Biased Coverage and problem of Balance in the case of GDS
GDS covers the projects funded by the Georgian Co-Investing Fund. The Fund is established by Mr. Bidzina Ivanishvili, former Prime-Minister of Georgia.
For example, on May 20 (20:32 mark) the news service of the GDS TV prepared as a first story to run a list of projects funded by the Fund. “A new investment for the merger of the high class Marriot hotels, the three of which are under construction and will be merged under the brand “Autograph Collection”. These includes the hotel financed by the Co-Investment Fund on Freedom Square, in Sololaki and in Shekvetili. The total sum of the project equals to $ 265 Million.” This is how the news anchor presented the story.
The coverage features comments of the Prime Minister of Georgia, the representative of the Marriot, the representative of the Advisory Board of the Co-Investment Fund and the Mayor of Tbilisi. Their evaluation of the project is overly positive. The Mayor of Tbilisi not only highlights the positives, but also adds that “these are the projects, that only have positive sides to them”.
The coverage fails to mention civil protests, which is addressed towards the construction of one of the components of the projects – “Panorama Tbilisi” to be built on the Sololaki Heights. The construction has been the reason for numerous public demonstrations of environmental activists.