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European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights

European Union Georgia

Civil Society Human Rights Seminar on Media Freedom

Tbilisi, 10-11 November 2009 Disclaimer

The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

November 2009 Contract n 2009/218350

This seminar is funded by The European Union

This seminar is organised by Cecoforma 1

The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights

European Union Georgia

Civil Society Human Rights Seminar on Media Freedom

November 2009

ANNEX I: GEORGIA COMPREHENSIVE MEDIA RESEARCH: ........................................... 5 SUMMARY FINDINGS .................................................................................................................... 5
DISCLAIMER ....................................................................................................................................................................... 6 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................................................................. 7 PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS OF MEDIA: SCEPTICAL INTEREST .................................................................................................. 7 MEDIA PROFESSIONALS: CRITICAL AND CONCERNED .................................................................................................... 10 THE TV SECTOR: STATIONS IN CONFLICT, STANDARDS IN JEOPARDY ........................................................................... 11 ANALYSIS ......................................................................................................................................................................... 12 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ............................................................................................................................................ 14 BASELINE DESK RESEARCH................................................................................................................................ 14 PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY ................................................................................................................................... 14 FOCUS GROUPS................................................................................................................................................... 14 IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS ....................................................................................................................................... 14 MEDIA PROFESSIONALS MINI-SURVEY .............................................................................................................. 15 MEDIA MONITORING .......................................................................................................................................... 15 FINAL REPORT.................................................................................................................................................... 15 QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ................................................................................................................................ 15

ANNEX II: MEDIA RESEARCH SURVEY FINDINGS ............................................................ 16 ANNEX III: INTRODUCTORY REMARKS ............................................................................... 25
SESSION I: ELECTRONIC MEDIA IN GEORGIA .................................................................................................. 25 SPEAKER 2: ANOUSH BEGOYAN, EUROPE PROGRAM OFFICER, ARTICLE 19 ..................................................... 25 SESSION II GEORGIAN PUBLIC BROADCASTER................................................................................................ 27 SPEAKER 2: WOJCIECH DZIOMDZIORA, ATTORNEY, FORMER MEMBER OF THE POLISH NATIONAL BROADCASTING COUNCIL ................................................................................................................................... 27 COMMENTATOR: FIRDEVS ROBINSON, EDITOR, BBC CENTRAL ASIA & CAUCASUS SERVICE ........................... 29 SESSION III: RIGHT TO ACCESS AND IMPART INFORMATION. MEDIA LEGISLATION AND PRACTICE ..................................................................................................................................................................... 31 SPEAKER 1: ILIA DOHEL, OFFICE OF THE REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE FREEDOM OF THE MEDIA, OSCE........ 31 SESSION IV: PROFESSIONALISM AND SELF-REGULATION ........................................................................... 35 SPEAKER 1: BENOT CALIFANO, DIRECTOR, GRADUATE SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM, ESJ-MONTPELLIER ......... 35 COMMENTATOR: PATRICK LEUSCH, HEAD OF PROJECT DEVELOPMENT DIVISION, DEUTSCHE WELLE AKADEMIE .......................................................................................................................................................... 36 SESSION V: MEDIA AS BUSINESS ............................................................................................................................ 37 SPEAKER 1: SHORENA SHAVERDASHVILI, OWNER, MPUBLISHING, PUBLISHER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, LIBERAL .............................................................................................................................................................. 37 SPEAKER 2: OLEG KHOMENOK, PRINT MEDIA ADVISOR, INTERNEWS NETWORK, UKRAINE ............................. 39

ANNEX IV: AGENDA .................................................................................................................... 41 ANNEX V: CONCEPT NOTE ....................................................................................................... 46 ANNEX VI: LIST OF PARTICIPANTS ....................................................................................... 50


Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC) This project is funded by the European Union

Georgia Comprehensive Media Research: Summary Findings

August-November, 2009 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Hans Gutbrod Regional Director Caucasus Research Resource Center Koba Turmanidze Country Director Caucasus Research Resource Center -- Georgia --------------------------------------------------------The Caucasus Research Resource Centers program (CRRC) is a network of research and training centers in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. We strengthen social science research and public policy analysis in the South Caucasus. A partnership between the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Eurasia Partnership Foundation, and local universities, the CRRC network integrates research, training and scholarly collaboration in the region.

A project implemented by the Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF).

This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the Caucasus Resource Research Centers and can be in no way taken as to reflect the views of the European Union.

The Georgian media landscape has long been the subject of intense debate, as well as of fierce political competition. Although Georgia enjoys the highest press freedom index in the region, it is widely accepted that there remain major problems in this sphere.1 President Saakashvili himself has said that the media remains a challenge for Georgia2, and visiting Western politician regularly call for steps to be taken to cement media freedom and independence.3 In many respects, Georgia has a vibrant media scene. Laws passed by the current government have been welcomed by independent observers4, and there is a wide variety of viewpoints available in print and on radio, as well as on television in the capital Tbilisi. However, rather than acting as impartial providers of information, media outlets are often viewed as biased, serving the interests of one or another political group. This has a long history in Georgia, where nationwide channel Rustavi 2 is seen as having played a large role in facilitating the Rose Revolution of 2003. During the political crisis of November 2007, Imedi TV took centre stage, even being raided and closed by the authorities. More recently, Tbilisis Maestro TV has played an overtly political role, calling on its viewers to attend antigovernment demonstrations in April this year. With this in mind, it is no wonder that debates surrounding the Georgian media are highly charged. However, little research has been conducted into the actual state of the media landscape: how it is perceived by the public and professionals alike, what Georgians expect from this sector and what the major strengths and weaknesses are today. In an effort to bring concrete data to this politicised issue, CRRC has undertaken an in-depth and holistic study into the Georgian media landscape. The study consisted of a comprehensive survey of the Georgian populations attitudes to media, a series of focus groups with citizens, detailed interviews with forty-seven top media professionals, and a mediamonitoring project to analyse the current state of Georgian TV news. It is the aim of this report to synthesise the results of these studies to try to achieve a rounded picture of the media landscape in Georgia. It is hoped that by bringing specific findings to a debate so often dominated by political consideration, it will be possible to begin a constructive conversation among all stakeholders on improving the Georgian media scene.

Public perceptions of media: sceptical interest

Georgias media is more trusted than media in neighboring countries. Some 47 percent of survey respondents partially or fully trust the media, as compared with 43 percent in Azerbaijan, and 39 percent in Armenia {CRRC Data Initiative 2008}. Georgians are also avid consumers of news, with 84 percent of respondents watching TV news every day, most for between half an hour and two hours {tv10}. Although TV is the most important source of information, 86 percent of respondents read a weekly paper, and 80 percent read a news magazine, at least once a month {p3.3 }5. In addition, 33 percent receive information from the radio each day {r4.2}, and internet use is growing, with 12 percent accessing the net daily. This shows that while TV

1 See for regional scores. 2, Saakashvili Speaks of New Wave of Democratic Reforms. Retrieved 01/11/09
3 US Vice President Joe Biden, for example, told the Georgian Parliament in July that the Rose Revolution would only be

complete when the media is totally independent and professional. See, Biden Addresses Parliament. Retrieved 01/11/09
4 International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX). (2009). Media Sustainability Index. Retrieved September 25, 2009

5 Many respondents said they did not read newspapers because of their cost, or because they were no on sale in the area.

This suggests that there could be a latent appetite for cheap and widely distributed newspapers among much of the Georgian population.

remains the dominant force, newspapers and radio do play a significant role, and that the internet is gaining traction. Nationwide private channel Rustavi 2 is by far the most popular in Georgia, with 79 percent of respondents watching its news broadcasts every day {tv12,3}. There is, however, a certain ambivalence surrounding the channel. While 59 percent of respondents trust Rustavi 2s news to at least some extent {tv14.5}, 51 percent also think that it reflects the interests of the government. Focus-groups show that many audience members are sceptical towards Rustavi 2s coverage, but keep tuning in due to the highquality delivery offered by the channels news broadcasts. Commenting on its speed, one Tbilisi resident said that Rustavi 2 does not provide objective information, but they are fast, when something happens they are there first. Focus group participants also frequently commented that they watch a combination of news broadcasts from different channels and then decide what to believe, however, the high quality product, as well as the nationwide reach, were frequently cited as reasons for Rustavi 2s popularity. One Kutaisi resident called it the only watchable channel in Georgia.6 It is clear that Georgian viewers like professionally presented news broadcasts. In describing their favorite journalists, they value intelligence (59 percent), courage (34 percent), the ability to ask the right questions (19 percent), as well as a clear presentation of facts (18 percent). Respondents did not hesitate to identify journalists that they respect. Bad pronunciation or a provocative demeanour were considered the two most unpopular traits for a journalist to possess (by 25 and 19 percent of respondents respectively) {tv19}, showing that good presentation is an important factor for Georgian viewers. One focus-group participant spoke with disdain of journalists who made grammatical mistakes in their speech. Georgian news consumers are not only aware of potentially biased reporting on television, but many feel they can make up for that by watching a variety of stations. However, outside the capital, it is much more difficult to access channels with editorial policies significantly different from Rustavi 2. There is an ongoing divide in terms of access to different sources of TV news in Georgia. Most of the country can only access Rustavi 2, Imedi TV and Channel 1 of the state-funded Public Broadcaster. These stations are considered pro government by 51, 33 and 51 percent of respondents respectively. Tbilisi is also served by two channels, Maestro and Kavkasia, widely considered to be supportive of the opposition (68 percent of Tbilisi residents believe Kavkasia represents opposition interests, and 50 percent say Maestro is also supportive of the opposition). Although this means that Tbilisi residents can access a broader range of views, focus-group participants from the city showed little confidence in the objectivity of any channel, also seeing Kavkasia and Maestro as biased and one sided. Biased reporting is unacceptable to 75 percent of respondents, but most feel that the impartiality of TV news is compromised {tv35}. 61 percent believe that news coverage is influenced by the owners of the TV stations. Controversy has dogged the ownership of both Rustavi 2 and Imedi and most focus group participants felt that station owners were themselves beholden to government. Given that 49 percent of Georgians also agree to at least some extent that journalists serve the interests of the government, there does seem to be genuine concern about the level of media freedom {q9}. Georgians are strongly opposed to any from of state censorship. 63 percent agree that the government should not control media output, with just 22 percent agreeing that the government has a right to control media output {q15}. In the focus groups, participants agreed that censorship was only applicable in a time of war. In spite of this, many respondents think that Georgia currently lacks freedom of speech. 44 percent at least partially disagree with the statement that there is freedom of speech in Georgia, compared to 35 percent who agree.
6 Focus groups, divided by age and media habits, were carried out in Tbilisi and Kutaisi.

Most Georgians, therefore, are well aware of the problems in their media sector. However, it is also clear that there is a real desire to have a more professional, unbiased and independent media landscape. Many respondents have distinct ideas of issues they would like to be reflected more extensively on national television. Generally, this shows a preference for several issues that are relevant to their own lives.
Coverage on National TV Right Too little amount Too much 50 27 4 39 34 3 38 32 4 37 35 3 36 37 4 34 32 3 31 35 4 24 47 7 22 42 5 22 47 7 19 18 15 13 9 9 6 44 44 47 47 41 57 43 18 19 14 21 26 11 30

Social issues Human rights Freedom of speech Healthcare Religion Court system Property rights Economic issues Corruption Education Situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia Territorial integrity Political stability Relations with Russia Elections Politics of other countries NATO membership

Don't Know 16 22 23 23 20 28 27 19 28 22 17 16 22 18 21 21 19

Moreover, respondents also show a clear appetite for investigative reporting. Beyond investigative films shown on Kavkasia and Maestro, there are currently no dedicated investigative reporting programs on any national channel. Yet respondents were overwhelmingly positive when asked if they would like to see a wide variety of issues investigated by journalists. Over 75 percent of respondents said they would like to see investigations into healthcare, the courts, elections, the protection of freedom of speech and other issues. Interestingly, 64 percent of respondents said they would also like to see relations between politicians and the Orthodox Church investigated. This is striking given the overwhelming support the church receives, and the fact that it enjoys the trust of 84 percent of the public {CRRC Data Initiative 2008}. Overall, the data paints a complex picture of the Georgian publics relationship with the media. It is clear that Georgians are familiar with the shortcomings of even their most popular news sources, but still watch in vast numbers. While most people demand unbiased, independent reporting from journalists, they also want professional presentation and a high quality product. Although TV news is by far the most influential, most Georgians also turn to other sources at least occasionally, and a large majority would like to see crucial current events be investigated by journalists without interference either from the government, or from the owners of media outlets. In spite of the problems of the Georgian media, 64 percent of Georgians trust journalists to at least some extent. Over sixty percent {d15} would be happy for their children to go into journalism. This suggests that many respondents might be cautiously optimistic for the future of the Georgian media.

7 Those refusing to answer are not shown, so numbers do not add up to 100 percent {tv7}.

Media professionals: critical and concerned

Compared with the general public, media professionals are much more uneasy about the state of the Georgian media, and their own place within it. CRRC surveyed and interviewed forty-seven media professionals in October 2009, and it is clear that most are much more critical toward the media sector than the rest of the population.8 While almost 40 percent of general respondents broadly agreed with the statement that Georgian journalists served the interests of people like them, 79 percent of media professionals broadly disagreed {q8}. Media professionals are also much more concerned about government interference, with 83 percent believing that journalists are often influenced by government interests, compared to just 18 percent of the general public {tv16}. Many of the professional respondents said that pro-government bias was most detectable in TV stations. Most said that a lack of ownership transparency in these media outlets made it easier for pressure to be exerted: The fact that the ownership of the various TV channels is not made transparent proves that they are associated with particular leaders and parties, said one respondent. 79 percent of media professionals believe the owners of TV channels influence coverage to a great extent {tv35}. While problems in TV were mainly seen as arising from government interference, it was lack of professionalism that was highlighted as a primary concern in the rest of the media. Many thought this was particularly apparent in the print sector, as well as on the Tbilisi based Kavkasia and Maestro channels, which most respondents said sided with the opposition. Georgian journalists write for the politicians they are trying to please, from one or another political group said one respondent, another felt that Georgian journalists dont serve the public, they serve the political class. 54 percent of journalists agree to some extent that they have freedom of speech but this agreement is muted. Respondents stressed that there were strong constraints to journalists' freedom. Several issues were highlighted as limiting freedom of speech, including lack of training and professionalism on the journalists part: journalists do not know their rights, and this hinders freedom of speech. Other factors hindering freedom of speech included lack of ownership and financing transparency in media outlets and lack of confidence in the court process. Self-censorship is also mentioned as a problem. You don't like it, but you are still doing it, is how one journalist put it. Another commented that those who did not censor themselves were marginalised, and that a 'clean-up' has been in progress for so long that a new breed of journalists has appeared, who are inherently, consciously pro-governmental. In this context, the preferences of the government (83 percent) and the media owner (79 percent) are more important than personal views (49 percent) in influencing how TV journalists report on issues {tv16, tv15, tv35}. Again and again, journalists highlighted the weak institutional base for sustained independent journalism as a major challenge for quality journalism. Another issue raised was the polarization of the media scene: journalists do not have freedom of speech in Georgia. This is because of the absence of a neutral mediachannels either serve the governments or the oppositions interests. Media professionals see the TV landscape as more polarized than the rest of the population. Whereas 51 percent of the general public think Rustavi 2 serves the governments interests to at least some extent, that view is held by 94 percent of media professionals {tv17.5}. Media professionals also believe that the public is much more distrustful of the Georgian TV sector than is actually the case. Whereas 59 percent of the general public trusts information provided by Rustavi 2 to at least some extent, media professionals thought that figure was just 28 percent. The
8 The professionals included journalists, managers and academic experts. They represented TV, print, radio and internet

outlets, and came from across the political spectrum.


difference is equally striking in regard to the news provided by Imedi, while 60 percent of the public trust it to at least some extent (and it is the nations most trusted broadcaster according to another question, tv13), media professionals thought it was trusted by just 25 percent of people{tv14.3}. One area where survey results from the general population and media professionals coincide is in the desire for investigative reporting. While there is significant donor funding for investigative programs, and some are broadcast on Maestro and Kavkasia, no investigative programs run on a national channel. Over 90 percent of media professionals would like to see investigative reports into issues as diverse as education reform to the situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. However, 62 percent of media professionals would not like to see investigations carried out into the private lives of politicians, compared to the 53 percent of the general public that would. In interviews, most media professionals held up journalistic ethics as the reason such an investigation would be inappropriate, suggesting that there is a strong desire for professional and ethical reporting within the media sector.

The TV sector: stations in conflict, standards in jeopardy

Given the importance and the attention focused on the television sector in Georgia, CRRC commissioned three phases of in-depth media monitoring to be carried out this year.9 The monitoring targeted national broadcasters often seen as serving the governments interests, Rustavi 2, Imedi and Channel 1 of the public broadcaster, as well as Kavkasia and Maestro, Tbilisi-based channels generally seen as sympathetic to the opposition. The monitoring was carried out in early April, coinciding with large scale anti-government street protests, late May, when those demonstrations reached their apogee, and September, when a highly publicized EU-commissioned report into the causes of the 2008 war was released. In general, qualitative analysis of news reports from the five targeted stations found that viewers could expect to see radically different versions of events portrayed on Rustavi 2, Imedi and Channel 1 as compared with Kavkasia and Maestro, meaning that it might indeed be possible to watch a number of channels and then come to ones own conclusions. When channels covered the same news event, it was often possible to discern the editorial sympathies of the station through the differences in reportage. For example, when the EU-commissioned report was released, Imedi gave priority to MPs from both the ruling party and the opposition, who discussed how the report backed up Georgias claim of Russian aggression. This was then followed by excerpts from President Saakashvilis speech which served to validate the earlier claims. Kavkasia, on the other hand, did not show President Saakashvili at all, and dedicated fifty percent of its coverage to the non-parliamentary opposition (who are considered more radically anti-government and had not appeared on Imedi). These speakers categorically blamed the president for the war, and suggested that his resignation was necessary to move beyond the crisis. Thus, viewers watching Imedi were informed that the report basically confirms the governments claim of Russian aggression, whereas Kavkasias viewers were led to believe that the EU-report laid the blame for the war squarely at the feet of President Saakashvili. The media monitoring also found that the targeted channels do indeed fall into opposing camps, with Imedi, Rustavi 2 and Channel 1 often broadcasting similar stories and not criticizing one another, with Kavkasia and Maestro doing much the same thing from the other side. This is highlighted by a report from September: Channel 1 broadcast a statement from the Patriarchate, saying that it was not involved in inviting some controversial Russian journalists to Georgia. The report on Kavkasia showed the same statement, but also broadcast another part, where the patriarchate criticized Imedi TV for airing a previous report saying that the patriarchate had indeed invited the Russian journalists. Thus, Channel 1 refrained from airing criticism of Imedi. The two camps also frequently refrain from criticizing the political groupings they are seen to be allied with. During the anti government protests in April, Rustavi 2, Imedi and Channel 1 broadcast the story of a student who addressed the protestors, he called on
9 The monitoring was carried out by the Center of Social Sciences (CSS) at Tbilisi State University, with external double-blind

review and extensive practical project management by CRRC.


them not to use swear-words or threatening language about their political opponents, and was booed and jeered off the stage. The incident, potentially bad publicity for the opposition, was not covered by Kavkasia or Maestro. Incidents such as these demonstrate the extreme polarization of the Georgian TV landscape. Furthermore, the lack of professionalism which was complained about by a large number of focus group participants and media professionals, was readily apparent across the targeted channels. Monitoring detected several examples of unbalanced reporting, opinions presented as facts, and misleading and confusing information. After a clash between protestors and municipal officials on April 12, Rustavi 2s coverage dedicated 55 seconds to the officials side of the story, and just 12 seconds to the views of the protestors. On April 1, Kavkasia broadcast an item about a group of people protesting against the alleged sale of Georgian art treasures abroad. The protest was shown, as well as sound-bites from the participants, but there was no attempt to show the other side of the story. The channel did not interview anyone from the government, the Ministry of Culture or the national museums, and the allegations of the protestors were presented as facts, with no evidence being offered. Incidents like this were in evidence regularly in all three monitoring phases. Overall, the monitoring showed that many of the issues raised by both the general public and the media professionals are genuine concerns. Biased and unprofessional reporting is frequently in evidence on all the targeted channels. Furthermore, the perception that Channel 1, Rustavi 2 and Imedi favour the government, while Kavkasia and Maestro favour the opposition is borne out. The ongoing polarization of the television sector is one of the biggest challenges facing media development in Georgia today.

Although much needs to be done to guarantee a free and professional media scene in Georgia, it is important not to overlook some fundamental strengths that have led to the diversity of views available to many Georgians today. News broadcasts are the most popular TV programs in the country, and more than 84 percent of Georgians watch news every day. Georgia, therefore, has a tremendous appetite for news, and the fact that high percentages of respondents think popular channels like Rustavi 2 represent government interests suggests that Georgians are not uncritical viewers. Several focus group respondents said that they watch a number of different channels in order to work out the issue for themselves, something also re-iterated by one of the media professionals interviewed. Respondents expressed a strong desire for professional and balanced reporting, showing that the Georgian population know what they want from their journalists. Furthermore, although television is still the dominant force in the Georgian media, it is a mistake to discount print, radio and the internet as insignificant. Over 80 percent of Georgians read weekly newspapers at least once or twice a month, and this sector is renowned for the diversity of its political views. The growth of internet use also matters. The most popular activity among Georgian internet users is social networking, practiced by more than 50 percent of respondents who use the internet. Social networking sites are ideal forums to exchange information, articles and videos, and there have been several instances of internet-based discussions spilling over into the traditional media in Georgia.10 Almost every journalist interviewed said that the internet has the potential to be the main source of information in Georgia within the next ten years. However, there are significant weaknesses in the Georgian media landscape. Among the most significant is the deep polarization in the TV sphere. As the media monitoring shows, channels considered pro-government and pro-opposition both frequently broadcast information that is misleading, inaccurate and highly partisan. Media professionals underscore this challenge, with one

10 Currently, a scandal surrounding videos insulting the Georgian Orthodox Church is one of the top stories in Georgia. The

story began when these videos were posted onto social-networking site Facebook.


focus group participant saying that there are no neutral channels in Georgia, just pro-government or pro-opposition. Georgian journalists themselves highlight a range of further shortcomings of the media sector, and are significantly less trusting of media outlets than the general public. Almost all of the media sector interviewees highlighted the need for more professionalism on the part of Georgian journalists, as well as less interference from owners. Media professionals were also critical of themselves. One media professional commented that one of the biggest challenges facing the media sector was that there is no solidarity among journalists. This situation is not helped by the financial dependence of journalists. Media jobs, especially in TV, are relatively highly paid, and there is therefore pressure to toe the line of the media outlets owner rather than risk unemployment. Moreover, it is said that the problem is compounded by the poor contracts staff are employed under. Nevertheless, the research findings indicate opportunities. Transparency of ownership, mentioned by many respondents, can be addressed in a short time frame. Also, with the overwhelming majority of both media professionals and the general public keen to see a wide variety of issues investigated, there is an ideal opportunity for any channel to produce a high-quality investigative show. Not only would such investigative reporting be a welcome addition to the airwaves, but with over 75 percent of the public interested in such a programme, it is likely to be popular. Moreover, the demand for policyrelated programming is evident from the preferences that the public has expressed. In addition to this, many media professionals interviewed put forward concrete ideas about how to improve the media environment. There is no shortage of ideas on how to move forward. In terms of ideas, the sector is not in stagnation. Yet if there are opportunities and ideas, the research suggests that complacency is misplaced. In the most extreme case, an entrenched polarization can be a threat to political stability. Political disagreements should be negotiated in one arena, rather than remaining segregated in separate realms. A losing side that considers itself consistently marginalized will question the very legitimacy of the system and goes in search of radical alternatives. Once it enjoys the support of considerable parts of the population, this begins to undermine the institutional and parliamentary processes that the Georgian public is keen to see functioning. In May 2009, when asked what issues the government and the opposition should resolve between themselves, media freedom was cited by 69 percent, closely following the issue of judicial independence (73 percent) and legislative reform to guarantee free and fair elections (70 percent). In other words, respondents believe that a further improvement of media is an integral part of the ongoing process of Georgian democratization {CRRC, Politics & Protest Survey}. More broadly, results from ongoing opinion research suggest that this is a good time to tackle fundamental issues. Since September 2007, Georgia has faced a number of bitter internal and external challenges. By comparison, survey results indicate that the country right now is less divided than it has been for more than two years. Relatively speaking, this therefore is a real window of opportunity to move forward on the major issues facing the Georgian media, many of them highlighted by this research.


Research Methodology
The findings presented in this report are based on several research components. CRRC undertook 1. baseline desk research, to summarize the existing state of research; 2. a nationally representative public opinion survey throughout Georgia with 1768 respondents; 3. 8 targeted focus groups in Tbilisi and Kutaisi; 4. in-depth semi-structured interviews with 20 media professionals; 5. a mini-survey among 47 media professionals; 6. media monitoring, both quantitative and qualitative, of Georgia's main television channels.

Baseline Desk Research

The baseline desk research synthesized previous studies, but also drew on CRRC's extensive research in Georgia at the Caucasus on social, political and economic developments. It drew on multiple surveys that were conducted throughout 2007, 2008 and 2009, and contained relevant media data. The desk research helped to guide further parts of the research effort.

Public Opinion Survey

The public opinion survey (also referred to as Media Consumer Survey) was undertaken by the CRRC with its own fieldwork staff from October 3-15, 2009, with 1768 full interviews. The response rate was 64%, and the sample size included a total of 2,750. To draw the sample, the country was stratified into two macro-strata (capital, urban), and subsequently 170 primary sampling units were selected throughout the country (70 in Tbilisi, 50 outside Tbilisi, to reflect routine higher non-response in Tbilisi). Clusters coincided with electoral districts. Households were selected by random route sampling, and the respondent within the household was selected using the last birthday method. Nonresponse arose primarily from not being able to locate the selected respondent within the survey time frame, and is not expected to have a major impact on the accuracy of results. As other surveys done according to international standard, this survey has a 95 percent confidence interval, with a 5 percent margin of error. The survey language was Georgian, since the survey targeted those following the Georgian media. The sample excluded primary sampling units with more than 60% of non-Georgian residents. (For surveys including Armenian and Azerbaijani interviewing language, please check the annual CRRC Data Initiative.) It also excluded areas that are difficult to access, such as Svaneti.

Focus Groups
Eight focus groups were conducted in total, with four in Tbilisi and in Kutaisi each. The FG in Kutaisi also recruited participants from rural areas. FGs were divided by age (21-40, 41-70) and by the sources of information (those who rely primarily on TV for news versus those who also draw on other sources of information for news; both groups were screened for an active interest in politics in Georgia). The respondents were recruited from two sampling points, one centrally located, and one in a suburb, and screened participants through questions to identify their eligibility. Focus groups in Tbilisi were conducted on October 14-15, and in Kutaisi on October 16-17, 2009.

In-depth Interviews
In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 media professionals. These comprised journalists, media managers, and academics specializing in journalism or media studies. They also represented a mix of TV, radio, newsprint and online journalists, from across the political spectrum. These interviews were mostly pre-structured, to ensure comparability. Interviews lasted between 40 minutes and one hour, and were conducted by a team of four specifically trained interviewers, under the supervision of an experienced journalist and academic with international standing. This activity focused on Tbilisi. Interview language was Georgian, and the interviews were conducted between October 7-14, 2009. 14

Media Professionals Mini-Survey

To compare public opinion with the views of experts, CRRC conducted a mini-survey among media professionals. The media professionals targeted for in-depth interviews were asked more than 30 questions that had been directed at the Georgian public, to allow for comparison. To increase the number of respondents, CRRC used judgmental/purposive sampling to identify further interviewees. Media experts were asked to name further media professionals who play a significant role in opinionmaking in Georgia. In addition to the 20 media professionals interviewed, CRRC identified a further 30 journalists, from which 27 were interviewed, yielding a total of 47 completed interviews. The interviews were again conducted between October 7-14, 2009. These results are only indicative, and not representative, since a representative survey of journalists would require a clearly defined target population of journalists. In Georgia, at this point, the concept of journalism is too fluid to allow for such precision. (In countries with a more established profession similar surveys are sampled from lists of unions, or journalism accreditations.)

Media Monitoring
The media monitoring component of the project was undertaken by the Center for Social Sciences (CSS) at Tbilisi State University from September 15-November 15 with a sample of 350 news broadcasts. The monitoring periods were April 1-14, May 19-31, and September 1-October 13, 2009. News broadcasts were monitored from the networks Imedi, Rustavi2, Georgian Public Broadcasting (GPB), Kavkasia, and Maestro. One broadcast was monitored per network per day; specifically the broadcast of longest duration during the prime-time period (defined as 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM). Monitors collected data on variables including time allocation to various actors (e.g. the state, the nonparliamentary opposition), the portrayal of news items as positive, negative, or neutral, and the number of instances of inflammatory language or hate speech. In addition, the inclusion or omission of news items broadcast by the independent sources Radio Liberty and was recorded. Qualitative examples of the types of media bias observed during the monitoring process were collected to complement the quantitative data.

Final Report
The report has been written by a team and received structured feedback at various stages of the drafting process, and reflects a consensus view on the findings. It focused on highlighting the main findings that are relevant to a broader debate about the current stage of Georgian electronic media and its future development. To facilitate independent analysis, CRRC provides an appendix presenting the main data from the research. Other research findings not directly pertaining to the report have been omitted, and can be made available separately. The data set and other items will be made available online in the coming weeks. This will allow for a detailed analysis according to age, location of residence, education, sex, employment, and many other variables. Additional presentations or targeted analysis can be offered on request. Please address your requests for more information to

Questions or Comments
This report is circulated in advance of the EU-Georgia Civil Society Human Rights Seminar on Media Freedom, due to take place in Tbilisi on November 10-11. Specific comments or questions before the workshop are gratefully received by CRRC's Regional Director, Hans Gutbrod, at



The tables below present a selection of main findings from the media research, as they are relevant for the report. They draw primarily on the quantitative components of the research. Some of the tables contrast media consumers (the general public in Georgia) with media professionals (journalists, managers, editors). Since the number of media professionals interviewed is small, the frequency/number is noted separately. Note that survey findings should be interpreted with considerable caution, and not quoted out of context. This especially applies to trust ratings. [MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY q2] First main source of information for receiving news about current events in Georgia? TV Neighbors, friends Internet Newspapers Family members Radio [MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY q4.1] How often do you receive information about current events in Georgia from the Internet? Every day Several times a week Once a week Once or twice per month Never Not applicable

88 3 3 2 2 1

7 4 2 5 50 31


[MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY q4.3] How often do you receive information about current events in Georgia from national TV channels? Every day Several times a week Once a week Once or twice per month Never Not applicable

84 10 2 1 2 1

[MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY q8] To what extent do you agree or disagree that the Georgian journalists serve interests of people like you? 1 - Disagree completely 8 2 3 3 7 4 8 5 21 6 9 7 10 8 11 9 2 10 - Agree completely 7 Don't know 11 Refuse to answer 1 [MEDIA PROFESSIONALS SURVEY q8] To what extent do you agree or disagree that the Georgian journalists serve interests of people like you? Frequency Percent 1 - Disagree completely 2 4 2 6 13 3 12 26 4 6 13 5 11 23 6 2 4 7 1 2 8 3 6 9 1 2 10 - Agree completely 1 2 Dont know 1 2 Refuse to answer 1 2


[MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY q10] Statements on freedom of speech in Georgia Strongly agree that there is no freedom of 17 speech Agree that there is no freedom of speech 28 Agree that there is freedom of speech Strongly agree that there is freedom of speech Agree with neither Dont know Refuse to answer [MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY q11] Should the following issues be investigated by journalists? Healthcare programs Courts Elections Protection of freedom of speech Relationship between the politicians and the church 31 4 5 13 3

78 75 80 82 64

[MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY q15] Which of the following statements you agree with? Strongly agree that government should control 7 media Agree government has the right to control 15 Agree government does not have the right to 42 control Strongly agree that government should not 21 control media Agree with neither 2 Don't know 12 Refuse to answer 1 [MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY r4.2] How frequently do you receive information about current events in Georgia from national radio stations? Every day 33 Several times a week 31 Once a week 12 Once or twice per month 15 Never 7 Not applicable 1 Don't know 1


[MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY p3.2] How frequently do you receive information about current events in Georgia from national weekly newspapers? Every day Several times a week Once a week Once or twice per month Never Not applicable Dont know

2 9 33 41 11 3 1

[MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY i1] How frequently do you use the Internet? Every day 12 Once a week 5 Once a month 3 Less often 5 Never 69 I dont know what the Internet is 5 Dont know 1 [MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY tv10] On an average weekday, how much time in total do you spend watching TV? (Hours) 1 Less than hour 6 hour to 1 hour 7 More than 1 hour, up to1 hours 10 More than 1 hours, up to 2 hours 10 More than 2 hours, up to 2 hours 15 More than 2 hours, up to 3 hours 41 More than 3 hours 4 Watch, but not daily Dont know 6 [MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY tv11] How much time in total do you spend watching news and current events on TV? (Hours) Less than hour hour to 1 hour More than 1 hour, up to1 hours More than 1 hours, up to 2 hours More than 2 hours, up to 2 hours More than 2 hours, up to 3 hours More than 3 hours Watch, but not daily I do not watch news programs at all Dont know Refuse to answer

16 32 16 11 2 3 3 5 3 8 1 19

[MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY tv12] How often do you receive news on politics and current events in Georgia from Rustavi 2? Every day Several times a week Once a week Once or twice per month Never Not applicable Don't know [MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY tv14.3] How much do you trust news broadcasted on Imedi? Valid Percent 1 - Distrust completely 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 - Trust completely Not applicable Dont know [MEDIA PROFESSIONALS SURVEY tv14.3] To what extent do you think people trust news broadcasted on Imedi? Frequency Valid Percent 1 - Distrust completely 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 - Trust completely Dont know 2 8 7 7 7 6 3 1 2 0 4

79 14 3 1 1 1 1

2 1 4 4 14 9 13 16 6 16 2 11

4 17 15 15 15 13 6 2 4 0 9


[MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY tv14.5] In general, how much do you trust news that is broadcasted on Rustavi 2? 1 - Distrust completely 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 - Trust completely Not applicable Don't know [MEDIA PROFESSIONALS SURVEY tv14.5] To what extent do you think people trust news broadcasted on Rustavi 2? Frequency Valid Percent 1 - Distrust completely 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 - Trust completely Dont know 3 5 8 8 5 4 4 3 1 1 5

3 2 5 5 15 8 15 14 8 14 1 11

6 11 17 17 11 9 9 6 2 2 11

[MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY tv16] How often do Georgian TV journalists let the government's political preferences influence the way they report the news? Often 18 Sometimes 30 Seldom 20 Never 11 Don't know 18 Refuse to answer 2


[MEDIA PROFESSIONALS SURVEY tv16] How often do Georgian TV journalists let the government's political preferences influence the way they report the news? Frequency Valid Percent Often Sometimes Seldom Never Dont know Refuse to answer 39 2 2 2 1 1 83 4 4 4 2 2

[MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY tv17.11] Whose interests are reflected in news and current affairs broadcasted on the following TV stations? Governme nt Imedi Kavkasia Rustavi 2 GPB Maestro 33 2 51 51 1 Oppositio n 7 22 1 1 16 Neither of those 30 5 22 11 4 Not applicable 1 36 1 7 39 Dont know 24 32 20 26 36 Refuse to answer 5 3 5 4 5

[MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY tv19] What do you like about your favorite Georgian TV news and political show hosts? Is it that they are Good-looking / handsome Intelligent Pronouncing clearly Dressed well Displaying a sense of humor Courageous Getting guests to open up Confrontational Asking the right questions Presenting facts clearly Making convincing arguments Balanced Provocative Listening to the guests attentively

13 58 35 4 4 34 8 1 19 18 11 15 2 5


[MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY tv35] To what extent do you agree or disagree that TV channels' coverage is influenced by their owners' personal interests? Yes, to a great extent 30 Yes, to a small extent 31 No 4 Don't know 33 Refuse to answer 2 [MEDIA PROFESSIONALS SURVEY tv35] To what extent do you agree or disagree that TV channels' coverage is influenced by their owners' personal interests? Frequency Valid Percent Yes, to a great extent Yes, to a small extent No Dont know 37 6 1 3 79 13 2 6

[MEDIA CONSUMER SURVEY d15] Would you approve or disapprove of your child's decision to become a journalist? Yes 61 No 13 Not applicable 7 Dont know 18 Refuse to answer 1 [MEDIA PROFESSIONALS SURVEY d15] Would you approve or disapprove of your child's decision to become a journalist? Frequency Valid Percent Yes No Not applicable Dont know 23 10 5 8 49 21 11 17


[MEDIA PROFESSIONALS SURVEY] To what extent do you agree or disagree with the opinion that the Georgian journalists enjoy freedom of speech? Frequency Valid Percent 1- Disagree completely 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 - Agree completely Refuse to answer

1 7 2 10 2 9 9 3 3 1

2 15 4 21 4 19 19 6 6 2

For further information, please contact CRRC. Details on the Summary Report.



SESSION I: ELECTRONIC MEDIA IN GEORGIA Speaker 2: Anoush Begoyan, Europe Program Officer, Article 19 BROADCASTING MEDIA IN GEORGIA: MAIN CONCERNS AND WAY FORWARD In Georgia, as in many other countries, broadcasting media plays a special role in the society as the main media accessible for large masses of population. Difficulties of distributing newspapers and their often prohibitive prices for the majority of population mean that broadcast media plays a central role as affordable and accessible source of information and entertainment. Therefore, it is difficult to overrate the role and the significance of broadcasting media, especially television, in the society. While around 40 different stations, including municipal channels, broadcast in Georgia, few nationwide television and radio channels are the main source of information in the country. This is especially true for the Georgian Public Broadcasting (GPB). As elsewhere in the world, in Georgia too Public service broadcasting has the potential to play a crucial role in ensuring the publics right to receive a wide diversity of information and ideas, by supplementing and complementing the programming provided by private broadcasters. The aim of the public service broadcasting is to ensure the provision of quality news and current affairs programming, promote a sense of national identity, foster democratic and other important social values, provide quality educational and informational programming, and serve the needs of minorities and other specialised interest groups. At the very heart of the idea of Public Service Broadcasting is the goal of serving the needs and interests of the public. This goal is reflected in the ownership, funding and programming of public service broadcasting organisations which, ultimately, need to serve the public. Public service broadcasting represents a public sphere for discussion and the dissemination of information and ideas, essential for the proper functioning of a democratic society. In order to be able to fulfil that mandate and to meet those objectives public service broadcasting requires three main elements. First, the independence of public service broadcasters must be guaranteed through appropriate structures such as pluralistic and independent governing boards. Second, public service broadcasters must be guaranteed funding which is adequate to serve the needs and interests of the public, and to promote the free flow of information and ideas. And third, public service broadcasters must be directly accountable to the public, especially in respect of the discharge of their missions and the use of public resources. As a result of its centrality as a source of information and news, and its growing profitability, governments and dominant commercial interests have historically sought to control broadcasting. All too frequently, the public broadcaster operates largely as a mouthpiece of government rather than serving the public interest. In many countries, broadcasting was until recently a State monopoly, a situation which still pertains in some States. In other countries, private broadcasting is becoming increasingly important and a variety of mechanisms have been used to try to control it. Governments have exerted control through the licensing process while commercial interests have sought to monopolise the broadcasting sector and to focus on low quality but profitable programming. Thus, while state-funded broadcasters exist in almost every country in the world, only some of these conform to the standards commonly associated with public service broadcasting. Public service 25

broadcasting organisations are generally associated with a number of features, derived in large part from the guarantee of freedom of expression. In addition, these features flow from the fact that public funds are being spent on broadcasting which engages certain general principles relating to public spending. Although it is recognised that Georgian media legislation is generally liberal and progressive (and possibly the most liberal in the Caucasus), many foreign and domestic analysts note that the implementation of the legislation proves more problematic, with unequal implementation of the laws through regulatory bodies and courts. Meanwhile, Georgian media suffered through two turbulent years marked by armed conflict with Russia and internal political turmoil which polarized media landscape and pushed it into two opposing camps, leaving little room for neutrality and balanced reporting. Much has been said (or will be said) by Georgian colleagues about the specific issues that Georgina media was confronted with throughout the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2008 and during the Russian invasion of Georgia last summer. Without going into many details, I will try to present a brief summary of main issues that we observed during that period. - The media careened wildly during the Russian invasion of Georgia. As tensions over breakaway South Ossetia swiftly snowballed into war in August, Georgian media struggled to rationalise the developments. Facing an onslaught of propaganda, spin, and censorship, reporters were often choosing between professional ethics and patriotic feelings. - The lack of both transparency and diversity in media ownership seems to be one of the main problems for the freedom of media in the country. Ownership of the leading Georgian broadcasters remains obscure due to complicated corporate ownership structures and chronic changes in majority control. There are concerns that current laws are not effective in preventing monopolisation of the news outlets by one corporate owner. Article 60 of the Law on Broadcasting forbids a person or legal entity from owning more than one broadcast license for television and radio in one service area, a single media owner or a corporation can still amass shares of various broadcasting companies through third parties. - Mystery around ownership of some of the major broadcasting channels gives rise to rumours and concerns about increasing government monopoly (direct or indirect) over mainstream media of the country, affecting quality, impartiality and variety of news. This apprehension is supported also by instalment in of several managers closely associated with the government to main broadcasting media outlets. - Selective enforcement of broadcasting licensing regulations is another area for concern for media and freedom of expression watchdogs. Rows over licenses for a number of television and radio channels (TV Maestro, radio Hereti, two community radio stations operating in Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli) in recent years highlights some serious concerns regarding the work of Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC). Some analysts feel that by issuing content-bases licenses (a political programming permit, an entertainment programming permit, etc) GNCC enjoys powers that are too broad and allow the regulator to exercise control over editorial content of broadcasting media. GNCC must restrict its role to dealing with technical aspects of broadcasting and issuing general broadcast license that would allow television and radio companies to make their own choices regarding the content of their programming. Otherwise, the GNCC might end up playing a role of an editorial control tool.


- And finally, it is important for Georgian media to take all necessary steps for the improvement of professional standards of journalisms, through adoption and implementation of active and effective self-regulations mechanism, as only professional and ethical media can enjoy the trust of the population and play its public role within society.

SESSION II GEORGIAN PUBLIC BROADCASTER Speaker 2: Wojciech Dziomdziora, Attorney, Former Member of the Polish National Broadcasting Council PowerPoint Presentation THE ROLE OF THE PUBLIC BROADCASTING TO GUARANTEE THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH POLISH CASE AGENDA - Public merit - Practice - The character of programmes and services of public media - Important factors for public media independence Public merit WHO? Public media (television and radio) WHAT? are obliged to offer different programmes and other services in the field of: - information and commentary - culture, entertainment and education - sport TO WHOM? to the whole society, and its parts, The character of programmes and services of public media pluralism balance independence innovation high quality



What is important for public media independence? The position of the supervisory board INDEPENDENCE regulations political practice Financing Independent from political powers Balance between public and commercial sources Thank you Wojciech Z. Dziomdziora


Commentator: Firdevs Robinson, Editor, BBC Central Asia & Caucasus Service WHAT MAKES THE BBC EXAMPLE RELEVANT The BBC example is a good one for public broadcasting elsewhere. It embodies some key principles of the public service ethos. The name and reputation have more than 75 years of legacy behind it. So, what are these key principles? The BBC is not a government or a state broadcaster. It is a public broadcaster. To be public is to be independently available to every citizen and to be accountable and fair to all. The basis of the BBCs offer is universal access for every citizen to high quality journalism, free at the point of access. The BBC as a public broadcaster has constitutional independence and this is established by a Royal Charter. There is also an Agreement setting out its editorial independence and its public obligations in detail. So, it is important to have this legal status clearly set out and guaranteed by the constitution. Under the terms of the Charter and Agreement, the BBC is set six public purposes. These make up the essence of the contract between the public and the BBC: sustaining citizenship and civil society promoting education and learning stimulating creativity and cultural excellence representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK taking a leading role in the switchover to digital television. As a public broadcaster, we have an additional duty to serve the public interest. But what it is public interest? It is often quite different than the interests of the state, the government or the business. And the public interest is not always the same thing as what the public is interested in. The BBC can only deliver these public purposes if it remains robustly independent. We guard against control or undue influence by governments, political parties or pressure groups of whatever tendency. Our credibility stems from our independence. It is a fundamental part of our contract with the audience which owns and pays for the BBC. A commitment to accuracy, fairness and impartiality are at the heart of all the BBC's journalism, irrespective of the language or the medium we use to reach our audiences. The BBC imposes responsibilities on its journalists so as to guard its independence and freedom. As BBC journalists, it is our professional duty to be well informed and fair minded. Were required to remain within the law, and to take the greatest care not to commit libel. We strive for accuracy. We do not judge an issue before we possess all available facts. We must remain impartial whatever our personal views. As programme makers, we constantly need to examine and challenge our own assumptions. 29

Accuracy, context, even-handedness, fairness, objectivity, open-mindedness, transparency, truth, distance and rigour- these are all essential elements of impartiality.


Due impartiality should not be synonymous with a mathematical balance, nor should it be confused with neutrality or interpreted as indifference. It is different from balance and neutrality. It has three basic requirements. It should allow the widest possible range of views and opinions to be expressed, provided they are lawful. It should take account not just of the whole range of views on an issue but also of the weight of opinion which supports these views. It has to recognise that range of views and the weight of opinion are constantly changing. We see our task not as telling people what to think, but as enabling them to make up their own minds. For a public broadcaster to remain robustly independent, it is necessary for it to be adequately funded. Around the world, there are many different ways of funding an independent public broadcaster but the way we do it in Britain is the licence fee. Everyone with a television set is required to pay a set amount of money each year. This allows it to run a wide range of popular public services for everyone, free of adverts and independent of advertisers, shareholders or political interests. This is an increasingly controversial method of funding and if there are any questions, we can go back to it later. I would like to go back to 6 public purposes that I had mentioned before. As a public broadcaster, the BBC is specifically required to sustain civil society. So, providing impartial news and current affairs is not an end in itself. It is a means to promote a thriving civic life in the country by providing citizens with the necessary information and insight to take an effective part in the debates on which democracy hinges to hold those in power to account. This is a crucial element of being a public broadcaster. We have a duty to challenge power and hold it to account on behalf of the public. Questions are directed not only to the state organs, the establishment and to the government but equally to other political entities. We ask the same searching questions to the opposition parties or other public and private bodies. Thats where the principal of impartiality lies. As the Chairman of the BBC Trust Sir Michael Lyons puts it: an informed democracy requires an informed electorate, not just an informed elite. Another crucial element among those six public purposes is informing our understanding of the world. In this globalised, interconnected world, international coverage is increasingly becoming a vital test of the value of any public broadcaster. Commitment to cover the world is an important part of public service definition and it is one of the most difficult and expensive activity a broadcaster can undertake. Not surprisingly, it is the first thing that gets reduced or cut altogether when commercially funded broadcasters start tightening their belts. Britain, along with many countries has to achieve the digital TV switchover in 2012. As part of its public service remit, the BBC has been tasked with taking a leading role in this switchover. This is a multi-faceted task. It means we need to support digital distribution so, we need to help people acquire digital technology. 30

Media literacy is an essential tool of modern citizenship. The BBC has a clear public service imperative to think about how it can support citizens and help them keep up developments. It is a public broadcasters duty to help prevent the emergence of an underclass of people whose ability to participate in society is reduced as a result of rapid technological change. And finally, a public broadcaster has set the standard for the rest of the media for high quality of journalism by not only being an example but by providing leadership and training to the media sector. This is the idea behind the BBCs College of Journalism.

SESSION III: RIGHT TO ACCESS AND IMPART INFORMATION. MEDIA LEGISLATION AND PRACTICE Speaker 1: Ilia Dohel, Office of the Representative for the Freedom of the Media, OSCE PowerPoint Presentation ACCESS TO INFORMATION BY MEDIA IN THE OSCE REGION Access to information by media Survey Conducted by the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Supported by 2006 Belgian CiO Questionnaire sent to Governments, civil society, and field missions Results based on responses for 52 out of 56 countries Findings and 450-page database:

The four surveyed areas Freedom of Information (FOI) laws Classification rules (What is a secret?) Punitive laws and practices (Breach of Secrecy) Protection of journalists confidential sources

Freedom of information laws (FOI) - Positive trend: 45 out of 56 states have national FOI laws - Trend exists in all regions - Many laws adopted in recent years:UK (2000), Switzerland (2004), Germany (2005), Armenia (2003), Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan (2006), Russia (2008) - Currently develop or consider laws: Luxembourg, Malta


Access to Information Laws in the OSCE Area

FOI: deficiencies despite successes (1) - Laws are not implemented - Inherited freedom of expression problems: Tajikistan: info withdrawn on the typhoid fever, anthrax, other diseases, statistics on divorces, suicides, some public expenditures, seized drugs, natural disasters Uzbekistan: lack of access to info on the Andijan events FOI: deficiencies despite successes (2) - Laws are not adequate Italy: law limits access to stakeholders Austria: broadly defined exemptions Spain: Government does not recognize law on administrative procedures as a FOI law and does not answer requests. FOI: deficiencies despite successes (3) - Withdrawing of openness in advanced FOI states USA: controversies over reduction of access to data on internal decision-making based on Executive Privilege. Ireland: high fees on FOI requests reduced the use of the act significantly (requests declined by 83 per cent between 2003 and 2004) UK: Government proposed fees to reduce media use of FOI. Bulgaria: proposals to show interest, extend timeframes and increase fees FOI Recommendations - Adopt FOI laws as general basis for obtaining information from public bodies. 32

- Bodies should be required in law to respond promptly. Time-sensitive requests or those relating to an imminent threat to health or safety should be responded to immediately. - Requesting information should be simple and free or low-cost. - The public interest in disclosure should be considered in each case. - The FOI law must have precedence over other rules on information handling. - Adequate mechanism for appealing each refusal to disclose (an independent oversight body). - There should be sanctions for deliberately withholding information in violation of the law. CLASSIFICATION RULES - Too wide arrays of info classified - Most states have not adjusted classification to FOI Recommendations on rules of classification Only data that directly relate to the national security may be classified. Information on violations of the law or human rights, maladministration, on threats to public health or the environment, statistical information, etc., or that which is embarrassing to individuals or organisations should not be classified as a state or official secret. Information should only be classified for a limited period of time. An independent body should have oversight over classified information, and power to declassify information upon complaints.

CRIMINAL SANCTIONS for breaches of secrecy At least 29 OSCE participating States (mostly post-1989 democracies) punish non-officials, including journalists, for breaches of secrecy Danger: in such countries courts may not acquit a journalist caught with secrets. The journalist may only prove the data was inappropriately classified.

Best Practices CRIMINAL SANCTIONS for breaches of secrecy USA: no provisions on disclosure. The 1917 Espionage Act does not apply to publications of secrets in the media. Norway: the duty of secrecy does not apply to members of public Georgia: Law on Freedom of Speech and Expression punishes only officials for breach of secrecy Austria, Moldova: Public interest scrutiny, protection of whistleblowers

Recommendations on criminal sanctions for breaches of secrecy Criminal and Civil Code prohibitions should only apply to officials and others who have a specific legal duty to maintain confidentiality. Whistleblowers, officials who disclose secret information of public interest to the media should not be sanctioned. The test of public interest in the publication should become an integral part of court practice.


PROTECTION OF SOURCES Trend is the worst of all the others revealed by the survey:only a minority of states have shield laws ECtHR (Goodwin v. the UK, 1996):Without such protection, sources may be deterred from assisting the press in informing the public in matters of public interest. As a result the vital public-watchdog role of the press may be undermined and the ability of the press to provide accurate and reliable information may be adversely affected.

Best Practices PROTECTION OF SOURCES - Best practices: Belgium a free standing comprehensive law 34 states in the US France and US Federal shield laws pending Good provisions: Armenia, Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, FYR Macedonia, Georgia, Germany, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Turkey Case law: Cicero case in Germany PROTECTION OF SOURCES THREE PARADOXICAL TRENDS: 67 per cent of cases registered in the pre-1989 democracies. Most of these countries have some degree of sources protection. These attempts were regularly overturned by courts, except in federal cases in the United States. All recorded cases of journalists actually punished (even imprisoned) resulted from this legislative deficiency at the U.S. federal level. The insignificant amount of breach of secrecy and of protection of sources cases in the CIS region. The small amount of such cases may be caused by weak investigative journalism in the region. Recommendations on the protection of sources Each participating State should adopt an explicit law on protection of sources to ensure these rights are recognized and protected. Journalists should not be required to testify in criminal or civil trials or provide information as a witness, unless in exceptional cases of pressing need defined by the law.

Details: Access to information by the media in the OSCE region: Trends and Recommendations Access to information by the media in the OSCE region: Country Reports


SESSION IV: PROFESSIONALISM AND SELF-REGULATION Speaker 1: Benot Califano, Director, Graduate School of Journalism, ESJ-Montpellier MEDIA AND DEMOCRACIES We can measure the democratic level of a society by the place held by the press, the media and the journalists. You just need to observe the severity of controls of information in the authoritarian regimes or the absence of independent information in the dictatorships to demonstrate how journalists are the foundation for an alive democracy. This year, China, Erythre, Iran, and Cuba have had the worst record amongst imprisoned journalists. In two thousand nine, one hundred seventy journalist have been imprisoned and thirty three were killed. There is no freedom without freedom of the press, but summarize the concept of democracy by the simple idea of freedom is insufficient. The democracy is a system which must give to each citizen the power to individually contribute and act on the common life in the society. Not only through his vote, which approves or sanctions the choices, the actions and the decisions of the elected leaders. But also through the expression of a public voice, which we could call the public debate. The richness of this democratic debate, where dominant and minority ideas confront themselves, gives birth to a process of social cohesion. It gives the possibility for a society to be built and for its leaders to define the rights and the duties of the citizens according to the common good and shared values. In regards to this democratic challenge, the press plays an important role in sparking and diffusing the citizen expression, with diversity and contradiction in order to make the points of view heard by all. In a certain manner, it must go through this plural expression to reflect what we call the public opinion. Expressions and points of view from ordinary citizens, intellectuals, decision makers or experts Thus, each informed citizen feels that he belongs to a participative community. The media becomes vectors of the social link, and journalists, the mediators between I and us, between I and the world. But the journalists should not be satisfied to be the simple megaphone of the citizens. The public expression has a democratic sense only if it is pertinent, which means reflected and argued. The media have this essential and fundamental mission to inform the citizen to allow him not to react anymore in an emotive way but in a rational way while being conscious of the challenges of the world and the complexity of the debates raised in the society. Thus he will be better armed to react to the frequent simplistic and tempting speaches demagogic and populist, in order to resist against the strategies of propaganda of economic or political powers, more and more perfomant in their public communication. The journalists role is not to direct public opinion but to nourish and train it - giving facts and perspective - so that it can take part in the public debate in an enlightened way. It is a heavy responsibility which weighs on their shoulders and which make them the essential actors of a democratic society: a fourth power and a counter-power vis-a-vis the legislature, with the executive, and the legal one. It implies for them a clear definition of rights and duties , an ethics without fault, a deontology engraved in the marble and a rigorous professionalism. The text of reference which defines professional journalism in the European standards is the charter of Munich signed in nineteen seventy one. It is adopted by the majority of the European trade unions journalists, by the international federation and organization of the journalists. Necessary but not sufficient, it draws the ethical requirement of our profession. Any worthy journalist must : respect the truth, defend freedom of information, publish verified information, refuse any pressure, respect private life, rectify inaccurate informations, maintain the 35

secrecy of the sources, prohibit plagiarism, calumny and slandering, not receive advantages, not confuse journalism and propaganda, and not use unfair methods. This charter, which define the framework in which a professional of information must evolve, traces also the contract of confidence which links the journalist with his readers, its listeners and its televiewers. It is this link which forges the credibility of the media and allows them to fulfill their role near the citizens. But today, it would be untrue to idealize this contract. For many citizens, we journalists are not identified any more like researchers of truth, but like an instrument of the dominant thought. We are not regarded any more as a counte-power but as an associated power. This situation questions our independence, our professionalism and our function within the society. Even in the old democracies, the situation of journalists is not simple and the requirement for good and reliable information is an every day struggle. With the pressure of political power is added today the one of economic power Globalization, concentration, acquisition of media by powerful industrial groups, budgetary restrictions and marginalisation weaken the independence of the journalists and the conditions under which they can work with rigour, ethics and professionalism. Moreover, a new industrial revolution, as powerful as the invention of printing or the control of the waves hustles our professional community and requires us to reconsider our practices. Because today, the emergence of the new media on the Web makes it possible for all to be a producer of information on a worldwide scale. The individuals and the communities who until now have been receivers now have the possibility of becoming transmitters for better and for worse. In this world wide web where information and communication, truth and lies mix together, the journalist no longer has the monopoly and control of the diffusion. While this new environment has created challenges, it is a great opportunity for journalists to affirm their professionalism and their role of scout in this new profusion of information: to check, treat and classify information based on matter, put in prospective, and separate the essential from the insignificant which floods the web. He is also confronted with new challenge, to integrate and associate the Citizen voice born of these new media within a coherent informative framework. More than ever, we have to affirm our democratic mission, our professional values, our rights and our duties and transmit them to the young generation of journalists. If a few years ago, our journalism could be learned on-the-job, in an empirical transmission, the media universe has now become too turbid, too powerful and too technical to be left in the hands of amateurs. Today, the training of qualified and responsible professionals has become an absolute necessity. The schools of journalism must be places of reference, built on solid and invariable values, with the charter of Munich, its rights and its duties, pinned at the main entrance door. They must transmit the knowhow as much as the ethics, for the young people who enter the trade, but also for the professionals throughout their life. It is by this condition that we will be able to continue to be the foundation in the perpetual construction of the democratic structure. Commentator: Patrick Leusch, Head of Project Development Division, Deutsche Welle Akademie COMMENTS Like in the whole region, also in Georgia journalism is taught at universities. This implicates a more theoretical approach, which is OK on one hand, concerning the challenging task in media and it's social relevance. However, analysing the curricula and its effects when working with professional journalists, vocational training in the region seems partly dysfunctional when it comes to teach students the reality on media workers job. The reality of work in media, in terms of ethical standards, rights and duties of journalists, workflow, power sharing, etc. seems mostly unclear or unknown. Thus the role of journalism or the function of media in a society is distorted in the view 36

of many media workers. Tackling this gap between theory and practice is still the challenge in professionalism. Therefore a revised curricula for the vocational training is needed and a huge effort to empower professionals still working in the sector since, with a non-adequate understanding of their role. This weakness can not be addressed without being integrated in HRD concepts in which media owners and managers are involved, because of the need for their commitment to changed roles and habits. Recommendations 1) There is an need of an independent and trustworthy self-regulatory body for media, which can efficiently monitor media and set journalistic standards. The self regulatory body should be owned by the media sector itself establish mechanisms to make the media respect the rules agreed. (We know that this project is ongoing, but would like to stress the importance of self-regulation) 2) Set-up or improve independent training institutes which can deliver high standard hands-on oriented trainings for professionals in media. Including trainings for management to improve the investments in HRD of the media.


Speaker 1: Shorena Shaverdashvili, Owner, MPublishing, Publisher and Editor-in-chief, Liberal MEDIA AS A BUSINESS Usually, the combination of these two words media and business arouses anxiety and doubts in the minds of non-media experts, especially for some donor organizations and NGOs. Its as if the business side of media somehow entails threats and downplays medias social responsibility. When we submitted the proposal for funding the launch of the magazine, Liberali, of which I am the editor of, there was a discussion in the Open Society Foundation Georgia whether we should first be transformed from Liberali Publishing LTD into a non-profit project. But fortunately, the majority of board members decided not to have this precondition for us, arguing that sound media should be self-sustainable, it should be governed by market forces and therefore it should be for-profit. And this is precisely my point and pathos of my presentation. But to give you a little bit of background. The problem with the Georgian media has been precisely the fact, that except for rare cases in print outlets and some small regional television stations, media in Georgia has always been dominated not by business-oriented players, but by people with political agenda or aspirations. So, owners of national TV stations have either been oligarchs themselves, who were aspiring to play a role in the Georgian political scene or media managers with clear political agendas. So, again, except for rare exceptions, media in Georgia has been practiced as a political tool in the hands of political interest groups. What this means in reality is that in most cases, media has not been driven by commercial and market forces, or the understanding of its public role and responsibility. It was always trying to serve the political interests of its owners.


Now how todays media works. This government, which understands the power of the media better than anyone else, has created the environment with very sophisticated financial mechanisms for controlling the media and advertizing market. There are very few instances of direct censorship of independent media, except for in the regions, which creates an illusion that you are operating in a free market. But the problem is that media and advertizing markets are not free. There is no free flow of money on either of these markets, where the money would follow audiences, the demographics of readership, the quality or popularity of the media product. Instead the criteria for advertising for companies is the loyalty of the media outlet to the governmental agenda. If your content is considered safe, you will get some advertisements. If it is considered unsafe, that is it might be independent, competent and critical (I stress the word competent and accurate), then you will not get advertisements. As simple as that. And as you well understand, this is a big problem since the major source of income for independent media is advertising revenues. It is hard to say whether businesses are being told directly where to spend their advertising money and where not, but the general political atmosphere is such that, companies fear that they would get into trouble if they advertise not in the right place. For example, 7 of the biggest companies, including banks, insurance companies and telecommunication companies who have been our partners with our other publications, refuse to advertise in Liberali not because it is unattractive for them by some marketing criteria, but because of the political content. So, general predisposition and fear of companies is one of the forces operating on the market. Now, to give you some concrete examples of how the financial system works. The figures for how big the advertizing market is today for media vary and it is hard to get a precise figure. It ranges somewhere between 35 million to 50 million dollars. Since national TV stations occupy the biggest market share, they also set trends on the advertizing market. Since television stations have biggest audiences country-wide, they also are price-setters on the market. The price for airtime advertisements has been declining since 2004. So, for example if 4 years ago you could buy 2 week-long advertising packet on national TV for 5000 USD, now you have to pay half the amount for the same time. The dumping of prices increases the internal competition among different TV stations, but decreases the overall size of the market for print, radio and internet media. If a company can get 2 week long intensive advertizing package on a national TV with audiences over 100,000, they will no longer pay 1500, or even 1000 USD for one advertizing page in Liberali with circulation rate of 5000. Also, there is no clear and transparent criteria for calculating market shares of different media outlets. So, its not clear whether advertisers get a clear picture of the market. There are small companies, media buyers, who sell advertisements on television we dont know who the owners of these companies are, or if we know, they are also affiliated with political interest groups. So, we dont know what information they are feeding advertisers. And how they direct and divert the flow of advertisements. Also, outdoor advertizing is monopolized by one company, which is affiliated with the government. If you look at billboards around town, you will see that its mostly occupied by advertisements of various programs on national companies. This is also a complaint of some opposition parties that they cannot freely buy outdoor ads during pre-election periods. The ultra-libertarian doctrine, which says that the market should be regulated and the market will figure itself out. But since we dont know who the media owners are, or who are the owners behind 38

various advertizing agencies, we dont know whether we have monopolies on media or advertizing markets. So we dont know who owns what and who are the real players on either of these markets. So, besides legislative loopholes that we talked about yesterday, and the lack professional standards, the most serious problem is the lack of the free market, where fair competition between different media outlets prevails. What this means is that as a media-owner, even if you do all the rights things if you are trying to create a needed media product, if your audience is increasing daily, if you are investing in developing online as well, which is a prospective new medium, if you are oriented on high journalistic standards none of these translates into any advertising revenues. You can still end up with 1,5 pages of advertisements. It was hard to come up with recommendations which would address these problems. Except to say that the political players should leave the media and business sector alone. But one concrete recommendation can be to set up an unti-monopoly commission, which will investigate questions of ownership in the private sector and not allow monopoly markets. Speaker 2: Oleg Khomenok, Print Media Advisor, Internews Network, Ukraine Outlines and recommendations There is no freedom of the press incase press depends on any political person or business. Post Soviet media business model: invest money in the media to get them back in the office. Whatever we are talking is about money! Money for business or business for money? There is a problem of business mind of the publishers and media owners. Local media plays crucial role informing people about issues that are important for them. Major challenges in local media in Georgia - Non-business mindset of the most of publishers. - Market is non transparent. - Shortage of measurements of the market (readership, advertisement etc.) Trainings for publishers how to use them for editorial, advertising management and marketing are strongly required. - Weak understanding of audience needs, at the same time there is clear understanding of sponsors needs. - Irrelevance of the product to the readers needs. In a lot of cases we think that readers are interested in what is interesting for us. - As a result useless product: why people should buy the paper that is published in the region. Especially if they have free TV that they dont pay for. - Even in case of good product distribution system is destroyed. Example from Ukraine. Every 3rd or 4th household gets local paper through either classic or alternative system of distribution - Level of media management and marketing skills has to be improved. Most of the managers need media management trainings. Business planning, financial management, using accounting software, HR management, marketing, advertisement management, editorial management. Sharing best practices is vital to get and implement ideas. - Concentration of ads money in the capital. Also because there are about no ads sales departments or people responsible for ads in local press. Ads are collected in passive way. Local ads market is not developed. 39

Ability of local authorities to control indirectly local ads money flow. Dumping of TV prices. Weak self-regulating and lobbying system. What the association of publishers doing?

Opportunities Developing of the alternative distribution system. No need to establish national system. It could be done on the local level. New Media world is changing news consumer behavior. People dont want to wait until evening news or weekly paper will tell them news. They want ti get news immediately in different formats, on different platforms. They want to follow the news, provide feedback, and contribute their news. There are two spheres that will be developed in next several years. Internet and mobile media. And mobile has even more prospective. already established infrastructure 100% coverage of the population (In Ukraine there are 56 mln phones for 46 mln population) 100% territory access

I think faster than in 10 years. It might be done in Tbilisi within next 3-4 years and in a couple of years after this in regions. Benefits of the new media Low cost no paper, printing, distribution costs. Investment needed in people, technology, equipment. Immediate distribution of the news Easy to track audience Multiple formatting Media consumers could be everywhere. Your audience consists of active and they have money.

Recommendations - Efforts to make market more transparent. - Support of marketing researches - Support of creating of alternative distribution systems - Support further developing of media management and marketing skills through trainings or higher education system - Support developing skills in convergent media - Support initiatives of publishers associations.



EUROPEAN UNION-GEORGIA CIVIL SOCIETY SEMINAR ON MEDIA FREEDOM TBILISI, 10-11 NOVEMBER 2009 MONDAY, 9 NOVEMBER 2009 All day 18.30 Arrival of participants Welcome cocktail hosted by the European Commission, Hotel Marriott Courtyard TUESDAY, 10 NOVEMBER 2009 HOTEL MARRIOTT COURTYARD BALL ROOM 09.30 10.00 Registration of participants OPENING SESSION 10.00 - 10.05 Seminar opening by moderator, Maia Mikashavidze, Dean, Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management, GIPA Welcoming speech by H.E. Per Eklund, Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Commission to Georgia Welcoming speech by H.E. Fredrik Ljdquist, Special Envoy of the Swedish EU Presidency for Georgia Welcoming speech by Mr. Alexander Nalbandov, Deputy-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Welcoming address by Dr. Ana Karlsreiter, Adviser to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. Presentation of Georgia Comprehensive Media Research by Dr. Hans Gutbrod, Director, the Caucasus Research and Resource Centers Q&A Coffee-break


10.15 - 10.25

10.25 - 10.35

10.35 - 10.45

10.45 - 11.00

11.00 11.15 11.15 - 11.30


11.30 - 13.30


Issues to be discussed Importance of plurality of views and news in broadcasting Editorial independence how to achieve it? How to achieve transparency of ownership in broadcasting Challenges of regulating broadcast sector Unrestricted distribution of broadcast content Licensing in broadcast media Key note speakers: Badri Koplatadze, Assistant Professor, Georgian Institute of Public Affairs Anush Begoyan, Europe Program Officer, Article 19 Commentators Kakhi Kurashvili, Head of Department, the Georgian National Communications Commission Nerijus Maliukevicius, Executive Director, Lithuanian Radio and TV Commission Tamar Kordzaia, lawyer, Georgian Young Lawyers Association Tamar Karosanidze, Executive Director, Transparency International - Georgia Manana Aslamazyan, Executive Director, Internews Europe Natia Kuprashvili, Executive Director, Georgian Association of regional broadcasters Dr. Karin Deutsch Karlekar, Coordinator of Freedom of Press Index, Freedom House 13:00 13:30 13.30 - 14.30 Discussion and drafting recommendations Lunch

14.30 16.00 14.30 14.35

SESSION II: GEORGIAN PUBLIC BROADCASTER Presentation of Georgia Comprehensive Media Research by Dr. Hans Gutbrod, Director, CRRC

Issues to be discussed How public is a public broadcaster? Editorial independence Diversity of programming is the audience well served? Transformation of Channel 2 Balance and impartiality in covering political and social actors Supervisory Board independence, challenges and scope 42

Financing of the GPB- guarantee of independence Procurement practice at GPB Key note speakers: Davit Paichadze, Head, Journalism program, Ilia Chavchavadze University Wojciech Dziomdziora, Former Member of the Polish National Broadcasting Council Commentators: Levan Gakheladze, Chairman, Supervisory Board of Georgian Public Broadcaster Giorgi Chanturia, General Director, Georgian Public Broadcaster Firdevs Robinson, Editor, BBC Central Asia & Caucasus service Tamar Gurchiani, Lawyer, Georgian Young Lawyers Association Zviad Koridze, Independent journalist, Georgia Ivan Godarski, Coordinator of Media Monitoring Projects, Memo 98 15.20 16.00 16.00 16.30 Discussion and drafting recommendations Coffee-break

16.30 18.00 SESSION III: RIGHT TO ACCESS AND IMPART INFORMATION. MEDIA LEGISLATION AND PRACTICE Issues to be discussed Access to public information for journalists - areas of improvement Independence of courts and media freedom European case law and court practice Freedom of speech and information legislation and practice Key note speakers: Ilia Dohel, Office of the Representative for the Freedom of the Media, OSCE Tamar Kordzaia, lawyer, Georgian Young Lawyers Association Levan Ramishvili, Chair, Liberty Institute, Georgia Commentators: Oleg Panfilov, Director, Centre for Journalism in Extreme Situations Nino Zuriashvili, Journalist, Founder, Studio Monitor Ia Mamaladze, Chairperson, Georgian Regional Media Association 17.20 18.00 20.00 22.30 Discussion and drafting recommendations DINNER hosted by the European Commission, Restaurant Dzveli Sakhli



Issues to be discussed: Professionalism as the right and responsibility of journalists Teaching European standard of journalism Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics Broadcasters Code of Ethics Press councils and benefits of self-regulation Labor legislation and contractual arrangements available to journalists Professional unions lessons learned Key note speakers: Benoit Califano, Director, Graduate School of Journalism, ESJ-Montpellier Lia Chakhunashvili, Dean, Caucasus School of Media, Caucasus University Ia Antadze, Journalist, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, Director, Civil Development Institute Commentators Kakhi Kurashvili, Head of Department, the Georgian National Communications Commission Dr. Gigi Tevzadze, Rector, Ilia Chavchavadze University Ognian Zlatnev, Managing Director, Media Development Center, Bulgaria Patrick Leusch, Head of Project Development Division, Deutsche Welle Akademie 11.30 12.10 12.10 - 12.30 12.30 14.00 12.30 12.35 Discussion and drafting recommendations Coffee-break SESSION V: MEDIA AS BUSINESS Presentation of Georgia Comprehensive Media Research by Dr. Hans Gutbrod, Director, CRRC

Issues to be discussed: Distribution as key element of sustainability Business development perspectives for traditional press Development of new media in Georgia 44

Challenges in the regional media Key note speakers: Shorena Shaverdashvili, Owner, MPublishing, Publisher and Editor-in-chief, Liberal Oleg Khomenok, Print Media Advisor, Internews Network Giga Paichadze, Blogger, Project Manager, New Media Institute Commentators: Ramaz Samkharadze, Director, Radio Hereti Sarmite Elerte, former Editor-in-chief, Diena newspaper Niko Nergadze, Journalist and blogger, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty 13.30 14.00 14.00 - 15.00 15.00 16.30 Discussion and drafting recommendations Lunch SESSION VI: FREEDOM OF MEDIA AND DEMOCRACY

Keynote speakers: Giorgi Tugushi, Public Defender Dr. Ghia Nodia, Chair, Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development Dr. Marina Vashakmadze, Head, Georgia Bureau, Radio Free Europe Oleg Panfilov, Director, Centre for Journalism in Extreme Situations Zviad Koridze, independent journalist Dr. Karin Deutsch Karlekar, Coordinator of Freedom of Press Index, Freedom House 16.00 16.30 16.30 16.40 Q&A and Discussion Coffee-break

CLOSING SESSION 16.40 17.40 17.40 18.00 20.00 22.30 Finalisation and adoption of recommendations Wrap up, closing remarks OPTIONAL DINNER hosted by the European Commission, Restaurant Metekhis Chrdilshi





BACKGROUND Human rights are one of the cornerstones on which the EU-Georgia partnership is based. The EUGeorgia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), concluded in 1996 and in force since 1999, stipulates that respect for democracy, principles of international law, human rights and market economy are the essential elements of EU-Georgia relations. The discussion of human rights between Georgia and EU takes place within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy, joined by Georgia in 2004, and the priorities set up by the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan adopted on 14 November 2006.

In 2008, the European Union and Georgia have agreed to establish a bi-annual human rights dialogue. The first session of the dialogue took place in Tbilisi on 28 April 2009. During the dialogue, the two sides discussed among other issues the reform of the judicial system, enforcement of national human rights legislation, rights of prisoners, freedom of association and assembly, freedom of religion, freedom of expression and media, protection of IDPs and the humanitarian situation following the August 2008 war. Both sides also agreed to hold a dedicated civil society human rights seminar to be organised in Tbilisi ahead of the second round of the human rights dialogue, scheduled to take place in Brussels in November/December 2009. Both parties agreed that the seminar should be devoted to media freedom and internally displaced persons. AIMS OF THE SEMINAR The aim of the civil society seminar is to contribute to the human rights dialogue through open discussions with the civil society to help enriching the official dialogue. The civil society seminar will provide an opportunity for discussion between European and Georgian civil society representatives, academics and government officials on human rights topics and on how to enhance the application of human rights. The civil society seminar on human rights is intended to: allow academics and members of civil society to feed the agenda of the official dialogue with their views trough non-confrontational discussion; enhance the official human rights dialogue by creating a space for the European and Georgian academic and NGO communities to have open and professional discussions at expert level 46

in order to formulate recommendations for future reforms based on best practices and applicable international standards; expose academics and civil society representatives to expert analysis of the areas where the use of international human rights standards and EU practices could be further promoted in Georgia. In relation to each specific issue identified in the agenda, discussions should draw on three strands: Examination of international and regional standards Examination of current national law and practice Examples of best practice / alternatives to current practice STRUCTURE OF THE SEMINAR The seminar will consist of two parts: 1) a first group of participants and speakers will examine issues related to media freedom during the first two days of the seminar; 2) a second group of participants and speakers will discuss issues related to Internally Displaced Persons on the third day of the seminar. Each part of the seminar will have opening and closing sessions, with the participation of representatives from the Georgian authorities and the European Commission. There will be six consecutive working sessions during the first part of the seminar and three working sessions during the second part of the seminar. Participants are requested to contribute to the discussions during all the sessions of the seminar. MODALITIES OF THE DISCUSSION Opening speeches Each session of the seminar will be opened by one of the two moderators, followed by short introductory speeches of the European and Georgian experts identified on the agenda. European speakers are invited to briefly introduce the European standards (main sources of inspiration, refer to organisations/institutions/NGOs that can be used as experts, etc.) and Georgian speakers are suggested to give a short overview of the situation in the country in a given area. Each introductory speech should not exceed 10 minutes and should highlight best practices and recommendations for reform. Written versions of the speeches will be made available to the participants. Interventions of participants Following the introductory speeches, the floor will be open for discussion among the participants who are encouraged to share their theoretical knowledge and practical experience that will help to formulate proposals for future action in the areas outlined in the agenda. A moderator will give the floor to the participants when seeing a raised hand. The intention is to develop a free-flowing discussion, therefore the participants are asked to refrain from lengthy remarks. They are, at the same time, encouraged to intervene during the seminar as many times as they wish, however, limiting their statements to the specific issues at hand, thereby contributing to a genuine discussion.


State officials are invited to take the floor in order to respond to issues addressed by the civil society participants, in particular when the official feedback appears of particular relevance and importance to the course of the discussion. Interventions should provide ideas that may assist the Government of Georgia in bringing law and practice in line with applicable international standards and indicate directions to cooperation between the European Union and Georgia on intergovernmental (in particular, the European UnionGeorgia human rights dialogue) and civil society levels. Adoption of recommendations Participants are kindly requested during their interventions to suggest conclusions and concrete recommendations. At the end of each session there will be time allocated for the participants to agree on the submitted recommendations. Adopted wording of the recommendations will be presented by the moderators during the plenary sessions which will close each part of the seminar. Participants will then have a last opportunity to make comments and propose corrections. Final recommendations will be submitted to the EU and Georgian officials and will also be included in a final report to be issued after the seminar. The role of the moderators is to ensure that the core issues have been discussed and that recommendations have been made. Two assigned note-takers will keep a record of the discussions. Advance submission of written recommendations All participants can submit concise written recommendations before the seminar by sending them to one of the moderators. Written recommendations will be taken into account when preparing the reports of the moderators to the plenary sessions at the end of each part of the seminar. Display table for information materials All participants may bring with them background materials that they wish to distribute to the participants. A display table will be made available in the lobby in front of the Seminar room. ORGANISATION The event is organised by the European Commission with the assistance of Cecoforma Ltd. PARTICIPANTS Seventy participants are expected to take part in the seminar on Media Freedom and fifty participants are expected to take part in the seminar on Internally Displaced Persons, including Georgian senior officials, experts on human rights and media, experts on human rights and IDPs, journalists, lawyers, human rights activists, academics, representatives of non-governmental organisations and other civil society actors from Georgia, representatives of international organisations and from the EU institutions. LANGUAGES The seminar will be held in Georgian and English. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided for all sessions. 48

WELCOME DESK A Welcome Desk will be available during all three days of the seminar at the entrance to the seminar venue from 09:00 to 17:30 to register the participants, disseminate the information packs with all relevant materials and respond to the participants queries. WORKING HOURS OF THE SEMINAR The seminar will take place in the Ball room of the Hotel Marriott Courtyard in Tbilisi. The working hours are as follow: Media freedom Tuesday, 10 November: Registration of the participants 09:30 10:00 Seminar 10:00 - 18:00 Wednesday, 11 November: Seminar 10:00 - 18:00 IDPs Thursday, 12 November: Registration of the participants 09:00 - 09:30 Seminar 09:30 - 18:00




1. International civil society participants and official observers


Executive director, Internews Europe Europe Programme Officer, Article 19 Journalist, Todays Zaman Institute for War and Peace Reporting Director, Ecole suprieure de journalisme de Montpellier Eurasia Partnership Foundation Assistant research officer, Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Attorney, Cottyn law firm

Email address

BOZKURT Abdullah





Board chair, Black Sea Alliance


FOURNIER Eric (H.E.) Ambassador of France to Georgia GENTE Rgis Journalist, Radio France International Lawyer, Memo 98






GUTBORD Hans (Dr.)

Director, Caucasus Research and Resource Centers Institute for War and Peace Reporting Transparency international Georgia Senior researcher and managing editor, Freedom of Press Index, Freedom House Adviser, Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Print media advisor, Internews Ukraine Ministry of Defence of Latvia Head of division, Deutsche Welle Akademie Special Envoy of the Swedish EU Presidency to Georgia Executive director, Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania Delegation of the European Commission to Georgia USAID Delegation of the European Commission to Georgia Researcher, Amnesty International Journalist, Turkish Daily News






KARLEKAR Karin Deutsch








LEUSCH Patrick


LOJDQUIST Frederik (H.E.)





24 25









Director, Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Azerbaijan Delegation of the European Commission to Georgia Editor, BBC Central Asia and Caucasus Unit Special Representative of the Secretary General, Council of Europe European Commission, DG Relex Managing Director, Media Development Center








WODZ Borys


WYSOCKI Wojciech



2. Civil society participants and official observers from the Republic of Georgia


Journalist, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty University of Georgia Journalist, magazine Liberal USAID Office of the Public Defender, Freedom and Equality Division Akhali Gazeti Georgian National Communications Commission Journalist, magazine Liberal


2 3


4 5


6 7





Dean, Caucasus University, Caucasus School of Media General Director, Georgian Public Broadcaster GIPA, Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management Office of Ombudsman, Information Division Journalist, The Messenger Chairman, Supervisory Board of the Georgian Public Broadcaster Counsellor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Kutaisi P.S. Kutaisi P.S. Lawyer, GYLA Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development Samkhretis Karibche New Generation new Initiative Radio Green Wave RCHRSD TV Company Kavkasia












16 17 18 19


20 21


22 23 24



Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Internews Spektri

26 27





University of Georgia School of Journalism Resonance Daily News Executive director, Transparency International Georgia OSCE Radio Atinati UNDP Executive Director, Open Society Georgia Foundation Studio Reporter

29 30


31 32 33 34






Assistant professor, GIPA, Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management Lawyer, GYLA Independent journalist

37 38




Studio Re


Executuve director, Georgian Regional Broadcasters' Association Georgian Public Broadcaster EurasiaNet





43 44


Radio Dzveli Kalaki Georgian National Communications Commission Chairperson, Georgian Regional Media Association






Kakhetis Khma

47 48 49 50 Liberty Institute Guriis moambe 25 Channel


Dean, Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Freedom, GIPA Georgian Public Broadcaster Deputy-Minister of Foreign Affairs Journalist and blogger, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Chair, Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development Khalkhis Gazeti Head of journalism programme, Ilia Chavchavadze University Blogger, Project manager, New Media Institute Head of legal department, Georgian National Communications Commission Chair, Liberty Institute Georgia IWPR Studio GNS Tavisupali Sitkva







NODIA Ghia (Dr.)

56 57








61 62 63





Director Radio Hereti, Georgian Regional Radio Network Owner MPublishing and Editor-in-chief Liberal Rector, Ilya Chavchavadze University Batumelebi

65 66






Ajara TV



Kvemo Kartli Media Group Akhali Taoba Akhali Initsiativa Public Defender Batumelebi



72 73 74


UCHUMBEGASHVILI Executive director, Internews Georgia Genadi VASHAKIDZE Keti Eurasia Partnership Foundation Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty Radio Harmonia The Georgian Times Batumelebi Eurasia Partnership Foundation Journalist, Monitor Studio




77 78 79 80