The greatest challenge for Georgia’s media environment the pressure from the government and attempts at interference in the editorial policies of media outlets.

The Georgian media landscape can be described as robust, competitive and pluralistic, but highly polarised with television channels being aligned with one political party or another. In this article, the accent is on television channels because television is the main source of news and information for the majority (69 per cent) of the country’s population.

Media pluralism is ensured through diverse ownership. But since the Georgian advertising market is very small and the media is still not a sustainable business, in most cases the media owners are businessmen who do not perceive media as a business but a tool for maintaining either their own business or supporting their political stance.

Bidzina Ivanishvili

Despite some political polarisation, for years Georgian broadcast media outlets have been presenting a range of views and creating a plurality of political opinions and positions. However, better journalistic quality is desired to produce more fact-based and issue-based reporting, based upon analysis and ethical standards, more oriented on public interest and less politically biased.

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Nino Danelia

Nino Danelia is a Professor at Ilia State University. She is an author of several research articles, policy papers and handbooks on Georgian media. She has more than 15 years of experience in teaching journalism and mass communication. Danelia’s research interests are democracy, civic activism and the public sphere, Soviet dissident communication, journalism as a profession and civic values.

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