In May 2013, CRRC Georgia launched a new UNDP/EU-funded project - television news monitoring related to the upcoming presidential elections in autumn 2013. Along with CRRC, the media monitoring effort involves three other civil society organizations: ISFED (printed press), InterNews (radio), and Civil Development Institute (online media) that will monitor other types of media.
During the project that will last until November 2013, CRRC will monitor the main evening news programs of Georgia’s most watched and trusted television channels (based on CRRC’s March 2013 political attitudes survey results) for coverage of political parties, government, president, the political and election processes and for observation of journalism standards and ethics. The monitored channels are: Georgian Public Broadcaster’s Channel 1, Rustavi 2, Imedi, Maestro, Kavkasia, Channel 9, Adjara TV.
Monitoring includes quantitative and qualitative components. CRRC trained seven monitors who will gather quantitative data on how much time will be allocated to each monitored subject, what percent of the allocated time is direct speech of subjects and what the tone of their coverage is. They will also identify cases of biased coverage; detect deviations from good journalism practice and manipulative use of film, picture and sound. Later, in the summer 2013 CRRC will start monitoring of political talk-shows as well.
Television monitoring for presidential elections 2013 is the third wave of media monitoring for CRRC. In 2012, before and after parliamentary elections of October 2012, CRRC conducted monitoring of main evening news and prime-time political talk-shows on seven television channels. During the 7 months of monitoring (May-November 2012) monitoring results were regularly discussed in the television program “Media Monitor” on Georgian Public Broadcaster’s Channel One. Reports and charts of 2012 monitoring project are available at: www.mediamonitor.ge.
Before 2012, CRRC was involved in series of trainings on media monitoring organized by the UNDP, which was followed by the half-a-year monitoring project, which was conducted during a non-election period and focused on issue monitoring. CRRC monitored coverage of crime and judiciary on television news.