Elections newsletter #1

Transparent and Accountable Media for Strengthening Democratic Practice during Elections

From April 1 the Media Development Foundation (MDF) will start its monitoring of the media coverage of parliamentary elections, involving the main TV news programs and online media.

The project aims at promoting impartial coverage of the 2016 parliamentary elections and creating a level playing field for all political parties. The project targets are: media organizations, journalists, non-governmental organizations, whose activities are focused on elections, and political parties.

The project is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Georgia.

Monitoring Subjects

TV channels: main news programs of Georgian Public Broadcaster, Rustavi 2, Imedi, Maestro, Kavkasia, Tabula and GDS.

Online editions: Interpressnews, Pirveli, Netgazeti, Pirveli Radio and Marshalpress.

Monitoring Methodology

The monitoring methodology for MDF was developed by Dominique Thierry, media consultant at the project’s partner organization, Free Press Unlimited.

Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be used in the process of monitoring. Number of quotes about women candidates and gender balance in media, as well as the cases of hate speech in political discourse will also be analyzed in the process of monitoring.     

On February 8-10 Dominique Thierry held a three-day intensive training for monitors from the Media Development Foundation. In September, he will hold training for journalists on the basis of interim analysis results.

Monitoring Findings

Quantitative data about the airtime allocated to political subjects, as well as about omitted topics, identification of which is carried out in frames of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) project, will be disseminated in a form of a monthly bulletin.

Interim and final reports as well as survey results reflecting the aspects of political parties’ relations with media will also be published with the framework of the project.

Monitoring Advisory Committee

A five-member Monitoring Advisory Committee will be set up to ensure an inclusive process of discussion of monitoring findings and development of recommendations. The committee will be composed of the representatives of academic circles and non-governmental organizations.