Representatives of 6 Georgian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs and the Central Election Commission of Georgia participated in two one-week training sessions led by the prominent Slovak media monitoring agency Memo 98 and partner organization IREX Europe.
This training initiative was part of the project Development of Media Monitoring Capacities in Georgia funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Georgia. The project aims to create a pool of independent Georgian CSOs with sustained capacity to provide grounded quantitative and qualitative analysis of media performance. The participating organizations were chosen based on the results of a needs assessment IREX Europe/Memo 98 carried out in November 2010. Georgian organizations were assessed for their motivation and capacity to conduct media monitoring activities. The training was then tailored on the assessment results and the needs of the organizations selected.
This first training session in Batumi focused on the fundamentals of media monitoring, specifically on monitoring political and electoral coverage. A follow on training in Bakuriani focused on social pluralism, including monitoring media coverage of gender and minority issues. At the end of the two-part training, the participating Georgian organizations and individuals should be able to independently apply standard tools of media monitoring, as well as produce and disseminate professional assessment of the media.
Free but responsible media is a key component of a functional democracy. Key to that responsibility is effective self-regulation that is independent of government or partisan political influence. To achieve that, local independent organizations need the skills and knowledge required to conduct effective monitoring. Media monitoring can be a strong tool to consolidate democracy by strengthening media independence and professionalism, as well as increasing the third sector’s watchdog role.
The project trained Georgian civil society organisations to implement independent media monitoring projects
The first training, held in Batumi, Georgia, focused on the fundamentals of media monitoring, focusing specifically on media monitoring of political and electoral coverage