Posted on: 23 Nov 2012
Media Development Foundation, MDF Statement
Media Development Foundation, MDF expresses its concern over the statements regarding media, made by Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili at the press conference, on November 22, 2012. Especially alarming are the PM’s statements that reveal substantially incorrect understanding of the essence of Public Broadcaster.
The Law on Broadcasting clearly defines that the Public Broadcaster is free from the influence of any political and commercial interest groups, operates under the public financing, is independent from the government, and is a non subject to any state agencies (Article 15).
The Law defines the rules of governing the Public Broadcaster including the procedures of board members’ elections and their terms, bans the violation of editorial, managerial as well as financial independence of the channel by administrative bodies (Article 18.2).
The fact that one of the superior persons representing government speaks about how the broadcaster should behave, how it should be merged with the channel owned by the Prime Ministers’ family, who should be employed by the channel as well as discussion about the possibility of financing the channel from the Prime Ministers’ private pocket, and especially if all these happens against the background of ongoing financial revision of the broadcaster by the financial police, provides solid grounds for the concern.
We call on the elected political party and its leader do refrain from making statements coming into fundamental contradiction with the very essence of the Public Broadcaster, and representing the openly declared attempt of intervention into the activities of the media. At the same time, we call on civil society groups to use actively all social control mechanisms defined by the legislation, including public councils, in order to ensure the social accountability of the Public Broadcaster as well as its full independence from the political processes.
Media Development Foundation, MDF
November 23, 2012
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