Georgian National Communications Commission Resolution No 2 On the Approval of Code of Conduct for Broadcasters
publication date January 03, 2009 10:58
getting date March 12, 2009 10:59
After a long-lasting working process the Georgian National Communications Commission has adopted a Code of Conduct for Broadcasters. This document commits all types of broadcasters operating across Georgia to observe the principles of equality, diversity and tolerance as well as protect minors from programmes that may have harmful influence on them, and respect any individual’s right to privacy.
Pursuant to Article 50 of the Georgian Law on Broadcasting, adopted in 2004, the GNCC was tasked to adopt, in consultation with broadcasters and representatives of public, the Code of Conduct for Broadcasters. The work on the document started upon the enactment of the Law but due to controversy in opinions it took almost four years to develop a final version.
The work on final version of the document resumed in 2008. The working process saw an active involvement of TV companies Rustavi-2, Imedi, Georgian Public Broadcaster, Kavkasia and Mze as well as civil society representatives from Union of Orthodox Christian Parents, Liberty Institute, Teachers’ Union, the union Iberiana, Media Council, Public Defender’s Office of Georgia and a citizen, Giorgi Kipiani.
Controversial opinions and hot debates were also common to the process of elaboration of this new version forcing the GNCC to postpone a number of meetings. Moreover, the draft Code was sent to a group of experts to conduct a psychological analysis and draw up a conclusion. The remarks provided by this group (basically concerning the chapter on the protection of minors from harmful influence) were reflected in the Code.
The draft Code of Conduct for Broadcasters was drawn up with the involvement of Council of Europe experts. At a later stage the GNCC organized a meeting where CoE experts, Christophoros Christophorou and Stephen Whittle, actively participated in the discussion of the document with broadcasters and civil society representatives.
The draft Code of Conduct for Broadcasters was sent to the Ministry of Justice for legal expertise. On 12 March 2009, after taking into consideration the remarks of the Ministry of Justice, the GNCC approved the Code of Conduct for Broadcasters.
According to the Code, the broadcasters of Georgia shall set up an effective self-regulating mechanism and an appeal body that will be staffed with independent, impartial and qualified people. A concerned party has the right to appeal to a broadcaster with the request to correct or retract any inaccurate information within 10 days of an initial report. A broadcaster’s decision on a complaint can be challenged at the appeal body within 7 days. The appeal body shall consider a complaint of any legal or physical person and arrive at a decision within 30 days.
National broadcasters (the Georgian Public Broadcaster, Rustavi-2, Imedi) have been established the deadline of September 12, 2009, for setting up an effective self-regulation mechanism while other broadcasters were given one year, to March 12, 2010, to set up an appeal body.