Tbilisi, 4 September 2013 - The Charter of Journalistic Ethics, an independent, non-profit professional journalist association that promotes the values of freedom and democracy, has initiated a media code of conduct for the upcoming presidential election, scheduled for 27 October 2913. This project is conducted in cooperation with the Slovak media monitoring organization MEMO 98 and with the support of the Open Society Foundation Georgia (OSFG).
“We initiate this Code to help the media in their important task during the upcoming election. I am encouraged by the active participation of TV channels which decided to sign the Code,” said Zviad Koridze of the Charter, “ and our doors are open for others, who agree with the Code, to join.”
“Georgian citizens deserve to receive objective information about presidential candidates to make an informed choice at the ballot box. The Code is based on international standards and best practices and it is our contribution to improving professional standards in Georgia,” said Rasťo Kužel of MEMO 98.
“Our monitoring will provide feedback to citizens on which channels offer them objective information about the election,” said Georgi Mgeladze of the Charter. “We also hope that our results will be useful for journalists in their effort to provide objective coverage of the campaign.”
Media monitoring will be carried out from 2 September through 27 October using qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis and will focus on six television channels (GPB, Rustavi 2, Imedi TV, TV Maestro, TV Adjara and TV Kavkazia). Quantitative analysis identifies numeric measures or indicators that can be counted and analysed, such as the total amount of time devoted to monitored subjects and also the tone of their coverage (positive, negative, or neutral). Qualitative analysis will assess the performance of media against ethical and professional standards stipulated by the Code.
The MEMO 98 methodology of media monitoring has been proven and tested in some 47 countries. Given its comprehensive content-oriented approach, it is specially designed to provide in-depth feedback on pluralism and diversity in media reporting, including coverage of various subjects/themes. As such, the outcome of the monitoring is not be a set of empty and superficial data, but a detailed analysis and evaluation of the current level of political and social diversity in the media reporting, examined in the proper context.
The Charter and MEMO 98 will issue three interim and one comprehensive final report which will include recommendations for improvements.