The report prepared by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says that “Georgia’s media are pluralist but still very polarized,” adding that the reforms of recent years have brought improvements in media ownership transparency and satellite TV pluralism, but owners and bosses still often call the shots on editorial content.
The survey reviewed the situation and example of opposition-minded Rustavi 2 TV channel and Adjara TV.
“This was seen with the opposition TV channel Rustavi 2, which underwent a complete change in its editorial policy after the channel was restored to a previous owner. And it was seen with Adjara TV, a regional public television channel, which began backing the ruling party after new bosses were appointed and journalists were fired. A disturbing trend is emerging, with attempts to interfere in media outlets by the security services and by the media regulator, the Communication Commission, whose prerogatives have gradually been extended to surveillance and censorship. Its online platform, called the “Media Critic,” examines media content and tends to discredit independent journalism. Even if police violence against journalists is less frequent, police sometimes attack reporters, especially during elections, and do so with complete impunity,” reads the document.