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Georgia partially free media country

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, May 5
Earlier this week, Freedom House published its report evaluating the freedom index of media sources around the world. According to this rating Georgia received 55 points and shares 118th place together with Moldova and Malawi. In the same rating last year Georgia received 59 points in 126th place. The result of this rating is not cause for wild celebration.

The freedom of media, if the country authorities claim they are pursuing democratic development, should be a priority. It is very easy to achieve freedom of media. It needs only the good will of the ruling administration. The media freedom rating will increase immediately if there is goodwill of the government. However the situation is not of this type in Georgia at present even though officials are highlighting the fact that Georgia's ranking did improve. As Freedom House informs the situation with Georgian journalists has slightly improved. There is less threat to the safety of journalists in Georgia. There is also less control of media outlets from the government’s side. There was certain progress outlined in the public broadcaster in both TV and radio.

Analysts involved in media issues think that this situation is the result of serious efforts taken by OSCE, EU and other international organizations.

The Freedom House report described certain changes in the state of media in different post soviet countries. There have been improvements in Kyrgyzstan and Moldova. However there were serious setbacks in Ukraine, Belarus, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It is significant that Georgia is ahead of its neighboring post soviet countries: Armenia which has 65 points and shares 146th place and Azerbaijan with 79 points sharing 171st place alongside Ethiopia, Sudan and Tajikistan. Russia was rated level with Congo, Gambia and Zimbabwe on 81 points.

Why was the report interesting? Well, Georgia's beacon of democracy is aglow if you compare it to Central Asia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia. However, when placed alongside the European nations to which Georgia aspires to become close friends, their performance looks a little dimmer. There are serious problems in TV sector and shortcomings in the regions regarding general media, think independent analysts

As Freedom House reports only 25% of the countries assessed are free from censorship and only 15% of the world's population live in those countries. The research covered 156 countries and is based on the data collected in 2010. There are three major indicators: legislation, politics and economic environment. Countries receiving points from 0-30 are considered to be free countries, up to 60 points partially free and up to 100 not free.