Media Monitoring for 2020 Parliamentary Elections in Georgia

Media Monitoring for 2020 Parliamentary Elections in Georgia

April 23, 2021

The EU-funded monitoring of media coverage of 2020 parliamentary elections in Georgia is implemented by UNDP in partnership with three Georgian civil society organizations: the Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics, Internews Georgia and CRRC-Georgia.

It covers 43 different media outlets, including 12 television stations, 10 radio stations, 8 print newspapers and 13 online editions. 

In addition to electoral news reporting, media monitoring looks into the ways that Georgian media organizations connect with their readers on Facebook and examines how Georgian television stations are covering foreign influence on Georgian electoral processes.

A separate report prepared by CRRC-Georgia examines how Georgian TV stations see foreign influence on Georgian electoral processes.

Key findings:

  • Polarization is notable on television.
  • Predominantly negative coverage of all political actors is being registered in the press.
  • Accuracy remains problematic in newspapers, which often rely on unverified sources. Polarization is spreading to social media, including Facebook pages associated with political parties, officials and politicians.
  • Digital media are meeting a higher journalistic standard, covering a wider range of electoral players and refraining from abusive language. However, some online outlets favour the ruling party and discredit others.
  • Radio remains the most balanced and neutral medium, though it has the least influence of all media segments. It provides a relatively impartial account of events but fails to create exclusive editorial content.
  • All media segments are providing more diverse coverage of the electoral landscape, and less use is being made of abusive, discriminatory and gender-insensitive language. But analytical reporting of electoral programmes and social and economic issues of potential public interest remains a rarity.
  • All TV stations are following the role of foreign actors in the Georgian elections, with a focus on the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Russian Federation and the United States. Western countries and alliances are largely portrayed in a positive light.