OSCE Representative warns of implications for media pluralism in Georgia amid ongoing dispute over ownership of Rustavi 2
NEW YORK, 22 October 2015 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today reiterated her concern about the ongoing ownership dispute involving the Georgian television channel Rustavi 2 and its implications for media pluralism in the country.
According to reports, Rustavi 2 is experiencing significant financial and logistical constraints, effectively limiting its capacity to operate freely, following a court decision in August this year (see www.osce.org/fom/176521).
“If not lifted soon, the court order will entail serious restrictions on the diversity and plurality of the media in the country,” Mijatović said. “I also noted statements by some high-level government officials on the matter, which might negatively influence the court proceedings.”
The Representative said the situation was especially worrisome given the importance of a pluralistic media environment ahead of parliamentary elections in Georgia scheduled for next year.
“Democracy requires that people have access to diverse sources of information,” Mijatović said, reiterating her call that authorities to do their utmost to enable media pluralism in the country.
The Representative has raised the case of Rustavi TV 2 with the authorities in Georgia on several occasions in the past.
Mijatović is in New York participating at an event on the protection of journalists’ sources at the UN Headquarters.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.