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Georgia improves its media freedom index

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, April 21
A French-based, international non-profit organisation, Reporters without Borders (RWB), has released its 2016 World Press Freedom Index which said Georgia improved its image in terms of media freedom, but the activities of media owners still caused concern.

In the latest survey, Georgia ranked 64th out of 180 foreign nations, while Georgia’s position in the same report last year was 69th.

RWB (which also enjoy consultant status at the United Nations) claimed the reforms of recent years have brought improvements to Georgia’s media landscape: media ownership transparency, satellite TV pluralism and an overhaul of the broadcasting regulatory authority.

“Violence against journalists is less frequent, although threats are often reported. But the media continue to be very polarized and, despite some progress, media owners often call the shots on editorial content. And the war for ownership of the main TV channels is a source of concern about the future of pluralism,” the report said.

The index was based on an evaluation of media freedom that measured pluralism, media independence, the quality of the legal framework and the safety of journalists in 180 countries.

Three northern European countries-Finland, Netherlands and Norway headed this-year rating while Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea occupied bottom positions of the list.