Local Elections coverage by GPB

The Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) aims to cover the pre-election campaign and election process of the 2021 local elections accurately and impartially in line with all international standards and values, which the GPB adheres to.

The GPB offers political parties its TV and radio airtime to ensure neutral and equal coverage of the pre-election campaign.

All qualified political parties registered by the Central Election Commission of Georgia (CEC) will be allocated equal airtime in the news bulletin Moambe and political programs.

Moambe will cover all significant activities of electoral subjects (both qualified and non-qualified), their election programs and standpoints throughout the election campaign. The news bulletins will be provided with Auslan Translation, and the main news bulletin will be available in Armenian and Azerbaijani languages (switched via Set-Top Box). The GPB will have a special election coverage format – Debates 2021.

Debates 2021

The GPB should ensure equal participation of all qualified electoral subjects in pre-election debates without discrimination, Law on Broadcasting, Article 55 (2). The airtime as set by the law and the commitment for offering equal conditions for participation in the GPB debates only concerns qualified electoral subjects, Georgian Organic Law, Georgian Election Code, Article 185 (2-4).

The GPB will offer two debates to its TV viewers. On September 14 at 10 pm, debates will be held among qualified electoral subjects; the parties will define their speakers. Tbilisi mayoral candidates of qualified electoral subjects will debate on September 21 at 10 pm. Again, the debates will be provided by Auslan Translation; the GPB will also provide a translation into Armenian and Azerbaijani languages and secure Georgian radio broadcast. The order of debate participants will be defined per their electoral number.

The GPB takes the commitment to hold the debates in line with international standards in an unbiased environment where each candidate will have an opportunity to introduce their viewpoints under equal conditions.

Coverage on different platforms

The political parties will have the opportunity to use airtime in Moambe for presenting mayoral, proportional or single-mandate candidates. Live air will be allocated to a party if it ensures live transmission (one-time offer). Also, all qualified parties will be given 10 minutes in Moambe 6 pm news bulletin to present their programs.

During the whole election campaign, Moambe main news bulletin will cover all significant activities of electoral subjects (both qualified and non-qualified), their election programs and standpoints. News bulletins will have Auslan Translation, and the main news bulletin will be available in Armenian and Azerbaijani languages (regime to be switched via Set-Top Box). The GPB will translate activities into Armenian and Azerbaijani languages. All activities will also be covered in the Armenian and Azerbaijani-language Moambe.

Political programs of Georgian Radio will allocate airtime to the representatives of qualified electoral subjects three times a week. Their order will be defined per their electoral number. The 2021 local elections will be covered in Topic of the Day and the new public-political program Actual Saturday. The October 2 local election-related information will be available on the GPB official website 1tv.ge. In addition, GPB is preparing a special web platform for the local elections.

Monitoring

The GPB carries out internal monitoring of the 2021 local elections. The monitoring of all political programs of the GPB’s First Channel and Georgian Radio aims to calculate the airtime allocated to electoral subjects. Similar to the last year, the monitoring is ongoing via a special program with the link of the TV program or coverage. Trained monitors will ensure the procession of the information.

In line with the practice of international organizations, the following will be measured:

· Covered topic based on allocated airtime;

· Coverage of direct or indirect electoral subject based on allocated airtime;

· Coverage of pitch (positive, negative, neutral);

Timing will be measured when the subject is:

· Viewed in the shot;

· Speaking in the shot;

· Only voice is heard;

· Image attributes of an electoral subject viewed;

· Others speak about them

Separate components of media monitoring will be published regularly during the monitoring period. The report will be available after the completion of the election process. GPB’s pre-election monitoring underlines the need for impartial, balanced coverage in the polarized political and media environment.

Advertising time

Based on the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting, the GPB will broadcast a pre-election advertisement submitted by each qualified electoral subject free of charge equally distributed between these subjects and without discrimination during the electoral campaign. GPB will also allocate airtime for the pre-election advertisement of all other parties and electoral blocs, in addition to qualified electoral subjects.

2021 October 2 local election-related information is available on the GPB official website 1tv.ge and a web platform elections.1tv.ge to be updated regularly during the pre-election period.

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