Regional TV Companies Cover Political Issues in Superficial Manner, reads the survey of regional news programs carried out by Internews Georgia with the support of The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).
Researchers conducted monitoring of 20 regional channels within the period of July 2 to November 11, 2012.
According to the findings in the pre-election period regional TV companies essentially reported on the United National Movement and the Georgian Dream coalition and in the aftermath of elections showed concern into the aforementioned two subjects. The share of positive reporting on the local self government was rather big too.
According to the report Batumi-based TV company Channel 25 is considered as one of the most balanced channels. “Journalists strictly tended to mark off facts from opinions. Their texts demonstrated no bias to any monitored subject. Along with the developments in the region Kutaisi-based TV company Rioni devoted a fair amount of time to the events ongoing nationwide. Kvemo Kartli TV news programs lacked balance, journalists showed bias, negative approach was evident in regard to the Georgian Dream coalition.
Balance-related problem was observed when monitoring Zugdidi-based TV company Odishi. According to the survey journalist’s loyal and sometimes partial approach was evident in relation to the former authorities and UNM. No drawbacks were observed when monitoring Akhaltsikhe-based Channel 9, Poti-based 9th Wave and Telavi-based Tanamgzavri.
Within the monitoring period Gori-based Trialeti and Lagodekhi-based LTV demonstrated negative approach to UNM and former authorities. Journalists’ biased questions and subjective evaluations were identified too. Positive reporting was revealed when monitoring TV companies Guria, Zari and Channel 12. TV company Zari. Biased evaluations were voiced on Zari TV. When reporting on the UNM’s visit to recently rehabilitated school building the journalist said: “Pupils could not help showing excitement over the school rehabilitation.”
According to the report released by Internews Georgia TV companies Guria and Gurjaani became fairly balanced.
Strictly positive tone was attached to reporting on the local self government and government by Chiatura-based TV company Imervizia. Journalists, according to the survey, demonstrated bias. Balance-related problem was observed at Borjomi-based TV company Borjomi.
Researchers pointed out that regional TV companies covered events in a superficial manner and limited themselves to delivering only basic information. No thorough study into the issues was provided even at the level of comments and criticizing questions.