Number of media organizations and non-governmental groups called on the lawmakers on March 21 to speed up passing of media-related bills, including the one designed to make broadcasters' ownership transparent.
Two weeks ago senior lawmakers from the ruling party and parliamentary minority said "an agreement in principle" was reached on final version of draft of amendments to the law on broadcasting.
This draft, which has already been passed with its first reading in early December, if approved with its second and third readings, will ban ownership of broadcasters by offshore-registered firms. Citing the need of further consultations and improvement of the draft, particularly in respect of financial transparency of broadcasters it was decided back in December to postpone its final approval,
On March 11 senior lawmakers said that the final wording of the draft would have been formulated at a hearing of parliamentary committee on sector economy a week later, but no new development has been reported since then.
At a meeting organized by Open Society-Georgia Foundation (OSGF) on March 21, a group of media and civil society organizations made a joint appeal to the Parliament calling on lawmakers "to speed up consideration of draft laws related to media transparency."
The appeal calls on the Parliament to also discuss a separate media-related bill, which was proposed by a group of media and legal experts last year and which covers broad range of issues, including measures to ease access to public information – the problem over which many journalists are complaining increasingly.