Reacting to a controversial survey commissioned by Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC), Transparency International Georgia has called on GNCC “to ensure that approvals in the next round of broadcasting licenses include channels dedicated to serious news and educational programming.”
According to GNCC-commissioned survey most of the Georgian viewers prefer entertainment and music TV shows over news. GNCC, according to the law, has to define priorities for TV and radio broadcast license seekers based on findings of the public opinion survey. The commission is scheduled to approve new broadcast priorities, based on this survey, at a session on April 18.
“TI Georgia is concerned that the findings of an opinion poll commissioned by the GNCC will be used to justify the denial to issue broadcast licenses to applicants who want to air news and current affairs programs, political debates, investigative reporting, documentaries or other informative and educational content,” the watchdog group said in a statement on April 7.
“The Board of the GNCC should take into account the reality of the Georgian TV market, which offers many different entertainment programs but little journalistic competition and current affairs reporting outside the capital, when defining the regulator’s licensing priorities for the coming years.”
It also called the GNCC to make the detailed findings of the survey, including its methodology and raw data, publicly available on its website.