"This Affects You Too" calls on government to prolong must-carry/must-offer regulation beyond election day
This is the English translation of a statement made by the This Affects You Too group on September 7.
We, the organizations participating in This Affects You Too campaign, are responding to official statements of the Ambassadorial Working Group, the Eastern Partnership's Georgian National Platform, and the Coalition for Media Advocacy on the need to continue must-carry and must-offer regulation beyond the Election Day. Taking into account existing limitations regarding the dissemination of a variety of information in the country, conclude that:
The introduction of must-carry and must-offer regulation has significantly contributed to improved access to a variety of sources of information; however, access to pluralistic news sources remains limited for a significant part of population;
At present, the government has not expressed its readiness to continue must-carry and must-offer regulation beyond election day. So far, relevant mechanisms to extend these principles have not been created, which poses a serious threat to citizens' unlimited access to information on election day and after;
The seizure of satellite antennas belonging to various organizations without sufficient and proper legal basis should be considered as a restriction on the distribution of information to the general public, contradicting the government's public commitment to conduct fair elections in the country.
All the above in mind, we appeal to the government and demand:
Establish safeguards to ensure that must-carry and must-offer principles are prolonged until the transition to digital terrestrial broadcasting;
Immediately release satellite antennas seized from media companies, ensure that satellite antennas can be distributed, and use an appropriate monitoring mechamism for this distribution.