Tbilisi. Election coverage has become more diverse in recent years, but analytical depth is lacking and some outlets resort to gender stereotypes. These are some of the findings released today by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) from the first 11 weeks of monitoring of mass media coverage of the upcoming parliamentary elections.
The monitoring is implemented by UNDP in partnership with three Georgian civil society organizations: the Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics, Internews Georgia, and CRRC-Georgia. It covers 43 different media outlets, including 12 television stations, 10 radio stations, 8 print newspapers, and 13 online editions. It also looks into the ways that Georgian media organizations connect with their readers on Facebook, analyzing what kind of electoral news gets most of the social media outreach, including through the Facebook pages associated with political parties, officials and politicians. A separate report prepared by CRRC-Georgia examines how Georgian television stations are covering foreign influence on Georgian electoral processes.
Media coverage of the Georgian political landscape has expanded to cover a wider range of political parties and actors than in past elections. However, the monitoring also showed that media coverage is largely shaped by the political agendas of the contending forces, focusing on only a few issues and failing to provide in-depth information on topics of potential public interest.
The interim reports released today cover 11 weeks of the pre-election period, from 15 June through 31 August.