Growing polarisation and political bias have been the general trends in the Georgian media since 2016. Televisions and online editions demonstrated significant improvement in reducing hate speech, which, however, remained a challenge for newspapers. Election coverage on the radios has not changed much in the last three years and stayed relatively balanced but superficial. Election coverage in all media segments lacked the presentation of electoral programmes and issue-oriented debates among competing electoral candidates.
These and other findings have been included in the final media monitoring reports of the 2018 Presidential Elections in Georgia, released on 13 December 2018 by the European Union (EU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and three Georgian civil society organizations – Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics, Internews – Georgia and Civic Development Institute (CDI).
"The electoral environment during the last elections in Georgia was competitive but rather tensed and polarised and this has influenced the society as well as the media. As in the past, the EU-supported media monitoring aimed to promote diverse and high-quality reporting that is critical for the voters to make an informed choice during elections," said Carlo Natale, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Georgia.
Munkhtuya Altangerel, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Georgia, stressed that a retrospective media analysis is a valuable resource for journalists, researchers and media users.
“Media monitoring is an excellent tool for journalists and media managers to examine their work and discover key areas for improvement. Analytical media monitoring is also valuable for the citizens that receives information from the media,” she said.
The 2018 election media monitoring kicked off on 18 June and continued through the runoff elections on 28 November covering thirty-seven TV, radio, print and online national media outlets.
It is the seventh election media monitoring round supported by the European Union and UNDP since 2010. The media monitoring reports are available online at: www.mediamonitor.ge