Decline in media freedom in Georgia took place in the context of broader political crisis that led to crackdowns on the media last November, the rights group Freedom House said in its annual survey.
Georgia, according to the Press Freedom in 2007: A Year of Global Decline, is categorized as partly free.
The survey says that Georgia’s score of media freedom moved from 57 to 60 “to reflect increased polarization of the media environment, the forced closure of the pro-opposition Imedi television station, and the suspension of all broadcast media during a temporary state of emergency” during the November events.
The survey provides a numerical rating from 0 (the most free) to 100 (the least free) for each country, and categorizes each country’s level of press freedom as “Free,” “Partly Free,” or “Not Free” based on its numerical rating.
The survey notes that information about media owners in Georgia “is not transparent and often journalists and reporters do not know the real owner of the media company for which they work.”
It also notes that the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) “was criticized by media observers for its non-transparent operations and licensing procedures.”