5 years have passed since the analog broadcast in Georgia went off the air. After a long wait the Ministry of Economy presented an action project, in the creation process of which non-governmental organizations have been actively involved. It’s due to their vision and proposed models that Georgia’s old TV broadcasters have survived.
Most people were concerned about the ongoing digitalization process, and watched their TVs full of regrets. The 30th of June 2015 was the day, when the majority of their acquisitions would not be able to keep up with modernity challenges. However, the population has not suffered a great loss. Purchasing and installation of special receivers was taken over by the state. There was a risk that the frequencies could be overlapped by stations of the neighboring countries. However, Georgia has timely fulfilled the obligation to the European Union and International Telecommunication Union ITU. There were no losses among regional broadcasters as well. As you know, translation of several regional broadcasters at the common frequency was provided by “Multiplex platforms”, installed in various parts of Georgia.
The modern era globalization has prompted important technical innovations in the world. Technical findings, as always, are easily adopted and introduced by larger countries; but for the majority of smaller countries this process is a painful experience. The pace of life is so speeded up that a person receives and transmits the information in seconds. Therefore, it is very important to have the fastest and most objective source of information. So, it is certain that the transformation of Georgian media needed to comply with these challenges.
Because of the small frequency range during the analog broadcasting, the same TV broadcasting facilities were operated in Georgia. Thus, a closed circle was created. Several leading media outlets, preferred by the population, were extremely monotonous. It can be said that they were copies of each other. The coverage of events was undertaken from similar perspectives and a consumer had no choice.
Public opinion, as well as TV and radio media are, naturally, easy to manage when forced to watch the imposed channels.
Information transmission capacity, transition of events from locations of their occurrence to the TV monitors of Georgian population was made easier and faster. Therefore, the TV broadcasters were left no more time to air edited (cut) news in their news broadcasts. Evening TV stories have now a few spectators. Basically, consumers can easily select desired programs to suitable times and record them in advance, or even watch some story in live broadcasting.
Natural coverage of events has reduced the capacities of creating and managing the population’s opinion. Instead of the video frames, edited by other people, we now watch the happenings live. Media space has become more pluralistic too. The number of independent TV channels has reached 40 in the last 5 years. Today you can turn on your TV and select the desired channel out of at least 5 channels of the same subjects. Competition and market stabilization led to significant increases in media revenues. The television is much more powerful and independent both in financial and editorial terms. Also available the statistics on which programs to what time and by what part of the population are being watched.
Today it really makes sense to buy an expensive TV. Our TV space already allows watching the HDTV format. The switch of television to digital broadcasting made also possible to include the social media in the traditional one. The today’s television is much more interactive. Use of social plug-ins allows instantaneous sharing of a given moment on one’s own social networking site, as well as adding comments while a show is on the air, so that these comments can be immediately read by the personnel working on the show.
5 years ago the news network was basically filled with stories of Tbilisi. Want to know what's going on in the regions? You could not imagine it before. A number of competing channels broadcasts now in one of the regions. Owing to the digital broadcasting we can even exhume the entire archive of the last year.
Today the population is less politicized. Besides the imposed channels lots of entertaining and informative ones have appeared there. Apolitical people have the opportunity to watch only the desired information instead of “swallowing” a massive flow of political news, which used to be so widespread during the analog broadcasting. Ultimately, we can say that the Soviet propaganda inertia that was so present by Georgian TV channels, was finally stopped and a way for free information was opened.