Georgia is 60th in RSF Media Freedom Index
21 April, 2020
Georgia is 60th in RSF Media Freedom Index
Georgia occupied the 60th place in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index. According to the annual report, “Georgia’s media are pluralist but still very polarized”. “The reforms of recent years have brought improvements in media ownership transparency and satellite TV pluralism, but owners still often call the shots on editorial content. In compliance with a European Court of Human Rights ruling, Rustavi 2, the main national opposition TV channel, was restored to a previous owner, resulting in its adoption of a
pro-government editorial policy and in the resignation of most of its journalists. Two new pro-opposition TV channels emerged as a consequence of the conflict. Adjara TV, a regional public television channel, has meanwhile suffered from repeated pressure to support a particular party” – reads the report.

Importance of investigation of the Azerbaijani dissident journalist Afgan Mukhtarly’s abduction was also mentioned.

“The investigation into Azerbaijani dissident journalist Afgan Mukhtarly’s abduction in the Georgian capital in 2017 has yet to produce any convincing explanation of how it happened. After being kidnapped in Tbilisi, he mysteriously reappeared in police custody in Azerbaijan. His abduction shocked Georgians as their country has traditionally offered a refuge to dissidents from neighbouring countries” – the report says.

In comparison to its neighbours, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia are on the 154th, 61st, 168th and 149th places respectively.

“Pressure on independent media has grown steadily since the big anti-government protests in 2011 and 2012” – the report says about Russia.
geotv.ge

Ranking since 2013 shows gradual development of media freedom in Georgia and the 60th place is said to be the best historic result for the country

Situation is relatively better in Armenia, where “Media diversity has blossomed but the government that emerged from Armenia’s “velvet revolution” in the spring of 2018 has failed to reduce the media’s polarization.”

The report is quite strict about Turkey saying the country “is the world’s biggest jailer of professional journalists.”

Annual report is rather stricter to Azerbaijan saying that “Independent journalists and bloggers are jailed on absurd grounds if they do not first yield to harassment, blackmail or bribes.”

Source: rsf.org

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