Georgia Improves Position in World Press Freedom Index

Georgia has improved its position by one position in the World Press Freedom Index 2019 published by Reporters Without Borders on April 18.

In the index, Georgia has 28.98 points and takes 60th place. Last year Georgia was ranked 61st.

The index rankings are based on a scale of 1 to 100, with 0 representing the highest and 100 the lowest level of press freedom.

The report reads that Georgia’s media landscape is pluralist but still very polarized.

“The reforms of recent years have brought improvements in media ownership transparency and satellite TV pluralism, but owners often still call the shots on editorial content,” it says.

The organization also mentioned ownership dispute over opposition-minded Rustavi 2 TV, adding the outcome of the continuing dispute over ownership of the main national opposition TV channel, Rustavi 2, will, therefore, have a big impact.

The report includes the case of Azerbaijani Journalist Afghan Mukhtarli, who was allegedly abducted in Tbilisi in 2017 and taken to Azerbaijan, where he was imprisoned on various charges.

“Mukhtarli’s mysterious abduction and subsequent reappearance in police custody in Azerbaijan was shocking for Georgians, who have traditionally offered refuge to dissidents from neighboring countries,” the index reads.

Norway, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands and Denmark are the five countries with the most press freedom, according to the report.

RSF is an independent NGO with consultative status with the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF).

By Thea Morrison

18 April 2019 10:51