Communications Commission: Ethical standards and balance were observed in news program Moambe
Communications Commission: Ethical standards and balance were observed in news program Moambe

The Communications Commission has published the first interim qualitative and quantitative report on the media monitoring of the pre-election period of the Parliamentary elections of Georgia. The report covers the period from September 1 to September 30.

According to the report, the media monitoring showed that the media environment is pluralistic and diverse though, the examples of Imedi TV, TV Pirveli, and Mtavari Arkhi clearly showed how polarized the pre-election media environment is.

Unambiguous bias towards different political parties was observed. News programs, as well as socio-political programs, are characterized by a violation of balance and journalistic standards. The violations of ethical norms are frequent in the programs of TV Pirveli and Mtavari Arkhi; on the same channels, we often find misleading, false information, serious accusations that are not established by evidence. Also, in the case of the Mtavari Arkhi, there are frequent cases of using hate speech and obscene language.

News programs of Public Broadcaster, mostly Adjara TV and Rustavi 2, are mainly balanced and in compliance with ethical standards. It is noteworthy, that Public Broadcaster has covered the most of the election subjects”, – the report reads.

At the same time, the report states that during the reporting period, the news program of the First Channel “Moambe” (21:00) observed ethical standards.

“There were no instances of the use of discriminatory terminology in the texts of journalists. The balance was maintained while covering the pre-election activities. Moambe largely covered the current important socio-political events in the country.

In all programs, Moambe offered the viewers a collage of about 7-8 minutes about the activities of election subjects. The activities were covered impartially.  It is noteworthy that the focus was on allocating the equal time to the candidates and the audience mainly listened to the pre-election promises of the politicians” – the report notes.

The report also analyzes socio-political programs on the First Channel of Georgia.

“The socio-political program of the Public Broadcaster “Free Vision” was visited by “European Georgia” (once), “Social Democrats for the Development of Georgia” (once), “Democratic Movement” (once), and “Solidarity Alliance” (once). The program’s format allowed election subjects to talk about their election program and political plans. The Host of Free Vision focused on election programs, allowing the guests to express their opinion and vision to the end, often trying to clarify the information. The bias or irony attitude was not felt by the host of the program towards any political subject.

The representatives of the United Opposition “Strength is in Unity” (once) and the representative of the “Georgian Dream” (once) participated in the Weekly Interview. The program is aired on the First Channel every Wednesday. On September 16, the chairman of the Republican Party visited Week Interview. The presenter was involved actively, did not evade to ask critical questions, and quite effectively challenged the guest, citing opinion polls, statements made by politicians in the past, specific decisions made by them, etc. On September 30, Kakha Kuchava, the representative of the Georgian Dream, visited the program. During the program, the host was focused on asking critical questions and did not try to create a comfortable, loyal environment for the respondent. The host did not show biased attitude, was equally demanding towards the representatives of the ruling team, as well as the opposition.

During the reporting period, representatives of the Government of Adjara (once) and the Government of Georgia (once) visited the program Actual Topic. This program was aired three times, and the monitored subjects took part in only one program. New Week’s reports were aired with the participation of the following monitored entities: local government (once) and government (four times).  The Public Broadcaster’s self-regulatory body did not receive any complaints about the company’s impartiality, fairness, and balance,”  – the Communications Commission said in a report.

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