GEO

Crisis Uninterrupted: the story of the Georgian Public Broadcaster

11 October, 2013

Less than three weeks ahead of the presidential elections, the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) is broke and broken. The station has run out of money, two Board members have highlighted political pressure on them, two others simply resigned, leaving the supervisory body without a quorum and unable to appoint a new Director General or to resolve the broadcaster's ongoing budget crisis.

Even diligent observers can no longer make any sense of internal developments and decrypt the political or personal motivations that may lie behind many of the recent developments. Thus, it might be a good time to reflect on the almost 10-year old history of the GPB, the few ups and many downs the broadcaster has experienced since it was transformed from a state-controlled to a public service station in 2004.

“I am very upset about State TV’s performance. Shouldn’t we have a TV channel that serves the interest of the government? You are, basically, a government TV…  and you should cover events properly. If not, then why do you say that you are a state television? You can not be on both sides…”

President Eduard Shevardnadze about State TV, the predecessor of the GPB, 20 November, 2003

  1. Table: Director Generals 2005-2013
  2. The beginning: the transformation from state to public broadcaster
  3. The first Board of trustees and election of director general
  4. 2007/2008 – A defunct Board and opposition protests
  5. Levan Kubaneishvili and the new board
  6. Table: Board Members 2005-2013
  7. Giorgi Chanturia and the GPB ahead of parliamentary elections
  8. GPB after the 2012 change of power
  9. Giorgi Baratashvili: the last elected Director General
  10. The status quo: Once again, a Board without a quorum
  11. The GPB Board after January 2014
  12. The status quo
  13. How to move forward?
  14. Visualization: Timeline

The current leadership crisis of the GPB is probably the most severe yet. But for almost a decade, various Boards and Executive Directors have failed to build a strong, professional and independent broadcaster that would be able to free itself from political interference and pursue a mission of public service.

Not a single one of the GPB’s Executive Directors – Tamar Kinsturashvili, Levan Kubaneishvili, Gia Chanturia, Giorgi Baratashvili – were able to complete their six-year term. They were all either dismissed or forced to resign, mostly for politically motivated reasons. Similarly, politics was a driving force behind the appointment and dismissal of numerous Board members. Between 2005 at 2013, at least nine members of the Board of Trustees resigned for alleged politically motivated reasons.  

Director General

Time in the Office

Reasons for leaving

Tamar Kintsurashvili

2005-2008

Resigned

Levan Kubaneishvili

2008-2009

Resigned

Giorgi Chanturia

2009-2012

Resigned

Giorgi Baratashvili

Dec.2012-Mar.2013

Dismissed by the Board

Giorgi Bakradze (acting)

Mar.2013-Apr.2013

Court reinstated Giorgi Baratashvili

Giorgi Baratashvili

Apr.-Sep. 2013

Dismissed by the Board

Tamaz Tkemaladze (acting)

since Sep.2013

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The beginning: the transformation from state to public broadcaster

In fall 2004, the Georgian Parliament approved the new law Law on Broadcasting in third hearing, with 183 against 3 votes, paving the way for transformation of the State Television into a public broadcaster.

The law stipulated that “for the purposes of broadcasting various programs free from political and commercial influence, corresponding to public interests, a Public Service Broadcaster was established”. The Public Service Broadcaster became a legal entity of public law “independent of the state and accountable to the public [...] on the basis of public financing”. In its first years, the law set the funding provided to the GPB from the state budget to at 1.5% of the annual income tax collection (now, the GPB budget has to be no less than 0.12% of the Georgian gross domestic product, GDP, of the previous year). In addition, the GPB was allowed to air commercials – a right that was restricted in 2011.  

The first Board of trustees and election of director general

After the president proposed a short-list of candidates to the parliament, nine people were elected as members of the very first Board of the Georgian Public Broadcaster: Levan Tarkhnishvili (who was then elected as a chairman of the Board on June 14, 2005), Alexander Rondeli, Ghia Nodia, Tamar Kintsurashvil, Pridon Todua, Gia Khubua, Rusudan Sebiskveradze, Nino Ananiashvili and Mamuka Kherkheulidze.

In July 2005, the newly elected Board had to select the Director General for a six year term. The first attempt, however, failed: none of the four shortlisted candidates – Dodo Shonava, Badri Koplatadze, Davit Paichadze and Lasha Bakradze – managed to receive the required minimum of five votes.

On August 13, Tamar Kintsurashvili, quit her Board position to apply for the top management position – a move that was ciritzised by other candidates as unethical at the time – and on August 19 was elected as the first Director General by the Board.

The new director put the “development of unbiased news coverage” as a top priority and proposed plans to shape the broadcaster as “a pillar of democratic and civil society values.” This however was going to be hard given the state of the broadcaster’s finances and property, which was a “complete mess”, as Kintsurashvili put it. She requested a probe by the Financial Police in order to determine the entity’s debts, which turned out to be GEL 6 million (USD 3,3 million).

Six months after taking her post, Kintsurashvili faced her first major crisis, after a group of GPB employees resigned, accused her of mismanagement and submitted an appeal to the parliament asking to investigate GPB’s performance.

Elene Tevdoradze, then the head of the parliament’s human rights committee, promised to forward the letter to the chair of the parliament, Nino Burjanadze, in order to hold a hearing of the Board members. Kintsurashvili criticised this move as an illegitimate attempt of MPs to interfere in the GPB’s internal affairs, but at a parliamentary hearing on March 2, 2006, she was nonetheless told by MP Tevdoraze that the GPB’s Board was approved by the Parliament, which thus had the legitimate right to demand explanations and updates about the situation inside the broadcaster.  

Kintsurashvili soon also faced criticism from the Georgian Church which accused her of having dismissed employees on religious grounds and of having banned the live broadcast of a Christmas Liturgy – accusations she denied, citing technical reasons that had made the live broadcast impossible.

2007/2008 – A defunct Board and opposition protests

In spring 2007, three trustees (Ghia Nodia, Alexander Rondeli and Nino Ananiashvili) completed their terms and left the Board. In October 2007, Levan Tarkhnishvili left the Board to become Chairman of the Central Election Commission. Two trustees, Giorgi Khubua and Tamar Kintsurashvili, had already left the board in 2005 – Khubua had been appointed as the acting Rector of the Tbilisi State University. Thus, by the end of 2007, only three members remained in the Board – Rusudan Sebiskveradze, Pridon Todua and Mamuka Kherkheulidze, which no longer had the necessary quorum and did not hold meetings between October 2007 and February 2008.

In fall 2007, the government declared a state of emergency in response to a series of anti-government protests. On 8 November, President Mikheil Saakashvili announced early presidential elections for January 5, 2008.

During the run-up, the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission said that “although the news on public TV was somewhat more balanced in the time allocated to all candidates, the tone of its coverage favoured the former President [Saakashvili].” It also stated that the very high cost of paid political TV advertising limited the candidates’ possibilities to campaign. Two weeks before the election, OSCE/ODIHR reported, public TV had decreased its prices to make them more accessible for candidates, “however they still remained twice as high as commercial rates. Only Mr. Saakashvili was able to place paid spots on all four nationwide channels.”

Saakashvili was re-elected with a somewhat narrow lead, just enough to avoid a second round. This result triggered another wave of  protests, this time in front of the GPB. Levan Gachechiladze, who had lost the election to Saakashvili, demanded live broadcasts to deliver messages to his voters, saying the public was in an information vacuum.

Amid growing discontent from opposition side in front of GPB building, acting president Nino Burjanadze and the government agreed to dismiss the Board of the public broadcaster in an act of political consensus. Burjanadze, who said she was unhappy with the station's level of professionalism, statedthe new Board would be set up based on an “agreement between the authorities and the opposition and to a certain extent on a parity basis”.

Burjanadze later said she had talked with the remaining board members (Pridon Todua, Rusudan Sebiskveradze and Mamuka Kherkheulidze) “all of whom had agreed to quit in order to pave the way for the new board”. The decision to disband the board – technically the trustees resigned on their own will – became highly controversial since the law on broadcasting had not provided for such a scenario.

Amid these events Director General Tamar Kintsurashivli said that she would not re-apply for this position if the Board was constituted along party lines. She eventually left her post – decision which had been a key demand of the opposition for continuing talks with the government.

Despite the obvious problems in the GPB’s performance, this move to resolve the Board was considered as a precedent, undermining the editorial and managerial independence of the public broadcaster.

Levan Kubaneishvili and the new board

In February 2008 a new Board was selected, consisting of five members selected by the United National Movement’s majority and four by the opposition, which then elected Levan Kubaneishvili as the new Director General.

Irakli Tripolski, one of the opposition nominees became Chairman of the Board, but only three months later on May 27, 2008 he said he would resign in protest of what he called biased GPB coverage of opposition protests that had taken place the day before, and the limited powers of the Board to influence the decision making process inside the broadcaster. Some opposition parties criticized Tripolski for his move, arguing that it allowed the ruling party to further increase its influence over television. As a result, Tripolski said that he would remain on his post only if other Trustees accepted his proposals aimed at strengthening the Board’s role.

Although Marina Vekua, another Board member, acknowledged that events were not “covered appropriately” by the broadcaster, she said it had nothing to do with the alleged political pressure, but was the result of “a lack of professional staff in the television station.” Two days later, Tripolski eventually resigned, criticising the GPB’s director general for making unilateral decisions and a failure to provide comprehensive coverage of ongoing protests.

In the same week, the opposition bloc demanded the creation of a monitoring council, involving independent journalists, to observe the GPB’s editorial decisions. Levan Gakheladze, at the time deputy chairman, called these demands unacceptable and described them as an attempt to exercise editorial censorship.

In early 2009, the GPB found itself of another wave of criticism from the Orthodox Church over the show Georgia’s Top Ten, a show that asked the audience to vote for the greatest Georgians of all time. The Georgian Orthodox Church said that the format of the TV show, allowing spiritual figures to compete with normal human beings, was unacceptable. Board member Marina Vekua, said she could not ignore the recommendation of the Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church; another member, Mikheil Chiaureli, said the Patriarch’s opinion was more important for him than the law itself. In the end, the GPB continued airing the show with a changed format that sought to address the church's complaints.

In April, the street in front of the GPB’s headquarter became the sight of a round-the-clock protest camp, with opposition party leaders and their followers protesting against the GPB’s “biased and incomprehensive coverage” and demanding the resignation of Kubaneishvili. The opposition activists were picketing the broadcaster’s studio by forming a so called “corridor of shame” for GPB employees and by setting up an improvised cell at the gates through which employees had to walk to get inside the building.

In late April, the four opposition-backed members of the Board – Irma Sokhadze, Marina Vekua, Giorgi Anchabadze and Mikheil Chiaureli – resigned in protest of the public broadcaster’s poor coverage of ongoing protests. Thus, none of the trustees that were nominated by the opposition in 2007 remained in the board after April 2009.  

Two months later, Kubaneishvili resigned without specifying his reasons for leaving broadcaster’s top management post. The GPB operated with the remaining five Board members until July 31, when parliament approved three new Trustees – Davit Aprasidze, Zurab Davitashvili and Davit Kandelaki. Two months later, on September 22 the Parliament amended the law to increase the number of Board members from nine to fifteen.  

Board Member

Time in the Office

Reasons for leaving

Levan Tarkhnishvili (Chairman)

2005-2007

Appointed as the Chairman of the Central Election Commission

Gia Nodia

2005-2007

Term expired

Giorgi Khubua

2005

Appointed as the Rector of Tbilisi State University

Tamar Kintsurashvili

2005

Appointed as the Director General of GPB

Fridon Todua

2005-2008

Resigned amid reorganization

Rusudan Sebskveradze

2005-2008

Resigned amid reorganization

Alexander Rondeli

2005-2007

Term expired

Nino Ananiashvili

2005-2007

Term expired

Mamuka Kherkheulidze

2005-2008

Resigned amid Reorganization

Bakur Sulakauri

2008-2013

Term expired

Giorgi Anchabadze

2008-2009

Resigned in the sign of protest

Erekle Tripolski (Chairman)

2008

Resigned

Irma Sokhadze

2008-2009

Resigned in the sign of protest

Zurab Kharatishvili

2008-2010

Appointed as the Chairman of the Central Election Commission

Mikheil Chiaureli

2008-2009

Resigned in the sign of protest

Marina Vekua

2008-2009

Resigned in the sign of protest

Levan Gakheladze(Chiarman)

2009-2013

Term Expired

Mamuka Pachuashvili

since 2008

 

Davit Aprasidze

2009-2012

Resigned after taking a job at the Ministry of Interior

Zurab Davitashvili

since 2009

 

Davit Kandelaki

since 2009

 

Giga Nasaridze

2009-2012

Resigned for political reasons

Nodar Sardjveladze

2009-2012

Resigned, joined Christian Democratic Movement

Emzar Goguadze (Chairman)

since 2009

 

Avtandil Antidze

since 2009

 

Nino Danelia

since 2009

 

Lia Chakhunashvili

2009-2011

Resigned to avoid conflict of interests

Shorena Shaverdashvili

2009-2011

Resigned to avoid conflict of interests

Giorgi Meladze

Since 2010

 

Eka Mazmishvili

2011-2013

Resigned amid tight schedule

Natalia Dvali

Since 2012

 

Otar Koberidze

2008-2013

Term expired

Zaza Korinteli

2012-2013

Term expired

Giorgi Chanturia and the GPB ahead of parliamentary elections

On August 20, 2009, the eight-member Board elected Giorgi Chanturia for the Director General position. Chanturia, as his predecessor Levan Kubaneishvili, was perceived as the favorite candidate of the UNM government at the time.

The Board was extended to 15 members, and seven new Trustees were elected, including one nominated by the Christian-Democrats and three candidates representing civil society groups, whose presence in the board was meant to make the body less politicized. Two of the civil society nominees resigned in 2011 to avoid conflicts of interest (Lika Chakhunashvili, who now works for the IREX GMedia project, a donor of TI Georgia, and Shorena Shaverdashvili, whose media group received a radio broadcasting license for Radio Hot Chocolate).

In July 2010, the newspaper Batumelebi revealed that the GPB had asked the government for additional financing of GEL 3 million to remain operational, while GEL 2 million of these funds were then spent to promote the participation of Sopo Nizharadze at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Kanal PIK

The GPB launched its third TV channel, a Russian language broadcaster in 2010. Aimed to provide unbiased coverage of events in the Caucasus, the channel was perceived as a Georgian government propaganda tool. The first attempt to establish what was called First Caucasian channel failed: the channel was available on satellite, operated by Paris-based Eutelsat, for less than two weeks in January 2010. Then Europe’s leading satellite operator, citing end of trial period, took the channel off its W7 satellite and entered into a larger deal with Russia’s Gazprom Media Group on allocating capacity on W7 satellite for its pay-TV provider NTV-Plus. Georgia claimed Russia’s political pressure behind Eutelsat’s move. The Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) sued the satellite operator, but a court in Paris ruled in favor of Eutelsat in July, 2010.

In July 2010 GPB handed over the management of the rebranded channel PIK to K-1, a company co-founded by a British journalist Robert Parsons. At the end of 2011, Parson and his company exited the project. In the beginning of 2012, the GPB signed a GEL 14 mln. contract for a year with another private company, Alania TV (renamed to PIK) to manage the GPB’s third channel.

Ignored rally of the war veterans

On December 27 the war veterans launched a hunger strike in tents set up at the memorial of fallen heroes for the unity of Georgia, demanding relevant attention from the authorities. One week later the rally was dispersed by the police, with some of the rally participants being detained. Georgian Public Broadcaster, alongside Rustavi 2 and Imedi, completely ignored this event in their 3rd of January news, which GPB later explained by “the absence of the footage”.

Coordinated coverage?

In 2012, the editorial policy of the GPB showed much room for improvement. In March, TI Georgia highlighted that all three national TV stations – the GPB’s Channel 1, Rustavi 2 and Imedi TV, the last two were regarded to be strongly biased in favor of the UNM at the time – covered the death of a citizen in a Khashuri police station in a completely identical manner, suggesting that the coverage was coordinated between the newsrooms. Not only were the images used to cover the case largely identical, but the wording used by news anchors to report the case was word by word almost the same.

Failure to properly cover torture videos

On 18 September 2012, Georgian TV channels, with the notable exception of the GPB’s Channel 1, aired footage showing what appeared to be torture and sexual abuse of Georgian prisoners, triggering protests in Tbilisi the same night. Despite the extraordinary public interest of the videos emerging less than 2 weeks ahead of the parliamentary elections and ongoing public protests, Channel 1 only covered the torture videos a day later at 4 pm, and only as the 4th story in its newscast. At 9 pm that day, the GPB aired a statement by president Saakashvili and a short news item about the solidarity rally from the night before. Instead of airing, for example, a live discussion about the latest developments, to follow up on the newscast, Channel 1 instead aired an Ugly Duckling cartoon in prime time.

One day later at 10 am, Channel 1’s newscast reported the resignation of the Minister of Corrections, Probation and Legal Assistance, Khatuna Kalmakhelidze, as top news, followed by a statement by President Saakashvili on the protest rallies throughout the country. By that time, more than one and a half days after the first release of the torture videos, it was still unclear to viewers of Channel 1 what had actually caused such public outrage. While other stations were covering the release of additional footage documenting the misuse of juvenile prisoners, viewers of Channel 1 were shown the entertainment show Life is Beautiful.

The delayed coverage of ongoing events triggered a demonstration in front of the GPB building, with protesters demanding a timely and adequate coverage of the scandal. The GPB’s Director General, Gia Chanturia, stated that covering the prison abuse scandal from different angles was much more important than “just airing footage which every other TV channel was already showing.”

After the 2012 change of power

One parliamentary election later, Gia Chanturia, speaking in front of the GPB building the day he resigned in December 2012, recalled the prison abuse coverage and said that the GPB had chosen “objective coverage over breaking news style” and that their mandate obliged the broadcaster to act this way. Chanturia said he quit because he had failed in his efforts to restructure the broadcaster.

After the change of power, reforming the GPB once again became a top priority for the new government, triggering a debate over a possible restructuring of the Board.

The end of PIK

In October 2012, the GPB on short notice suspended its contract with PIK and shut down its third channel, leaving around 400 journalists unemployed. Already in early October there were talks about financial difficulties regarding PIK and the employees staged a silent on-air protest. The GPB later stated this silent protest as one of the reason for suspending the contract, accusing PIK of having violated its terms. Just a few days after the elections, the outgoing government had cut the debt of PIK from GEL 1.5 million to 5,000 GEL, as the part of a tax amnesty for several broadcasters.

In November 2012, Revenues Service investigators entered the GPB on the basis of GEL 4 million in unpaid taxes, raising concerns that the new government was seeking to establish control over the GPB.

Giorgi Baratashvili: the last elected Director General

On December 26, 2012, the Board elected Giorgi Baratashvili, the head of the technical department and a long-time employee, to manage the GPB. The appointment of the new GPB director gained much publicity – recordings of the interviews with shortlisted candidates were published on GPB website; the candidates also participated in a debate on the GPB’s first channel hosted by David Paitchadze. However, in the end Baratashvili was chosen for what appeared to be political reasons, as observers had predicted.

Hired, fired, hired, fired

Within less than a year, Baratashvili was fired twice. The first time, in March, the Board dismissed him based on statements by Khatuna Berdzenishvili, the former head of the news department who had been fired by Baratashvili, who accused the Director General of putting editorial pressure on editorial staff in order to favor the Georgian Dream (Berdzenishvili was soon appointed as the Gamgebeli of Krtsanisi region by Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava from the United National Movement). After a court had declared the firing of Baratashvili was illegal, Baratashvili was fired a second time, after a few months back in his position – this time for failing to provide the Board with detailed information on budgeting and programming. On September 1st 2013, four out of 13 Trustees, including Chairman Levan Gakheladze, completed their terms. A few days before, the Board had managed to gather enough votes to launch the impeachment Baratashvili.

The status quo: Once again, a Board without a quorum

After being left without the chair after Gakheladze’s departure, the Board elected Emzar Goguadze as its new Chairman (a second round of voting was necessary for him to get enough votes). Under him, the Board completed the dismissal of Baratashvili, who is currently fighting against his firing in court for the second time.

Tamaz Tkhemaladze, who had been appointed deputy director under Baratashvili in April, became the GPB’s new acting director. Tkhemaladze had worked at the state broadcaster since Soviet times, from 1978, until he was fired after the Rose Revolution, and was then hired back in 2013.

It was Tkhemaladze’s decision to take the political talk shows of David Paitchadze and Eka Kvesitadze off the air, which both provided a UNM-friendly spin – a decision seen by many as politically motivated and inappropriate during the run-up to an election.

It was also Tkhemaladze who refused to air political ads of the UNM that were critical of the Georgian Dream. Tkhemaladze stated: “advertising must not be counter-advertising. Instead, advertisements should say how much of a man the candidate is and what his accomplishments are. We will not broadcast advertisements that are solely based on what [Georgian] Dream has not done. We will broadcast details of the party’s plans, but advertisements about the fact that Shah Abbas [of Persia] invaded [Georgia] and that Erekle II was a bad king, will not be broadcast,” Tkemaladze said. TI Georgia argued that Tkemaladze’s comment was incorrect and called on the administration of the GPB to refrain from making political statements and rather comply with the law. The UNM’s ads were eventually aired a few days later.

Due to the GPB’s leadership and budgetary crisis, the broadcaster several times postponed the launch of new programs, including political talk shows. According to Tkemaladze, the production of new programs will be postponed to January 2014 if the broadcaster does not receive additional funding. So far, Channel 1 has only managed to launch one new show, a political talk show that airs workdays. It plans to hold debates between presidential candidates on October 17 and 18, ten days ahead of the election.  

After two more recent resignation of Board members, who said they faced political pressure, only seven Trustees remain – the Board thus no longer has the quorum that would be needed to appoint a new General Director or take on a loan.  

The GPB Board after January 2014

In January 2014, the GPB’s current Board will be fully replaced in line with amendments to the Law on Broadcasting from May 2013 (TI Georgia advocated for a gradual replacement of Trustees). The total number of the Members will be decreased, back to nine:

  • three members will be elected by the parliamentary majority (MPs of the Georgian Dream coalition),

  • three members by the remaining members of the Parliament (UNM and former UNM majoritarian MPs who are now in an independent fraction or independent members of Parliament),

  • two members by the Ombudsman, and

  • the remaining seat will be filled with the Chairman of the newly created Adjarian Public Broadcaster.

The status quo

The GPB appears to urgently need a cash injection of at least GEL 2.5 million to finish the current year, according to its board – funding that the GPB’s management hopes to get through a bank loan. However, decisions about loans and budgeting must first be approved by the Board of Trustees, which is now defunct and unable to make decisions due to an insufficient number of acting members. Last week two members of the GPB board – Eka Mazmishvili and Avtandil Antidze – resigned amid controversy that they were pressured to quit their jobs, leaving the board with only seven acting members (eight are needed for a decision).

The Board now also lacks the quorum needed to elect a new Director General – a competition for which had already been announced. Emzar Goguadze, the chair of the Board, and Nino Danelia, the board member, say trustees have been pressured to resign so the Board, and with it the GPB, becomes paralyzed and can no longer fulfill its duties. The Georgian Parliament is now on vacation for the month prior to the presidential elections on October 27, meaning that the current crisis may continue well into November, and possibly until the end of the year, when the Board will be fully dismissed and replaced, in line with amendments to the Broadcasting Law from spring 2013.

On Monday, the GPB’s acting Director General, Tamaz Tkemaladze, announced an alternative plan to save the public broadcaster’s television season: he hopes to receive funding from the Government’s reserve fund. Such financial operation doesn’t require board's approval consequently quorum won’t be an obstacle. If this plan fails, GPB will not be able to air any new programs until January 2014.  

One more way to generate additional financial income, for which board’s approval won’t be needed, is to sell a scrap-iron located in a backyard of the GPB. According to Tamaz Tkemaladze they hope to receive up to Gel 5,200 income through an auction, where around 146 kg of aluminum, 19,5 tons of iron and up to 31 kg of copper wires will be offered for sale. “This scarp is scattered all over the GPB territory, on the side of the Zoo. We would like to plant flowers instead. When filming we do need flowers,” said Tamaz Tkemaladze.

How to move forward?

Given the current chaos at the GPB, one might be tempted to give up all hope that a turnaround for the public broadcaster is possible. We try to stay optimistic and hope for something like a miracle, following which:

  • The Parliament recognizes the importance of having a financially and institutionally strong public service broadcaster and nominates a group of non-partisan, highly motivated experts with diverse backgrounds to serve as Trustees from January 2014;

  • The new Board, through a transparent and open competition, selects an experienced manager as the new Director General who has a strong vision and an indestructible commitment to building a politically independent and professional broadcaster;

  • The government provides sufficient funding for a fresh start (GEL 38 million in the 2014 draft budget);

  • The GPB leadership develops a strategy aimed at generating public value that reflects the diversity of Georgian society and seeks to increasing the audience and role of the GPB, including by reaching audiences through all available platforms;

  • The GPB management, under adequate supervision of the Board, then implements the strategy by

  1. launching new programs, including shows that defend the interests of consumers, provide investigative and in-depth reporting and informative talk shows;

  2. creating acceptable working conditions for its staff, including by providing year-long contracts, adequate salaries, hiring and promotions based on merits and skills rather than loyalty and connections;

  3. shielding editorial staff from any undue interference and political pressure;

  4. developing a culture at the GPB where staff is motivated and proud to pursue its mission. 

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The G-MEDIA program is made possible by support from the American people through USAID. The content and opinions expressed herein are those of Transparency International Georgia and do not reflect the views of the U.S. Government, USAID or IREX.

USAIDIREX Georgia

Author: TI Georgia
Media, GMedia