President meets with media, NGOs regarding amendments to Law on Broadcasting
President meets with media, NGOs regarding amendments to Law on Broadcasting

The meeting on amendments to the Law on Broadcasting is underway at the Presidential Administration. President Giorgi Margvelashvili is holding a meeting with the representatives of media and non-governmental organizations.

We appreciate the fact that the President expressed interest toward the NGOs’ position, – Nata Dzvelishvili, an Executive Director of the Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics noted before the session.

“We are glad that the president became interested in our opinion. We are ready to share our views and listen to his position. We are glad that there are deputies in the ruling team, who believe that adoption of these changes will be harmful. As for remarks, we believe that the change referring to procurement is unacceptable – in particular, initiative on quitting the unified procurement system. There is no indication on how program purchasing process will be controlled which will lead to lowering the transparency standard. As for advertising, the main argument is that in a number of European countries the advertising revenues are available for the public broadcasters, but I want to note that in these countries the amount of financing from the budget does not exceed more than half the total advertising market. The broadcaster should increase competitiveness not through advertising revenues and commercial projects, but by projects which are priorities prescribed by law. The Broadcaster receives funds from the budget to create products that are unattractive for commercial channels. If we want a commercial broadcaster, we should reduce funding from the budget”,   – Nata Dzvelishvili said.

Today, the President of Georgia will also meet the members of the Executive Board of the Public Broadcaster in order to discuss the draft project.

When President expressed willingness to meet all sides interested over the proposed changes, the members of Executive Council of GPB express readiness to meet with President to present arguments regarding changes.

The Parliament has approved the package of amendments proposed to be made into Law on Broadcasting with 85 votes through the second hearing on December 14.