NGO’s Demand Public Discussion of the Draft Law on Public Broadcaster
On June 17, 2017, at a working meeting in the Parliament of Georgia, the Legal Issues Committee announced plans to initiate amendments to the Law on Broadcasting.
The working meeting and the process of developing the amendments were held without the involvement of the majority of specialists and interested public. The concluding meeting was attended by a large part of the management of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) and no members of its Board. Moreover, the amendments are planned to be initiated sooner than was previously stated, on June 20.
The proposed amendments significantly lower the standard of transparency and accountability of the GPB, increase the power of its management, weaken the Board, increase the risks of corruption, and weaken the mechanism of employee protection.
The proposed amendments diminish GPB’s value as a public good. If the amendments are passed, the GPB will lose its initial mission, and will be turned into a commercial TV channel devoid of public oversight.
We believe that the planned amendments are part of a larger process at the GPB, which has so far involved the decision of the management to shut down politically important programs that to cease cooperation with other media organizations in producing such shows.
Organizations signatory to this statement demand that the involved parties:
Halt the unplanned initiation of amendments to the Parliament; and Create a broad and participatory working group without delay, in order to discuss the planned amendments.
Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA)
Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia)
Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)
Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF)
Association of the Regional Broadcasters
Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics
Association of Small and Medium Telecom Operators
Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)