5.3.7 Mass media
The Law on Press and Other Mass Media was passed on 10 August 1991 which declared freedom for the mass media. By this Law, the constitutional principles were reinforced through the concrete relationship of the press and other mass media with the public.
The Law of Georgia on Broadcasting was passed on 23 December 2004, which was drafted with the expert support of the EU. This Law determines the obligations of public broadcasting to protect the public interest in the sphere of news, public and political, educational, cultural and sport programmes. Public broadcasters are also obliged by the Law to create some programmes that reflect the ethnic, cultural, language, religious, age and gender diversity of the population.
Provisions on protection of data are also available within the applicable Law on Copyright and Related Rights (see chapter 5.1.7).
The Georgian National Communication Commission (GNCC) operates under the Law on Telecommunications (2005), Broadcasting (2004), Independent National Regulatory Authorities (2002), and on Independent Regulatory Commission (2005).
In compliance with the Law on Telecommunications, the GNCC allocates licenses to companies engaged in telecommunications.
When the Laws on Telecommunications and on Broadcasting came into effect, the legal status of broadcasting companies radically changed.
Under the Law on Broadcasting three types of companies were recognised – public, community and private. The State Broadcasting Company was reorganised into a public television company and its status, content obligations, programme priorities and other issues were to be regulated by the Law on Broadcasting (see chapter 2).
The GNCC performs the function of monitoring the execution of the Law on Protection of Minors from Detrimental Effect. The State Department for Youth Affairs is entitled to determine the criteria of the films released and the GNCC monitors the protection of minors' rights. The Commission also monitors compliance with the Law on Protection of Copyright and Related Rights in the broadcasting sector.