Georgia profile - Media

Newspaper reader in Tbilisi Image copyright AFP
Image caption Readership is generally low in Georgia

Television is the main source of news, and accounts for the lion's share of the advertising market. There are dozens of cable operators and a handful of major commercial stations. Newspaper readership is generally low.

Government-funded Georgian Public Broadcasting has replaced the former state radio and TV. The state has relinquished other media assets, including newspapers and a news agency.

The constitution provides for freedom of speech, and journalists often criticise officials. US-based Freedom House says Georgia "has the freest and most diverse media landscape in its region," although "objective news is only available from a few sources."

The media environment is highly politicised, but Transparency International say that "no major outlet that covers news and current affairs appears to be owned, controlled or bankrolled by current political actors".

The main national TVs tend to back the government, but the most watched and most commercially successful TV station, Rustavi-2, is an outspoken critic of the current Georgian Dream coalition.

The creation of "really independent media with strong safeguards against owner interference" is a key challenge, says Reporters Without Borders.

There are almost 2.2 million internet users (Internetlivestats) and there is no censorship of online content.

By far the most popular online platform is, which is a video sharing platform that also offers live streaming of over 50 TV channels with a three-month archive.

Greater online access has led to a growth in social media use. Facebook is Georgia's most popular web destination, while is a widely-used chat forum. Twitter has yet to establish a major foothold and there is a low public awareness of blogs.

The armed conflict between Russia and Georgia in 2008 saw cyber attacks on online assets belonging to both sides.

The press



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