16th South Caucasus Media Conference - Strengthening media freedom and safety of journalists in a changing environment

Published in Society
Wednesday, 09 October 2019 08:54

The 16th South Caucasus Media Conference titled "Strengthening media freedom and safety of journalists in a changing environment" will be held in Tbilisi on 9-10 October 2019.

The conference will gather participants from Armenia and Azerbaijan and Georgia representing the public authorities, media, journalists' associations, civil society, academia, and international experts to discuss the issues of the regulatory frameworks, safe working environment, and new media technologies.

The event will offer four plenary sessions providing an overview of media freedom developments in the region, as well as focus on news creation, quality journalism and distribution of media in the age of digital reporting; the safety of journalists offline and online in times of political change; and the regulatory environment for media freedom and media pluralism.

The working languages will be English and Russian with simultaneous interpretation.

The event will take place at the Hotel Marriott Courtyard Tbilisi.

13th South Caucasus Media Conference: Multi-faceted challenges to free media and freedom of expression

Published in Society
Tuesday, 05 July 2016 15:27

July 6-7, in Tbilisi, the Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media will bring together international experts and journalists, government officials and academics for the 13th OSCE South Caucasus Media Conference. 

The participants will discuss fundamental media freedom issues, such as safety and security offline and online, content regulation, and the challenges for new and traditional media. 

The President of Georgia attended the Media Conference

Published in Politics
Friday, 17 June 2016 16:55

The President of Georgia H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili has participated in the annual conference of the European Journalism Training Association, which focused on “Media Literacy - New Realities”. The Head of State has addressed the audience and spoken about the role of Media in the development of democratic society. As stated by the President of Georgia the prerequisite of the democratic country is the independent media.
“We are in a very important part and the process of our state development, of the democratic development, and lots of this depends upon media, upon the independent media. Media has actually played an important part in really crafting and developing the society. Georgians are very interested in Media; they are very interested in politics. Actually, they hate us - politicians, but they love media; they love media reporters; they love the questions that they give.
They are very much into politics and they are very much into discussions about how our society develops, and actually, that’s what has guaranteed democratic development of our country”, - was stated by the President of Georgia.  Giorgi Margvelashvili has emphasized that having communication with media, also means that you have contact with society.
“Media sources really bring you what society thinks. They have this possibility to talk with you and give you the information what society thinks. As a politician, you can always use communication resources to communicate with society, but you never know what they really think, unless you have a person who in a mystical way brings this issue to you. Therefore, from a perspective of audience, from a perspective of respondent, I really look at journalist as a person who is giving me information about the most crucial issues that society thinks.  
I was always impressed, actually, by the level of Georgian media; by the level of how our media works, how well-educated our journalists are, how they are prepared for the interview. It is always impressive to interact with Georgian media and actually, this is what makes democratic process work”, - was stated by the President of Georgia. EJTA Tbilisi 2016 is the annual conference of the European Journalism Training Association that was hosted by the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs for the first time in Georgia. The conference involves the Georgian, European and American journalists, as well as media researchers and media representatives.
As a part of the conference, Friedman Prize Award Ceremony will be held. The Pulitzer Prize winner Mr. Joshua Friedman will present an award prize to winners.

OSCE Representative encourages South Caucasus Media Conference Participants

Published in Society
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 09:53

Digitalization creates opportunities to strengthen media freedom and pluralism, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović said today at the opening of the 12th OSCE South Caucasus Media Conference in Tbilisi, Georgia.

“The new ways of communication provide more opportunities to access information and express ourselves more freely,” Mijatović said. “Digitalization, along with growing role of Internet, also fosters the free flow of information, diversity and a pluralistic media environment.”

The conference brought together media policy and broadcasting experts, civil society and government representatives from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, along with experts from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Germany and Slovenia, to exchange experiences concerning the digital transformation in the region and its effect on free media and free expression.

The discussions focused on the role of regulatory authorities in a digital environment and the impact of the digital switchover on media pluralism.

“The digital switchover of broadcasting systems is an important aspect of the transformation,” Mijatović said. “It can expand and foster media pluralism and diversity, given that governments fulfill their international obligations and introduce necessary media policy changes covering the switchover.”

The participants also shared and discussed views on the latest media freedom developments in the region. As a result of the discussions, a list of recommendations will soon be published. 

During her visit, Mijatović also met with the Chair of Parliament David Usupashvili, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Khatuna Totladze, and civil society representatives to discuss media freedom issues in Georgia.

The Representative reiterated her call to elect the remaining two members of the Public Service Broadcaster’s Supervisory Board to make it fully operational and complete investigations into illegal activities that impede media freedom, such as the surveillance incident with Rustavi 2 channel in 2014. She also noted the challenges faced by some private broadcasters stemming from ownership disputes and allegations on external pressure over the trend of editorial policies used to dismiss political programs.

Further, Mijatović noted the positive developments in drafting of the Freedom of Information Law with active participation of NGOs and encouraged the authorities to facilitate its adoption.

“Georgia is among the few OSCE participating States in transition that has achieved substantial and internationally recognized progress on free expression and free media, Mijatović said. “However, this progress should be preserved and enhanced to maintain a diverse, vibrant and pluralistic media landscape. The role of media as a key vehicle for democratic development should be respected at all times.”

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