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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Monday, September 9
Media aims for balanced coverage

Radio Tavisupleba reports that The Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics launched a new project before the upcoming presidential elections scheduled on October 27 in the frames of which, the leading TV companies have signed a special election code of conduct. The Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB), Rustavi 2, Maestro TV, Imedi TV and Adjara TV have taken a responsibility to be independent, precise and fair during the election campaigns. Kavkasia is also among the signees. The project also considers monitoring over these above mentioned media outlets from September 2 to October 27.

The code of conduct has four points. These include journalistic independence; balance and impartiality; preciseness and relevance; and fairness and reliability. According to journalist Zviad Koridze, the code had two main addressees apart from the public: media outlets – which promise to follow the ethics and their journalists – who may have to deal with political pressure; as well as the political organizations that should be strictly warned by the media that the latter do not follow politicians’ schedule, but rather follow their own standards of ethics.

Zviad Koridze said the code of conduct will bring benefits to the whole society, which will have the right to informed choice at the elections. Executive Director of The Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics, Tamar Rukhadze, also thinks that for the development of the country and its people, the media should not be the tool of struggle in hands of the political groups.

GPB was the first to sign the code of conduct. Its representative, Tinatin Berdzenishvili, said the law also obliges the GPB to follow the above mentioned principles. “This is why we fully agree and sign this document… Our aim is to be absolutely objective and support the process of transparency,” she stated.

General Director of Rustavi 2, Nika Gvaramia, said his TV Company plans to cover the elections as they are. Gvaramia stressed that people want to know everything about the presidential candidates and to have the right to make informed choices, but they also want to be aware of the entire election process as well.

Head of the council of the charter, Giorgi Mgeladze, said the monitoring of the media companies will be carried out with the help of the Slovak-based organization MEMO 98. The time spent on covering particular individuals as well as the tone of the report will be analyzed; the results of the monitoring will be open to public.

Kavkasia TV is also getting ready for fair coverage. However, General Director, Nino Jangirashvili, said they do not need to sign any additional documents for this. According to Jangirahsvili, Kavkasia has been following the laws and internal codes for a long time. “We are just doing our job,” Jangirashvili told Radio Tavisupleba.