The mass media in Georgia refers to mass media outlets based in the Republic of Georgia. Television, magazines, and newspapers are all operated by both state-owned and for-profit corporations which depend on advertising, subscription, and other sales-related revenues. The Constitution of Georgia guarantees freedom of speech. Georgia is the only country in its immediate neighborhood where the press is not deemed unfree.[1] As a country in transition, the Georgian media system is under transformation.

The media environment of Georgia remains the freest and most diverse in the South Caucasus,[2] despite the long-term politicisation and polarisation affecting the sector. The political struggle for control over the public broadcaster left it without a direction in 2014.[3]

A large percentage of Georgian households have a television, and most have at least one radio. Most of Georgia's media companies are headquartered in its capital and largest city, Tbilisi.


Independent media blossomed in Georgia in the post-Soviet period, with 600 newspapers registered between 1990 and 2000, starting with 7 Days and Resonance. The TV channel Rustavi 2, established in 1994, brought editorial freedom on air. Media soon become one of the most trusted institutions in the country (with a 73% approval rating it was only second to the Georgian Orthodox Church in 2003).[4]

Government pressures on the free media increased together with their criticism of corruption and abuse of power. Rustavi 2 was twice threatened with closure, the prominent TV anchor Giorgi Sanaia was killed, and several other journalists were attacked.[4]

The media had a big role in the coverage of the rigged Georgian parliamentary election, 2003, leading up to the Rose Revolution. The numbers released by the Central Election Commission were openly contradicted by exit polls and parallel vote tabulations reported by the Georgian media.[4] After the Rose Revolution a new legislation was introduced that guaranteed free speech and decriminalised defamation.[5]

With the coming to power of Mikhail Saakashvili, the government took on the news agenda. Two TV stations and several newspapers closed down, while other channels were taken over by government-friendly private business groups. Journalists increasingly resorted to self-censorship. Media/government relations worsened in the following years, with the 2007 closure of the critical Imedi TV station among political protests, as well as the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. In 2009 press freedom was among the top political issues in Georgia, with a battle between government and opposition for control over the public service broadcaster and the denunciation of pro-governmental media outlets, which also included various forms of intimidation of journalists (e.g. pickets and "corridors of shame"). Saakashvili later pledged to move toward a “more open and unbiased” media landscape and to upheld the independence of the public service broadcaster.[4]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (February 2016)

Legislative framework

The media legislation of Georgia is deemed progressive and liberal. The Constitution of Georgia protects press freedom.[5] It states at Article 19:

Every individual has the right to freedom of speech, thought, conscience, religion and belief; The persecution of a person on the account of his/her speech, thought, religion or belief as well as the compulsion to express his/her opinion about them shall be impermissible; These rights may not be restricted unless the exercise of these rights infringes upon the rights of other individuals.

And at Article 24:

Everyone has the right to freely receive and impart information, to express and impart his/her opinion orally, in writing or by in any other means. Mass media shall be free. Censorship shall be impermissible; Neither the state nor particular individuals shall have the right to monopolise mass media or means of dissemination of information;

The exercise of the rights enumerated in the first and second paragraphs of the present Article may be restricted by law on such conditions which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of ensuring state security, territorial integrity or public safety, for preventing of crime, for the protection of the right and dignity of others, for prevention of the disclosure of the information acknowledged as confidential or for ensuring the independence and impartiality of justice.

The Law on Freedom of Speech and Expression (2004) recognises and protects the right to freedom of expression as an inherent and supreme human value and forbids censorship. It guarantees the rights of Georgia residents as well as media institutions (newspapers, publishers, and the Public Broadcaster). It includes sources confidentiality and court guarantees. Anyone can apply to a court “to prevent a violation of a right guaranteed and protected under this law” or “to eradicate the consequences of the violation” (Article 6). The burden of proof lies with the initiator of the restriction and not with the involved journalist.[5]

Defamation in Georgia is decriminalised since 2004 - the first country in the Caucasus region to do so.[6] The law foresees that public figures should accept much more criticism than ordinary citizen, given their responsibilities towards citizens and the influence on society of their decision.[5]

The 1999, Civil Code includes a Freedom of Information Section that guarantees access (immediate, or within a 10-days deadline) to public information that is not a state secret.[5] Implementation remains problematic. The post-2012 governments have pledged to improve access, in line with the Open Government Partnership. Public agencies are now required to establish websites, publish information online, and accept electronic requests for information. Most of them complied by 2014. Challenges remain in unifying and expanding the open data initiatives.[3]

The Law on Broadcasting regulates the allocation of licenses for radio frequencies and set the legal basis for the Georgian Public Broadcaster.[5] 2013 amendments universalised the "must carry/must offer" principle, preventing cable operators from politically suppressing certain TV channels from their offers. This was positively received by the OSCE RFoM.[7]

The Georgian Tax Code exempts from VAT the printing and distribution costs of the print press.[5][8]

Other relevant laws for press and media freedom include the Law on State Secret and Law on Copyright and Adjacent Rights.[5]

Status and self-regulation of journalists

In December 2009, the journalists gather by the Civil Society Institute adopted a Georgian Charter of Journalism Ethics and established the Georgian Charter of Journalism Ethics Association.[9]

In 2009, the Georgian National Communications Commission adopted the Broadcasters’ Code of Conduct, as required by the 2004 Law on Broadcasting, which defines it as “a normative act, passed by the Commission … determining the rules of conduct for license holders.”[10]

The Georgian Public Broadcaster has a progressive Code of Conduct, as well as an ombudsman to receive viewers complaints.[10]

The Media Council was established in 2005 by nine national and 11 regional media organisations, three NGOs and individual journalists. It was tasked with monitoring and enforcing the Journalists Code of Ethics as well as reviewing complaints. However, it failed to establish cross-media ethical standards. Founding organisations soon refused to pay their membership fees.[10]

An alternative Press Council was founded in 2005 by four leading newspapers which had denounced the Media Council launch as an attempt at censorship. The Press Council is equally dysfunctional.[10]

In 2010, the OSCE RFoM intervened to recall Georgian journalists of the professional duties they have committed themselves to, after a controversial fake report by Imedi TV, condemning "irresponsible journalism and the impact it may have on media freedom and security". Imedi's report, claiming that President Saakashvili had been assassinated and Russian troops were close to Tbilisi, was reported to have spread panic, while carrying no warning of its fictitious nature (see 2010 Georgian news report hoax). The report had been swiftly condemned by the GNCC. According to Mijatovic, "Broadcasters and other media outlets ought to behave responsibly and not mislead the public by spreading false information. This is of particular importance in Georgia and other countries whose societies may be more prone to alarm due to recent armed conflicts."[11]

Media outlets

Georgia has many print outlets, but with very limited circulation numbers.

Print media

Main article: List of newspapers in Georgia (country)

Newspapers in Georgia provide pluralist views to the public, have loyal readerships and are the main source of information for around one fourth of the citizens.[12]

In 2010, there were 502 registered newspapers in Georgia: 376 national ones (registered with the Department of Statistics in Tbilisi) and 126 regional ones. Of these, only 28 Tbilisi-based and 61 peripheral ones had regular publications. 24 Saati (24 Hours) and Rezonansi (Resonance) are the most well-reputed. Other press outlets include the dailies Alia, Akhali Taoba, Sakartvelos Respublika, Mtavari Gazeti, Versia and Asaval-Dasavali (with different professional standards) as well as the best-seller weekly Kviris Palitra.[13] Most newspapers are based in the capital and Tbilisi-based news outlets are also distributed in the peripheral regions.[12]

Regional print media outlets are mainly weeklies, including Batumi-based Batumelebi, the Kutaisi-based Akhali Gazeti, PS, Guria News, Kakhetis Khma, Spektri and Samkhretis Karibche. Minority-language newspapers include Russian-language ones (Svobodnaya Gruziya, Golovinski Prospect, Argumenti i Facti), as well as the bilingual Komsomolskaya Pravda v Gruzii and Ajaria. Armenian-language newspapers include Javakhk, Arshadius and the bilingual Samkhretis Karibche. Azerbaijani-language newspapers include Gurjistan, Hairat, and the bimonthly bilingual Timer published by the Civil Development Agency.

English-language magazines The Messenger,[14] The Financial, Georgia Today,[15] The Georgian Times,[13] and Georgian Business Week cater mostly to the international community in Tbilisi.[12]

Cheap and glossy magazines are on the rise. They offer a mix of gossip, entertainment and politics. Titles include Sarke, Tbiliselebi, Gza and Raitingi, as well localised versions of international outlets (such as Cosmopolitan Georgia) as well as Tskheli Shokoladi and Liberal (by M-Publishing).[12]

Circulation data are not released by publishers. Average circulations were at 4,500-5,000 for dailies in Tbilisi, 2,000 for the regional press, and 25,000-30,000 for weeklies.[12]


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (February 2016)

Radio broadcasting

Main articles: Radio Georgia and Europa Plus

Tbilisi radio stations include Imedi Radio (105.9FM), Fortuna, and Radio 105. Imedi mainly concentrates on news and commentary, but broadcasts pop music as well, particularly at night-time.

In 2010, there were 27 radio stations in Tbilisi and 9 in the other parts of the country. Leading Tbilisi-based stations include Fortuna, Fortuna Plus, Imedi (focusing on news and commentary), Utsnobi, Avto Radio, Ar Daidardo and Green Wave, with niche audiences and a mixed programming of news, talk shows, music and entertainment. All but Utsnobi air throughout the country. Abkhazetis Khma broadcasts in Georgian and Russian in the breakaway region of Abkhazia.[16]

Regional stations include Dzveli Kalaki, Hereti, Harmonia and Atinati (gathered together as the Georgian Radio Network), competing with Tbilisi-based radios for local audiences. In 2010 there were two community-based radios, in Marneuli and Nori, that broadcast three hours per day via loudspeaker.[16]

The Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) operates two radio channels: Sakartvelos Radio – Pirveli Radio and Radio Ori – Kartuli Radio. They lag behind in listeners' rankings.[16] The GPB also operated the international channel Radio Georgia, which closed down in 2005.

Foreign radios that are re-broadcast in Georgia include Radio France International, America's National Public Radio and BBC World on Radio GIPA, and Russia's Europa Plus. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty airs four hours a day of locally produced news and analysis.[16]

Most radio stations are also available online. 17% of Georgians say they get information mainly from the radio.[16]

Television broadcasting

Main article: Television in Georgia (country)

Television in Georgia was introduced in 1956, when Georgia was still known as the Georgian SSR. Almost all Georgians (95%) got their political news from television in 2010. The country hosts 40 TV stations, of which nine are in Tbilisi and 31 in the regions. Four stations have national coverage (Georgian Public Broadcaster Channel I, Imedi, Rustavi 2 and Ajara); three of them are Tbilisi-based. Viewers prefer Rustavi 2, followed by Imedi TV and GPB's First Channel. Other major television broadcasters 2008 include Second Channel, Maestro, Mze TV, Mzera Television, TV 9, Kavkasia TV. Two new stations were launched in 2006: TV Sakartvelo, financed by the Ministry of Defence to cover the defence sector, and Alania, broadcasting in Russian language to the breakaway South Ossetia region.[17]

Georgia lacks transparency in private ownership of TV stations, including for the main Rustavi 2 and Imedi stations. In 2010, 90% of Imedi was owned by the Georgian Media Holding, a subsidiary of Rakeen Investment, and managed by President Saakashvili's former minister of economy. Balance and neutrality are missing from news coverage, with stations divided between pro-government and pro-opposition camps.[17] The state of ownership transparency was improved by the 2011 amendments to the Law on Broadcasting, requiring the full disclosure of ownership structures, and banning ownership by offshore companies. Concentration concerns remain unanswered. Ownership changes in 2012-2015 have reduced polarisation among TV channels.[3]

The advertising market in Georgia is not large enough to sustain all TV stations, which rely on public or private subsidies. Rustavi 2, the most viewed channel, leads in advertising revenues; its airtime is distributed by Media House, which also acts as intermediary for three other Tbilisi-based stations.[17] 2013 amendments to the Broadcasting Law require broadcasters to disclose funding sources to the GNCC.[3]

Advertisers in Georgia have traditionally favoured pro-governmental media and shunned the print media. In 2014 the Finance Ministry was criticised for requiring the TV audience measurement company TVMR GE to disclose the location of monitored households.[3]

A law in October 2014 required private broadcasters to allot 90 seconds of airtime every three hours for "social advertising" (public service announcements), although the provision was criticised as vague and costly, and giving too wide control powers to the GBCC.[3]

Digital switchover in Georgia was planned for the 2012-2015 period. The government subsidized digital receivers for less-capable households.[3]

Independent TV production studios in Georgia include TBC TV, Prime Time, Formula Creativi and Utsnobi Studio, providing films and programmes for both public and private channels. The Studios “Reporter” and “Monitor” produced controversial documentaries on the crimes after the Rose Revolution and the misuse of funds at GPB. Former Rustavi-2 employees founded the GNS studio, specialised in producing investigative documentaries, aired on Maestro.[17]


Main article: Cinema of Georgia

The cinema industry started in Georgia in 1908. In 100 years, over 800 films, 600 documentaries and 300 animated movies were produced in the country. The full catalogue is available online at and was showcased in a special exhibition at Cannes Film Festival in 2008 in the occasion of the centenary.[26]

The late Soviet period was the most prolific for the Georgian cinema. The political and economic turmoil of the 1990s instead led to the collapse of film production. Soviet Georgia's main studio, Gruziya Film, was inherited by J.S.C Georgian Film, the main private film production studio in the country. All previously state-owned film studios have been privatised. Independent movie studios in Georgia include Sanguko Films, Film Studio – Remka, Georgian Film and Vars - studio.[26]

The government has lately tried to attract foreign investments in the film industry by promoting the country as "one of the most film-friendly and competitive production destinations in the world".[27] A law on state promotion of Georgian national cinematography was adopted in 2000, establishing the state-funded Georgian National Film Center agency under the Ministry of Culture to facilitate industry development, subsidising domestic productions and promoting Georgian movies abroad.[26]


Main article: Telecommunications in Georgia

The TLC sector in Georgia comprised 6.88% of the GDP, mostly due to mobile telephony (63%), followed by fixed telephony (29%) and broadcasting (7.7%).[29]

The fixed telephony, internet and IP television in Georgia is mainly operated by the Silknet, New Net and MagtiCom controlled 90% of the market in 2018. By the end of 2008, there were 618,000 fixed telephone users in Georgia.[29] In urban areas there are 20 telephones per 100 people, and in rural areas there are four telephones per 100 people.

There are three cellular telephone networks: MagtiCom LTD,[30] Silknet JSC,[31] and Mobitel Georgia (Russian Beeline group).[32] The cellular network market counts more than 3,000,000 registered customers in total (the commercially active number is not known). Coverage extends to over 98% of the populated territory as of 2010;[33]

Fiber-optic lines connect the major cities and Georgia and Bulgaria are connected with fiber-optic line between Poti and Varna (Bulgaria).


Main article: Internet in Georgia

Internet penetration in Georgia long remained concentrated in the main towns, due to high prices and lack of landline infrastructure.[34] Around 49% of Georgians had internet access in 2014.[3] However, by 2023 the number of internet users increased to 89% according to National Statistics Office of Georgia.[35]

Internet is free of government control. Temporary restrictions have been imposed during the 2008 Russo-Georgian war. The Georgian blogging community has been growing (, together with internet forums ( and social media ([34]

Internet-based news media have been slow to appear., operated by the United Nations Association of Georgia, was launched in 2001 as a multi-language (Georgian, English, Russian) fact-based online newspaper. (Internews, 2005), and are other news aggregators.[34] In 2019, Caucasian Journal was launched in Tbilisi as the first media targeting the South Caucasian region.[36]

Internet-based news media includes following websites:

Media organisations

Media agencies

News agencies in Georgia include InterPressNews, Prime News, GBC and Pirveli. They are all private, profit-making societies based in Tbilisi. RegInfo is an agency based in the Kvemo Kartli region. International agencies present in the country include Agence France Presse, Reuters Bureau, Bloomberg, Itar Tass, Associated Press.[37]

Trade unions

Georgia lacks an active professional association of the media workers. The Georgian Federation of Journalists, heir of the Soviet-era Union of Journalists, is currently dysfunctional. Donor-funded trade associations were set-up in 2005-2007, including the Georgian Regional Media Association and the Georgian Association of Regional Television Broadcasters, but their influence remains limited. They lobby against intimidation and violence against journalists, rejection of public information requests and in favour of legislative changes to serve interests of the regional media.[9]

Regulatory authorities

Main article: Georgian National Communications Commission

The Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC), established in 2000 under the 1990 Law on Telecommunications and Post, is and independent government agency tasked with regulating the TLC sector and issuing licenses for radio frequencies through competitive tenders. It then monitors the licensees' activities and works as an arbitrator for litigations between license holders and consumers. The GNCC also prevents the formation of monopolies and preserves an equal and fair competitive environment, facilitating the introduction of new technologies. The GNCC has own resources thanks to licensing and regulation fees. Its members are appointed by the President of Georgia for a 6-years term.[38]

The GNCC has been criticised for lack of independence and of transparency in its operations and licensing procedures, particularly in relation with traditional media. Pro-governmental channels have been allowed to operate without licenses, and the process of licensing has been seen as politically influenced. A new chair of the GNCC was elected in 2014, after the previous two chairs had been criticised for conflict of interest.[3] The OSCE RFoM called again in 2014 for "full autonomy" to be granted to the GNCC "to ensure the efficiency and impartiality of its work", recalling its importance in the wake of the digitalisation process in order to enhance pluralism in the broadcasting section.[22]

In 2011, the GNCC renewed the broadcast licenses, after a 3-year delay. In 2012 the Georgian Constitutional Court ruled that TV stations would not need a license to broadcast via cable, but only via radio frequencies and satellite.[3]

Censorship and media freedom

In the 2016 and 2017, World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders Georgia was in the 64th place.[39] In the 2015 Georgia came in 69th place out of 180 countries, between Mauritius (68th) and Hong Kong (70th). Previously this was 84th place in 2014 and 100th place in 2013.[40] They stated:

After electoral turmoil in 2012 and 2013, Georgia has begun to reap the fruits of the reforms undertaken in the recent years, even if political rivalry has sometimes hampered their implementation. Transparency about media ownership has improved, although news outlets are politically polarized and still not very independent.

Legal cases are rarely brought against journalists in Georgia, but legislation often remains unevenly implemented.[3]

Attacks and threats against journalists

See also: List of journalists killed in Europe § Georgia

Violence and harassment against journalists have been reported in Georgia, particularly during electoral periods. Although they are in decline, journalists still face intimidations.[41]

Political interferences

Interferences from both the majority and the opposition camps in the media field have happened repeatedly in Georgia, leading to a growing polarisation and politicisation. Polarisation in the television sector has recently declined, with broadcasters focusing more on competition on contents. The 2014 local elections were covered rather unbiasedly, compared to the 2012 and 2013 national votes. Yet, challenges persist. Governmental officials have been reported as undermining legal protections of the media through hostile rhetoric.[3]

Ownership battle for Rustavi 2

In August 2015, the Tbilisi City Court ordered an asset freeze against the main private TV channel, Rustavi 2, pending a civil lawsuit by the businessman Kibar Khalvashi (a supporter of the Georgian Dream party[58]), aiming to recover shares he claims to have been forced to surrender in 2006.[59] Rustavi-2 had changed ownership around 20 times between 2004 and 2012, according to Transparency International Georgia, often in controversial deals with businessmen close to the former President Saakashvili.[60] The viability of the channel, which is currently the only major TV channel close to the opposition United National Movement, was jeopardised by the judicial decision, which was deemed disproportionate and at risk of negatively affecting media pluralism in Georgia - besides the job security of Rustavi-2's journalists - as well as at risk of politicisation.[61][62] The Independent Association of Georgian Journalists (IAGJ) and the European Journalists' Federation have expressed concern about the appointment of a new pro-governmental management at Rustavi-2, asking the Tbilisi Court "not to interfere on Rustavi 2’s editorial independence."[63] The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media equally called upon Georgian Courts not to encroach on editorial independence.[64] Dunja Mijatović intervened again in 2017 after a Supreme Court decision on the ownership dispute.[65]

The Georgian Dream government has clarified that it sees the case purely as an ownership dispute and that it will take no part in it, leaving its closure in the hands of the judiciary.[66] The case of Rustavi-2 caused street protests.[67]

Internet censorship and surveillance

Listed as engaged in selective Internet filtering in the political and conflict/security areas and as no evidence of filtering in the social and Internet tools areas by the OpenNet Initiative (ONI) in November 2010.[68]

Access to Internet content in Georgia is largely unrestricted as the legal constitutional framework, developed after the 2003 Rose Revolution, established a series of provisions that should, in theory, curtail any attempts by the state to censor the Internet. At the same time, these legal instruments have not been sufficient to prevent limited filtering on corporate and educational networks. Georgia’s dependence on international connectivity makes it vulnerable to upstream filtering, evident in the March 2008 blocking of YouTube by Türk Telekom.[68]

The Georgian National Communications Commission in general does not much to fight online copyright infringement, and some specific decisions are thought to have been taken for political reasons. One example is the blocking in 2011 of websites hosting a film about the Georgian-Russian war.[69]

According to the 2014 Freedom of the Net report by Freedom House, restrictions on online content were decreasing, there were no indications of online censorship or blocking and no cases of activists or journalists questioned or arrested for online activities.[69]


In a presentation at the 2nd South Caucasus Media Conference free-lance journalist Eka Kvesitadze said that Georgian "journalists are on friendly terms with high ranking officials and have actually made a practice of taking instructions from them on how to cover various events".[70]

According to most Media Sustainability Index panelists Georgian journalists practice self-censorship in order to avoid offending political or religious powers (the Georgian Orthodox Church).[71]

Some journalists and professionals practice self-censorship on the internet for professional ethics. Some civil servants do the same because of pressure from their bosses.[69]

On 27 March 2012, Revaz Sakevarishvili resigned denouncing interference in his work as editor-in-chief of Forbes Georgia by Gagik Eghizaryan, one of the two co-owners of the magazine publishing house. According to Sakevarishvili the publisher wanted to avoid offending politician Gela Bezhuashvili.[72]

Media ownership


Transparency of media ownership refers to the public availability of accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date information about media ownership structures. A legal regime guaranteeing transparency of media ownership makes possible for the public as well as for media authorities to find out who effectively owns, controls and influences the media as well as media influence on political parties or state bodies.

In 2011, following a campaign run by Georgian civil society, with the support of local and international organisations and donors, the law regulating ownership transparency for broadcast media was amended with the aim to introduce stricter transparency requirements as well as financial transparency rules and ban offshore companies from owning broadcast licenses or authorization.[73]

Before 2011, the lack of media ownership transparency had been one of the major concern in the media system in Georgia.[74] Indeed, the leading national broadcasters, including the public service ones, were widely perceived as agent of the government disseminating biased pro-governmental information and their actual owners were concealed behind offshore companies.[74] However, media-specific rules on media ownership transparency only exist for the broadcast sector, thus data on print and online media should be found through provisions regulating corporate law, making the process more complicated [74]

As a result of the reform of the Law on Broadcasting occurred in 2011, broadcast media, which includes around 60 media outlets, are obliged to disclose data on their ownership structure. This includes information on the size of shareholdings, beneficial owners and people with indirect interests and control. Making public information on offshore companies was one of the central amendment to the law. Information must be reported to the media authority, namely the Georgian National communications Council (GNCC) and directly to the public.[74]

A 2014 report by Transparency International on transparency of media ownership of broadcast, print and online media outlets in Georgia found out that, thanks to the 2011 reform, the situation has improved and media ownership is now largely transparent.[74] The amended law contributed to make public the connections of some of the country’s leading media outlets with the government and other political groups and controlled through opaque shell entities.[75] One of the persisting challenges is the lack of available information about weather media owners hold positions in governmental bodies; indeed, there is not a unique list of government officials and only senior officials are obliged to make a public declaration on their assets.[74]

Concentration and pluralism

Legal framework

Art. 60 of Georgian Law on Broadcasting states that:

A person may possess independently or with an interdependent person no more than one terrestrial broadcasting license for television and one for radio in any one service area.

— Art. 60, Georgian Law on Broadcasting[76]

Service areas are currently ten[77] and are the subject of article 40 of the same statute:

According to the decision of GNCC, the territory of Georgia is divided into terrestrial broadcasting service areas.

— Art. 40, Georgian Law on Broadcasting[76]

Market concentration for telecom operators is regulated by the Law on Electronic Communications. Specialised terrestrial TV and radio stations, all cable and satellite broadcasters, print and online media are free from these restrictions.[78][79] However, in 2015 digital terrestrial TV broadcasting was introduced: according to the panelist of IREX Media Sustainability Index the switch run smoothly without political interference.[80] Since transparency regulations do not apply to online media it is more difficult to identify owners[81] and potential concentrations.

National media

According to a 2014 report by Transparency International Georgia, "the level of concentration of ownership in the media sector [was] not a reason for concern".[82] In 2015 Freedom House noted that "strong ties remain between media outlets and political parties or interests".[83] In 2016 IREX similarly noted that in previous years, "Georgian mainstream news outlets have re-affiliated along various political lines".[84] Also, there are cases in which sources of funding are unclear.[85]

Georgian Public Broadcaster operates First Channel and Second Channel. Its independence has been questioned and in 2012 Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili considered and then retracted a merger with TV9, a commercial station launched by his wife.[86]

Rustavi 2 is the most successful private television broadcasting company in Georgia and accounts for almost half of all revenues in the broadcasting sector, but the only other channel owned by the company is the entertainment station Comedy Channel, so there should be no concentration problems. However Rustavi, 2 was subject to an ownership battle, involving courts.[87] In 2016 IREX claimed that real owners were dubious.[88]

The only large multimedia holding is Palitra, owning Radio Palitra, Palitra TV, Kvilis Palitra newspaper, Interpress News, Biblusi book stores, etc.[89][90]

Regional media

According to a 2014 report by Transparency International Georgia, the "level of market concentration in the regions [was] not a matter of concern".[79]

"There are 32 TV stations in Georgia that hold terrestrial broadcasting licenses, out of which 21 stations broadcast in different regions of Georgia (excluding Tbilisi.) Additionally, 24 companies hold licenses for radio broadcasting in different regions of Georgia."[91]

Online media

A 2015 report by Transparency International Georgia noticed several interconnections between different online media.[92] In particular some anti-Western media outlets are associated with Eurasia Institute and Eurasian Choice organisations and have Russian connections.[93] Also, some online media outlets are directly connected with the Cabinet.[94] Some opposition website were founded after United National Movement lost the parliamentary election of 2012, together with non-governmental and civil society organisations that owns them and most of them have direct connections with the members of the UNM.[95]


  1. ^ Freedom House, Freedom of the Press - 2016, Retrieved: 4 May 2016
  2. ^,-Ukraine-improves-position Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Freedom House, Georgia 2015 Press Freedom report
  4. ^ a b c d Maia Mikashavidze, Georgia #Introduction Archived 2016-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, EJC Media Landscapes, circa 2010
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Maia Mikashavidze, Georgia #Media legislation Archived 2016-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, EJC Media Landscapes, circa 2010
  6. ^ "Libel and freedom of information in South Caucasus focus of OSCE conference in Tbilisi - OSCE".
  7. ^ "OSCE media freedom representative presents legal review of Georgian broadcasting law amendments - OSCE".
  8. ^ Chapter 33, Article 230, point1/ u
  9. ^ a b Maia Mikashavidze, Georgia #Trade Unions Archived 2016-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, EJC Media Landscapes, circa 2010
  10. ^ a b c d Maia Mikashavidze, Georgia #Accountability systems Archived 2016-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, EJC Media Landscapes, circa 2010
  11. ^ "OSCE media freedom representative calls on Georgian broadcasters to abide by ethical standards of journalism - OSCE".
  12. ^ a b c d e Maia Mikashavidze, Georgia #Print Media Archived 2016-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, EJC Media Landscapes, circa 2010
  13. ^ a b "Georgia Profile". BBC. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  14. ^ "Georgia". Worldpress. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  15. ^ "Georgia Today ReBranded: Quality Designed with our Readers in Mind!". Georgia Today.
  16. ^ a b c d e Maia Mikashavidze, Georgia #Radio Archived 2016-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, EJC Media Landscapes, circa 2010
  17. ^ a b c d e f g Maia Mikashavidze, Georgia #Television Archived 2016-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, EJC Media Landscapes, circa 2010
  18. ^ "OSCE media freedom representative welcomes reforms of public television financing in Spain, Georgia - OSCE".
  19. ^ Article 15, Georgian 2004 Law on Broadcasting
  20. ^ "Urgent need to guarantee public broadcaster's independence - Reporters without borders". RSF.
  21. ^ "OSCE media freedom representative calls on Georgian authorities to ensure effective work of public broadcaster - OSCE".
  22. ^ a b "Georgia should uphold its high media freedom standards, says OSCE media freedom representative - OSCE".
  23. ^ Ian Traynor (2 November 2001). "Georgia on the boil after police raid TV station". The Guardian.
  24. ^ Georgian Public Defender, Parliamentary Report on State of Human Rights, 2007
  25. ^ "Appointment of new head of news exacerbates situation at Imedi TV - Reporters without borders". RSF.
  26. ^ a b c Maia Mikashavidze, Georgia #Cinema Archived 2016-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, EJC Media Landscapes, circa 2010
  27. ^ Georgian National Film Center
  28. ^ a b Annual Report (2009), Georgian National Agency of Communications.
  29. ^ a b Maia Mikashavidze, Georgia #Telecommunications Archived 2016-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, EJC Media Landscapes, circa 2010
  30. ^ Magticom. "Magticom / მთავარი". მაგთიკომი.
  31. ^ "სილქნეტი - ყველაფერი კავშირშია". Retrieved 2022-05-13.
  32. ^ "ბილაინი".
  33. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2016-02-22.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  34. ^ a b c Maia Mikashavidze, Georgia #New Media Archived 2016-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, EJC Media Landscapes, circa 2010
  35. ^ "89% of Georgian households have access to internet, says National Statistics Office". 2023-09-01. Retrieved 2021-01-19.
  36. ^ Caucasian Journal
  37. ^ Maia Mikashavidze, Georgia #TNews Agencies Archived 2016-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, EJC Media Landscapes, circa 2010
  38. ^ Maia Mikashavidze, Georgia #Regulatory authorities Archived 2016-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, EJC Media Landscapes, circa 2010
  39. ^ "Georgia". RSF. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  40. ^ "2015 World Press Freedom Index". 2015 World Press Freedom Index. Reporters Without Borders. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  41. ^ "Georgia - Country report - Freedom of the Press - 2016". Freedom House. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  42. ^ CNN, Georgia: State of emergency called, 7.11.2007
  43. ^ a b "OSCE media freedom representative concerned about suspension of television stations in Georgia - OSCE".
  44. ^ a b "OSCE media freedom representative says journalists need free and safe access to Georgia's South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions - OSCE".
  45. ^ "Authorities urged not to rule out political motive in grenade attack on TV station - Reporters without borders". RSF.
  46. ^ "OSCE media representative concerned by violence against journalists in Georgia - OSCE".
  47. ^ "OSCE media freedom representative concerned by repeated violence, intimidation against journalists in Georgia - OSCE".
  48. ^ Three journalists attacked in broad daylight in Tbilisi, European Federation of Journalists, 13 January 2016
  49. ^ "Patarkatsishvili Slams Authorities over Mounting Pressure on TV". Civil Georgia. 29 March 2006.
  50. ^ "Rustavi 2 Talk-Show Anchor Quits Citing Pressure". Civil Georgia. 6 July 2006.
  51. ^ "OSCE media freedom representative in Georgia to discuss TV station closure - OSCE".
  52. ^ "OSCE media freedom representative says optimistic about re-opening of suspended Imedi TV after visit to Georgia - OSCE".
  53. ^ "OSCE media freedom watchdog welcomes reopening of Imedi TV in Georgia - OSCE".
  54. ^ "Another case of political censorship by Eutelsat? - Reporters without borders". RSF.
  55. ^ "Forbes Georgia Head Quits, Citing Censorship - News". The Moscow Times. 29 March 2012.
  56. ^ "Statement of NGOs on TV company Maestro".
  57. ^ Statement of Maestro journalists Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine published on the Independent Association of Georgian Journalists (IAGJ) website (in Georgian)
  58. ^ "TV channel scandal sparks censorship fears in Georgia". The Calvert Journal. 3 March 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  59. ^ Cory Welt, The Curious Case of Rustavi-2: Protecting Media Freedom and the Rule of Law in Georgia, November 2015
  60. ^ "Transparency International".
  61. ^ "OSCE Representative says excessive court measures against television station in Georgia may pose a threat to media pluralism - OSCE".
  62. ^ "OSCE Representative warns of implications for media pluralism in Georgia amid ongoing dispute over ownership of Rustavi 2 - OSCE".
  63. ^ "Georgian TV channel Rustavi 2 faces legal threats". 11 August 2015.
  64. ^ "Media's independence must be respected, OSCE Representative says following court ruling on Rustavi 2 TV in Georgia - OSCE".
  65. ^ "Supreme Court decision in Georgia casts blow against media independence and pluralism, OSCE media freedom representative says". OSCE. Vienna. 3 March 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  66. ^ "Government of Georgia Fact Sheet on Rustavi 2 Court Case".
  67. ^ "Tensions High As Georgians Protest TV Case". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty.
  68. ^ a b "ONI Country Profile: Georgia", OpenNet Initiative, November 2010
  69. ^ a b c Freedom of the Net - Georgia (PDF) (Report). Freedom House. 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  70. ^ Kvesitadze, Eka (17 November 2005). "Georgian Media: New Challenges and New Opportunities". Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  71. ^ Media Sustainability Index - Georgia (PDF) (Report). IREX. 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  72. ^ Basilaia–Shavgulidze, Lika; Huter, Mathias (3 April 2012). "Politically Motivated Self-Censorship? The Case of Forbes Georgia". Transparency International Georgia. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  73. ^ Mathias Huter (18 May 2015). "Suggestions for Effective Media Ownership Transparency Provisions in Ukraine". Council of Europe. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  74. ^ a b c d e f "Country case study: Georgia". Access-Info Europe. 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  75. ^ "Who owns Georgia's media: Power networks and corporate relationships behind Georgian media outlets". Transparency International. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  76. ^ a b "Georgian Law on Broadcasting" (PDF).
  77. ^ Who Owns Georgia's Media? (PDF) (Report). Transparency International Georgia. 16 April 2014. p. 10. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  78. ^ Who Owns Georgia's Media? (PDF) (Report). Transparency International Georgia. 16 April 2014. pp. 5–6. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  79. ^ a b Who owns regional media (PDF) (Report). Transparency International Georgia. 2014. p. 6. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  80. ^ Media Sustainability Index 2016 - The Development of Sustainable Independent Media in Georgia (PDF) (Report). IREX. p. 1. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  81. ^ Who owns Georgia's media (Report). Transparency International Georgia. 19 October 2015. p. 6. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  82. ^ Who Owns Georgia's Media? (PDF) (Report). Transparency International Georgia. 16 April 2014. p. 6. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  83. ^ "Georgia / Country report / Freedom of the Press / 2015". Freedom House. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  84. ^ Media Sustainability Index 2016 - The Development of Sustainable Independent Media in Georgia (PDF) (Report). IREX. p. 9. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  85. ^ Media Sustainability Index 2016 - The Development of Sustainable Independent Media in Georgia (PDF) (Report). IREX. pp. 10–11. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  86. ^ "Urgent need to guarantee public broadcaster's independence". Reporters Without Borders. March 8, 2013. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  87. ^ "Media's independence must be respected, OSCE Representative says following court ruling on Rustavi 2 TV in Georgia". Vienna: OSCE. 6 November 2015. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  88. ^ Media Sustainability Index 2016 - The Development of Sustainable Independent Media in Georgia (PDF) (Report). IREX. p. 10. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  89. ^ "Palitra Holding". Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  90. ^ Who Owns Georgia's Media? (PDF) (Report). Transparency International Georgia. 16 April 2014. p. 21. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  91. ^ Who owns regional media (PDF) (Report). Transparency International Georgia. 2014. p. 5. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  92. ^ Who owns Georgia's media (Report). Transparency International Georgia. 19 October 2015. p. 7. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  93. ^ Who owns Georgia's media (Report). Transparency International Georgia. 19 October 2015. pp. 11–12. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  94. ^ Who owns Georgia's media (Report). Transparency International Georgia. 19 October 2015. pp. 23–24. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  95. ^ Who owns Georgia's media (Report). Transparency International Georgia. 19 October 2015. p. 19. Retrieved 2017-02-27.