NGOs Call for Broad Discussion of Legislative Amendments on Georgian Public Broadcaster
 

On June 17, 2017, it was reported at the working session at the Parliament of Georgia that the Parliamentary Committee for Legal Issues plans to initiate amendments to the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting in the shortest time possible.

The working session, as well as the process of developing legislative amendments, was held without participation of a great part of the interested public and field specialists despite multiple calls for such involvement. While GPB management was substantially represented in the meeting, nobody from GPB's Board of Trustees was attending the meeting. The amendments will be initiated at the Parliamentary Committee on June 20, even earlier than announced previously.

The planned amendments will seriously aggravate GPB's accountability and transparency standards; they will increase authority of GPB management, weaken the Board of Trustees, create a risk of corruption deals and undermine labor rights protection mechanisms for GPB employees.

The proposed amendments will downplay GPB's role as a public good. In case of their approval, Georgian Public Broadcaster will lose its primary mission and turn into a commercial television, free of public control.

We suppose that the planned legislative amendments are part of the ongoing process at GPB, in particular, the closure of politically important programs by the management as well as the decision to manage GPB's political programming with internal resources only.

Based on the above mentioned, we, the undersigned organizations, demand:

  • To suspend hasty initiation of the draft amendments in the Parliament;
  • To immediately set up a broad and participatory working group to discuss the planned amendments.

Undersigned organizations:

Georgian Young Lawyers Association

Transparency International Georgia

Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)

Open Society Georgia Foundation

Association of Regional Broadcasters

Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics

Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)

 


Live broadcast of the session, Channel Two, Saturday, June 17, 17:30 

 

 


SEPTEMBER 2017

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