GEO

New campaign for reforming the Public Broadcaster and 6-point plan to overcome crisis

09 February, 2018

 

                                   

 

We, organizations signatory to this statement, are extremely concerned about the deep institutional crisis  the Georgian Public Broadcaster is in. Public trust towards the broadcaster is critically low, while it keeps receiving increasing funding from the state budget. Unfortunately, the Public Broadcaster fails to serve the interests of the public, is unable to fulfill its legal role; and acts instead as a media organization that is in service of political party interests.

Considering the importance of the role and function of a public broadcaster in a democratic society, we are launching a movement for reforming the Public Broadcaster and propose a 6-point plan involving the following demands:

1. A meeting with the Prime Minister of Georgia – A higher degree of political will is required to improve the Georgian Public Broadcaster. Therefore, we request a meeting with the Prime Minister where we can present our demands and opinions, and discuss possible solutions.

2. Members of the Board of Trustees and the General Director must be summoned to the Parliament – We would like to once again call upon the Parliament of Georgia to look into the activities of the Public Broadcaster and organize a public hearing to examine the extent to which the broadcaster is fulfilling its legal obligations.

3. The Director of the Public Broadcaster Vasil Maghlaperidze must resign – The Georgian Public Broadcaster has made a number of inconsistent and questionable decisions under Vasil Maghlaperidze's leadership. These decisions were related to: a vague plan to reform the broadcaster; implementing a closed staffing policy, whereby journalists from the former Prime Minister's TV station were employed through uncompetitive procedures; suspicious tenders; failure to fulfill program priorities; assuming an editorial policy that was loyal towards the government; closing of the broadcaster’s European Office, etc. Vasil Maghlaperidze was also involved in the Public Broadcaster’s decision to air a video footage of a writer Zviad Ratiani that was taken out of context in a way that served the interests of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which violated universally recognized ethical standards.

4. 2017 activities of the new management must be subjected to an extraordinary audit – An audit report published by the State Audit Office, which covers the period of 2015-2016, identified significant financial and managerial violations that match the assessments issued by the civil sector. Considering the questionable nature of decisions made by the new management of the Public Broadcaster in 2017, we believe that it is necessary to conduct an extraordinary audit of the broadcaster to examine its work over the past year.

5. The reform of the Georgian Public Broadcaster must , including a possible revision of the institutional formation of the Board of Trustees and amendment of norms regulating its activities – The existing norms regulating the Board of Trustees clearly do not meet the challenges faced by the Public Broadcaster. Therefore, for the purpose of establishing a more accountable Board that is free of political and economic influence, the Parliament must set up a working group with the involvement of civil society that will develop a better model for setting quotas and selecting members of the Board of Trustees.

6. The Parliament must not overrule the President's veto on the amendments to the Law on Public Broadcasting – Amendments initiated by the Public Broadcaster reduce its openness and transparency, increase the risk of corruption and significantly damage the advertising market. Therefore, the Parliament must not overrule the veto and needs to work with the civil sector and other stakeholders on legal amendments that are actually needed to reform the broadcaster.


 

  1. Transparency International Georgia

  2. The Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethicstr

  3. Georgian Young Lawyers Association

  4. Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)

  5. Open Society Georgia Foundation

  6. CIDA

  7. Media Club

  8. International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy

  9. Georgia’s Reforms Associates

  10. Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center

  11. Small and Medium Telecom operators Association of Georgia

  12. Center for Researching Journalistics and Economic Analytics

  13. Sapari

  14. Article 42 of the Constitution

  15. Human Rights Center

  16. Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation Center of Torture Victims

  17. Media Institute

  18. Journalistic Resource Center

  19. Europe Foundation

  20. Georgian Institute for Strategic Studies

  21. Voice from Georgia

  22. Women's Fund in Georgia

  23. Civil Development Association

  24. Union Demosi

  25. Bolnisi Language House

  26. Georgia Rural Council

  27. Association “Spectrum”

  28. The Union of Democrat Meskhs

  29. Community Union Hereti

  30. Peace Charter

  31. We for Sensible Future

  32. Association Union of Chiatura

  33. The Young Scientists’ Club of Ozurgeti

  34. Saunje

  35. Atinati

  36. Tkibuli District Development Fund

  37. Step Kharagauli

  38. Samtskhe Javakheti Media Center

  39. Human Rights Development Found

  40. Paata Shamugia - Poet

  41. Lasha Bakradze - Writer

  42. Sandro Jandieri - Director

  43. Gvantsa Jobava - Georgian Publishers and Booksellers Association

  44. Rati Amaghlobeli - Poet

  45. Lasha Bughadze - Writer

  46. Nestan Kvinikadze - Writer

  47. Nino Danelia - Professor at Ilia State University

  48. Nino Ivanishvili - GIPA, Dean of Journalistic and Media Management School

  49. Shota Iatashvili - Poet

  50. Zurab Rtveliashvili - Poet

  51. Levan Berdzenishvili - Philologist

  52. Nino Bekishvili - Translator/Journalist

  53. Masho Samadashvili - Georgian Publishers and Booksellers Association

  54. Otar Jirkvalishvili - Writer

  55. Iunona Guruli - Writer

  56. Temur Chkhetiani - Poet

  57. Keti Kantaria - Translator

  58. Teona Dolenjashvili - Writer

  59. Diana Anfimiadi - Writer

  60. Zviad Ratiani - Poet

  61. Darejan Kikoliashvili - Translator

  62. Dato Robakidze - Poet

  63. Jimsher Rekhviashvili - Writer

  64. Gaga Nakhutsrishvili - Poet

  65. Irakli Lomouri - Writer

  66. Gia Jandieri - New Economic School

  67. Irakli Kakabadze - Writer

  68. Natia Mikeladze - Goethe Institute

  69. Khatuna Tskhadadze - Translator

  70. Nino Robakidze - Media Researcher

  71. Nino Kharatishvili - Writer

  72. Teona Jorbenadze - Script Writer/Producer

  73. Dato Turashvili - Writer

  74. Ekaterine Togonidze - Writer

  75. Medea Bakradze - Painter

  76. Khatuna Tavdgiridze - Writer