Pluralist but not yet independent
Georgia’s media are pluralist but still very polarized. The reforms of recent years have brought improvements in media ownership transparency and satellite TV pluralism, but owners still often call the shots on editorial content. The outcome of the continuing dispute over ownership of the main national opposition TV channel, Rustavi 2, will therefore have a big impact. Violence against journalists is less frequent although threats are often reported. Georgia has traditionally offered a refuge to dissidents from neighboring countries, so Azerbaijani dissident journalist Afgan Mukhtarli’s abduction in Tbilisi in 2017 sent shockwaves through the exile community. He mysteriously reappeared in police custody in Azerbaijan, where he was sentenced to six years in prison on trumped-up charges. Two senior Georgian security officials were fired but Georgia’s investigation into Mukhtarli’s abduction has yet to produce any convincing explanation of how it happened.
64 in 2017
27.76 in 2017