Elections Media Centre- Saving Time and Resources

4 Nov, 2013


During the recent election period, Georgian journalists interested in breaking news from election observers found everything they needed at the Election Media Centre supported by the Open Society Georgia Foundation.

The Open Society Foundation supported the centre as a way to increase public access to timely and reliable information while helping journalists identify the best sources for their stories.

The centre, located in the heart of Tbilisi, began operations on Oct. 22, almost a week before Election Day. It quickly became a central hub where print, TV and internet journalists gathered to get the latest updates directly from election monitors.

“The centre was convenient for journalists on one hand, since they did not have to run around the city chasing election monitors for interviews and comments,” says Tamar Chikovani, Media Center Coordinator.

“On the other hand, it was very convenient for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as they didn’t have to schedule and organize briefings themselves and were responsible for coming up with monitoring results on time at the centre.”

She says the centre’s coordination team was responsible for publicizing planned events. The centre was so popular with journalists, she adds, that they are already saying they hope it will operate during future elections.

During its brief life, the centre hosted press conferences for more than 10 NGOs involved in election monitoring and helped journalists publicize the information  in real time via live TV broadcasts.

The centre staff helped organize events and news coverage by circulating its schedule several days in advance. On Election Day, journalists spent more than 12 hours in the media centre,  from the very first press conference at 8:30 am until the last at 11 pm. That day the centre hosted 21 press briefings, one every 30 minutes.

Nata Kajaia, journalist from Channel One, Georgian Public Broadcaster, says the centre was a huge help. ‘The center offered the most convenient environment any journalist may dream about on such a stressful day as elections,” she says-“We did get exhausted because of the overwhelming schedule of press conferences, but it would have been much harder for us to run around to all the election sites.”


Related: NGO Media Center for Georgian Presidential Election 2013 Launched