DW Akademie supports the social integration of disadvantaged groups in the South Caucasus by professionalizing local media and promoting relevant information services.
Television is the most widely used source of information in almost all regions of Georgia. At present, however, most local stations are facing major problems with regard to finances and quality. Furthermore, broadcasters know little about the interests of their viewers and thus find it difficult to retain audiences.
Ensuring the quality and viability of local media
In order to provide the various population groups with relevant and quality information, DW Akademie works together with various local stations in Georgia to improve audience retention and the quality of reporting. Audience surveys and meetings with editors and citizens are held as a means of discovering the wishes and interests of audiences. The findings subsequently taken into account in programming. In addition to that, DW Akademie strengthens local broadcasters in the fields of management, marketing and development of sustainable business and financing strategies through training and consulting.
Easing tensions, avoiding conflicts
There are ongoing ethnic and religious conflicts in the South Caucasus. Minorities encounter widespread public prejudices that are fuelled by national media. The resulting isolation of minorities, especially in rural areas, leads to a lack of prospects and sometimes even to radicalization - which in turn seemingly confirms existing stereotypes.
Georgia also has a huge urban-rural divide. The concerns of the rural population and the country's ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities are given little exposure in national media. As a result, large parts of Georgia's population are massively underrepresented in the media and/or shown in a stereotypical manner.
Community media as a mouthpiece of the rural population
By cooperating with several community media companies, DW Akademie aims to present the issues and interests of disadvantaged groups appropriately. This way, the media groups involved can also offer new professional prospects and counter radicalization and conflicts. Independent, well-connected and trained journalists offer minorities and population groups in rural areas the opportunity to access relevant information. Also, communities can also present themselves to the outside world and dispel prejudices. Creating networks and improving the quality of journalism offer an opportunity to the rural population and ethnic minorities of Georgia to make their voices heard and to claim their fundamental right to freedom of information.
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country coordinator: Petra Raschkewitz
Locations: Tbilisi and rural provinces across Georgia
Local partners: Network of Information Centers, Media Development Foundation
Focus: Professionalization, civic engagement, local media, community media, media and information literacy (MIL), networking, journalism education