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Self-regulation

Pursuant to Article 14 of the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting and the Code of Conduct of Broadcasters adopted by the Georgian National Communication Commission (GNCC) in 2009, broadcasters are obliged to establish an efficient complains mechanism for considering customers’ complaints.

If  a broadcaster breaches the Code of Conduct, apply to us through filling out a provided questionnaire and the Media Development Foundation, MDF will present your complaint in a broadcaster's self-regulation body.
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Statements

Posted on: 08 Aug 2014

Joint Statement of NGOs on a discriminatory report by the Georgian

On August 6, the main news program of Georgian Public Broadcaster, Moambe, reported a fatal incident caused by the negligence of parents, which took place in the US state of Kansas. A 10-month-old child died after being left by parents in the car under 30C degree heat. We believe that the report as presented by GPB deepens intolerance among society by indicating the sexual identity of parents and misinterpreting the facts. 

 

  • The US source of this information reported about one parent whose negligence led to the death of the child. The First Channel of GPB, however, placed emphasis on a "same-sax couple" without mentioning that the couple had   5 children.

  • The anchor of Moambe   misinterpreted the incident by identifying the sexual orientation of the parents thereby creating a preliminary negative attitude towards the LGBT community. In particular, the anchor said: the "gay couple left 10-month-old daughter in a car - child died because of the heat".

  • As Washington Post reports, only in 2014, at least 21 children have died after being left in cars in the heat in the US. The editorial board of Moambe, however, selected just one tragedy suffered by the same-sex couple and left other 20 cases unmentioned in its report. Naturally, the matter of public interest in reporting such type of incidents is lives of children whilst the sexual orientation of their parents has no relevance to the matter.


A person's gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, religious or other affiliations, can only be mentioned if it is essential for the  story covered; for example, if a person's sexual orientation constitute the ground for a crime. In the given case the sexual orientation of parents is not essential for reporting the incident. Observing this standard is especially important when it comes to covering negative events so as to ensure that media avoid deepening negative stereotypes. As a result, the channel violated Article 15.9 of the Code of Conduct for Public Broadcaster, which refers to sexual minorities. In particular:

 

"Homosexuals frequently become victims of offensive stereotypes. Homosexuals and bisexuals constitute a minority and the programme authors should remember that they too, like others, represent a part of society.

 

We should mention a homosexual's sexual orientation in a programme only if it is directly associated with its subject matter. Otherwise we shall violate the right of personal inviolability and contribute to the stereotype's consolidation."

 

This is not the first instance of non-governmental organizations releasing a public statement and filing a complaint with the self-regulatory body of the broadcaster concerning discrimination on various grounds and hate speech by the GPB.

 

 

We believe that the role of the broadcaster's self-regulatory body in establishing professional standards is of utmost important. The decision of the GPB's Board of Trustees took on the NGOs' complaint on July 18, in which the majority of trustees justified the use of hate speech by the legislation on freedom of expression and refused to assess the ethical and professional norms of the disputed case, does not contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Code of Conduct of Broadcasters. In particular, "the purpose of the Code is to ensure that any broadcasting licensee and especially, the public broadcaster be equally responsible for observing standards of professional ethics and be  accountable to the public as being necessary to protect ethics and human values, strengthen  social consensus and promote tolerance in a democratic society"  (Article 4.1).

 

The public broadcaster is a TV channel serving all citizens of Georgia regardless of their identity. Therefore, it is unacceptable for the broadcaster to be a source of discrimination. The channel must realize its accountability to all citizen and react adequately to each and every instance of encouraging stigmatization of certain groups and inciting intolerance.

 

Media Development Foundation, MDF

Identoba

Georgian Democratic Initiative, GDI

Tolerance and Diversity Institute, TDI

Georgia's Reforms Associates, GRASS

 Union Sapari    

Association "LGBT Georgia"

 Institute of Nonviolent Communication

Human Rights Education and Monitoring Centre, EMC

Women's Initiatives Supporting Group, WISG 

Transparency International Georgia, TI



http://1tv.ge/news-view/73994

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/08/06/how-do-you-leave-your-child-to-die-in-a-hot-car-we-examined-some-of-the-21-suspected-cases-this-year-to-find-out/

http://mdfgeorgia.ge/index.php?menuid=4&lang=1&id=224

http://mdfgeorgia.ge/index.php?menuid=4&lang=1&id=220

http://gpb.ge/uploads/documents/605d3e7e-52a7-4bad-a32d-d7c7d9c6850dgadackvetileba%20267.pdf

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