Georgia improves world press freedom index

Georgia improved its media freedom index by one point.Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 18 Apr 2019 - 16:37, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia comes in 60th of 180 countries in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index by the international, non-profit organisation Reporters Without Borders, which promotes and defends the freedom of information and the press.

Last year Georgia was 61st.

The survey reads that Georgia’s media landscape is “pluralist but still very polarised”.

The reforms of recent years have brought improvements in media ownership transparency and satellite TV pluralism, but owners often still call the shots on editorial content,” reads the survey.

The survey claims that the outcome of the continuing dispute over ownership of the opposition TV channel, Rustavi 2, “will therefore have a big impact”.

The report says that violence against journalists is less frequent although threats are often reported.

The investigation into Azerbaijani dissident journalist Afgan Mukhtarly’s abduction in Tbilisi in 2017 has yet to produce any convincing results. Mukhtarly’s mysterious abduction and subsequent reappearance in police custody in Azerbaijan was shocking for Georgians, who have traditionally offered a refuge to dissidents from neighbouring countries,” Reporters without Borders say.

Georgia was included in the survey in 2013, when it ranked 100th in the 180 countries.

Speaking about Georgia’s neighbours, the survey says that the regional “heavyweights”, Russia and Turkey, continue to persecute independent media outlets.