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The media environment is permanently changing, Georgia is no exception. Audience demands increase along with the competition. Public media and its values are gaining even more importance in a media ecosystem that is richly represented by new digital players.
Traditional media is no longer enough. As Georgia evolves and keeps pace with modernity, people expect authoritative, important and timely news on a variety of platforms round the clock and seven days a week.
The new generation is focused on Omnimedia and digital media, receiving news and information from various sources, platforms, news agencies, as well as public media in other countries. Public media needs to evolve rapidly to play an important role in a new and ever-changing environment.
The challenges of 2020 and the new reality have shown us that despite the closure of geographical boundaries and many restrictions, an infinite space of information, education and entertainment is available and traditional forms of media are no longer sufficient to satisfy the interest of the audience.
Broadcasting started almost 100 years ago in Georgia , but understanding the role and importance of public broadcasting as an institution remains a challenge in the country.
Taking into account the standards and experience of the European model of public media, the Georgian Public Broadcaster should ensure the production of an inclusive and comprehensive product available to every citizen.
Public Broadcaster: Goals and Values
The values of the public broadcaster necessitate its existence as an institution in a democratic society.
These values are:
The Public Broadcaster is based on these values and aims to:
- Establish the best public broadcasting
- Introduce high journalistic standards
- Promote and develop the industry
- Introduce modern technologies and innovations
The Public Broadcaster allows each citizen to receive verified, objective information; analyze events in-depth and see perspective; to confront the level of anxiety and hysteria in the society; to understand his / her personal role in the current processes in the society and to make an informed choice in the public-political life.
Creativity is important for the public broadcaster. We create spaces for new ideas, we value individuality and we believe that we can achieve even more with community involvement.
The Public Broadcaster promotes education. Cognitive-educational programs develop thinking against stereotypes and superstitions and promote the formation of civic responsibility.
The public broadcaster, as a provider of verified and credible information to the public, plays a special role in creating a safe environment. This role is most visible when the society faces special circumstances like mass unrest, pandemic, and state of emergency.
It is important for the Public Broadcaster not to side in the process of creating its programs and, most importantly, the news.
The archives of the public broadcaster represent a collective memory of our country. Content created and stored for different platforms plays an important role in building faith in the future and the development of Georgia.
The Public Broadcaster focuses on the following in 2021 to succeed:
1. High standards
The goal of the organization is to have high standards and a quality journalism model in Georgia, to be a reliable source of news throughout the country and the Caucasus region as a whole. The organization uncompromisingly maintains credibility and independence in journalism, as well as in the cultural, educational and other fields, which is ensured by the editorial principles developed in 2020.
Good journalism is seeing the world with both eyes
IT revolution has dealt a powerful blow to the media. None of the industry's roles, merits, values, and business models HAVE diminished as much as those of the media. The public broadcaster, as an institution, is considered to be highest standard of media in a European democracy.
Ulrik Haagerup from the Constructive News Institute said"The media must become a friend, a guide and a credible authority for the society. You only gain authority if you know what you are talking about and put the public interest above the personal.” Constructive news is focused on tomorrow. That is news that drives us to a public discussion about a better future.
Increasingly media outlets around the world, such as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), The Guardian, Finland's national public broadcasting company (YLE), TV2 in Denmark, Swedish Radio and Television (SVT, SR), Public broadcasters in Norway (NRK), Iceland (RÚV), Belgium (VRT) follow the example of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation and choose a constructive news format, as this is the way to promote community development and prosperity.
Based on research, online media is the best way to spread the news. The Internet is the main source of information about ongoing events in the country for 69.9 per cent of TV viewers. This number includes 64.7 per cent who obtain information mainly from social media.
The public broadcaster will continue to invest more resources in all types of new technology platforms based on a fast and prompt response from the epicentre of events. It will further develop online platforms (Vod, SVOD) and take care of universal access.
The Public Broadcaster is one of the largest producers of Georgian original programs and documentaries in the country. It also aims to support and invest in the industry in this sphere.
The legislative amendments in 2018 made it possible to fulfil the obligation under the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting. Following the amendments, products prepared by independent studios should fill at least 25% of the programming schedules.
More than GEL 8 million is planned to be spent on the outsourced products in 2021, which is about 15 per cent of the total budget and will occupy 29.4 per cent of air time. This trend will continue in the future. More investment will be made to facilitate original Georgian production.
Children and youth
The task of the Public Broadcaster is to be interesting and modern for audiences of all ages.
One of the tasks is to create more opportunities for young producers, creators of media products and to offer constantly updated programming to a young audience.
When the educational process was delayed throughout Georgia due to the spread of Covid-19 at the beginning of 2020, the First Channel of Georgia launched the Teleskola (TV School) project, which became an educational platform for school and cognitive programs.
The educational channel has great potential for development. The 2021Teleskola software development strategy is based on the universally recognized STEM and soft skills teaching systems and aims to promote the development of technological and creative thinking in young people.
Healthy lifestyle and sports
Promoting a healthy lifestyle remains a strategic task. The Public Broadcaster is involved in all important activities carried out throughout the country in this regard.
We will cover more sporting events and promote different types of national sports to make them successful and popular in society. We will actively work to give an unforgettable mood and unite around large-scale sporting events.
Sport is an important segment in the distribution of GPB financial resources. --- GEL 3,098,251 was spent on licenses and provision of sporting events in 2020 and GEL 3,398,078 is planned to be spent in 2021.
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GPB TV and radio broadcasting is distinguished by Georgian original products on the Georgian media market. Up to 7,000 hours of content are planned to be created in 2021, which means investing predominantly within the country in producing and purchasing products.
The broadcaster will maintain a similar approach to procured products, which are high quality, premium products of the world-leading studios. These are American and European features, documentary films and TV series that are selected based on a specially created matrix and take into account the values and diversity in addition to the popularity of the products.
The audience will watch and listen to licensed programs only. Copyright protection is and will continue to be a priority for the GPB.
We pay great attention to the diversity in Georgia. GPB unites people and strives to increase mutual understanding between them to sound and strengthen their voice.
One of the most important tasks was the active involvement of representatives of different groups - ethnic, religious groups, persons with disabilities, different ages and genders of diverse Georgia in the creation and organizational activities of the Public Broadcaster.
Gender equality is one of the GPB top priorities. Following the example of the BBC, the broadcaster is implementing the 50:50 project, which will help us to achieve gender balance in the coming years both in the organization and on air.
Equipment and technologies
We replace our traditional production equipment with high-tech systems. GPB focuses on new forms of production.
The project of technical and technological re-equipment of the broadcaster is noteworthy. It makes the Georgian First Channel one of the most modern and high-tech media outlets in the region.
The project pays great attention to the components of data protection and information security. Significant investments are also made in this regard.
The construction of a new building for the Georgian Public Broadcaster is a priority issue. This is a difficult and complex process that has been going on since 2017. A contract was signed with the company that won the construction works tender, on October 16, 2020. The construction of the project selected by the people through public competition has already started.
The Public Broadcaster's financial management strategy is based on the process of complete infrastructural renewal of the organization. The shortage of capital investments was a significant challenge. In response, the broadcaster developed a large-scale investment package for complete technical and technological re-equipment and construction of a new building.
According to the decision, the financial management model has been changed, which implies optimization of operating costs and a significant increase in the scale of capital investments.
Thus, the financial management strategy is focused not only on solving short- and medium-term tasks, but also on creating a solid foundation for the long-term development of the organization.
The broadcaster uses the funds raised to implement investment projects, in addition to its own. It is an additional challenge in terms of the financial stability of the organization. This challenge is clearly reflected in the financial strategy. The television smoothly carries out the process of attracting financial resources and its use through the right distribution of finances.
Long-term planning, increased efficiency and a high degree of transparency in the project implementation phase are the basic principles on which the Public Broadcaster's financial management strategy is based.
The Public Broadcaster is positioned as a highly accountable organization. We work to establish the principles of responsibility in the editorial-creative direction and to influence the improvement of the ecological media environment in the industry. We may make mistakes in the process, we have shortcomings, but we are not afraid to admit these mistakes and take the challenge to become even more successful in our work per gained experience.
The goals and objectives of the Public Broadcaster are to serve each individual, the society by providing reliable and verified information; create the best product while upholding national values, presenting something important and valuable to the public and each individual; to be modern and topical; be where you need us to be in whatever form and means you choose.
“Europe needs to protect its free media if it wants to protect democracy,” that was the conclusion of the “Role of Independent Public Service Media (PSM) for Democracy in Europe” hearing at the European Parliament in Brussels. It was also agreed that urgent actions need to be taken to protect free media and independent PSM in Europe.
The fact that the Constitution of Georgia reflects the role and importance of the independent public broadcaster as an institution gained particular importance in this context.
The goals and objectives set out in this strategy are aimed at strengthening and developing the public broadcaster, the Georgian Public Broadcaster.