A group of fifty-one media organizations called on the Parliament of Georgia to uphold the presidential objections to the controversial amendments to the Law on Broadcasting.
The media organizations welcomed President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s decision to veto the bill and called on lawmakers to “use the presidential veto as a chance to return back to the issue and analyze the threats that the controversial wording of the Law on Broadcasting poses to media environment.”
“In the country, where commercial advertising is declining annually amid increased budgetary funding for Georgian Public Broadcaster … significant increase of public television’s advertising and sponsorship opportunities poses a threat to the financial sustainability of independent media,” the joint statement of media organizations reads.
The media organizations, also involving regional TV broadcasters and print media, called for a meeting with the Parliamentary Chairman and the parliamentary majority group.
Georgian Parliamentary Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze, who is paying an official visit to Ukraine, has already expressed readiness to meet media representatives upon his return to Georgia.
The legislative bill, approved by the Parliament last month and vetoed by President Giorgi Margvelashvili on January 15, envisages further expansion of powers of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB), and has attracted heavy criticism from civil society organizations and private broadcasters previously as well.