OSCE experts, Georgian lawmakers discuss ways of improving media environment

The Primary Care reform is part of the third step of the modernisation of Georgia’s healthcare system. Photo by N. Alavidze/Agenda.ge.
Agenda.ge, 01 May 2017 - 18:29, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is aiming to improve its media environment and experts from the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media are assisting the country with it.

Members of the Parliamentary Majority met with OSCE experts today to discuss the trends and challenges observed in Georgia’s media environment.

First Deputy Parliament Speaker Tamar Chugoshvili said following the meeting that OSCE experts recognise the progress achieved in Georgia in terms of media freedom since 2012 but further consultations are needed for the organisation to offer concrete recommendations on what to do next.

Chugoshvili said that it is not decided yet whether or not it’s necessary to establish an Office of Media Ombudsman in Georgia. The experts from the OSCE media office will consider this issue and provide their recommendations.

"Since there are some speculations as if there are some challenges in terms of media freedom in Georgia, it is important to us that OSCE representatives are today in Georgia, assessing the situation and will later offer their recommendations and decide how they prefer to cooperate with us”, Chugoshvili said.

She added the form of cooperation might be either establishing an Office of Media Ombudsmen or a long-term expert mission in the country.

"In general, [the OSCE experts’] opinion is that in recent years very important steps have been made in Georgia in the direction of media freedom and the environment is completely different from what it was before 2012”, she said.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili proposed to establish an Office of Media Ombudsman in March of 2017. He invited "the most reputable” international media experts to join in the initiative and the OSCE Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media confirmed it would assist the Georgian government in this process.

OSCE experts are paying a two-day visit to Georgia today, following which they will say what Georgia needs for a better media environment – a media ombudsmen or a team of experts on a long-term mission in the country.