Democracy Research Institute (DRI) has published an overview of the owners and most frequent respondents of online and mainstream media platforms characterized by far-right rhetoric and hate speech.
Out of six media platforms reviewed by DRI, two - „Alt-Info“ and „ObiekTV“ - hold television broadcasting licenses and are directly linked to far-right political parties. Namely, the political party „Conservative Movement“ was founded directly on „Alt-Info“’s base on December 7, 2021, while the Secretary-General of the "Alliance of Patriots of Georgia" Irma Inashvili held the position of Chairman of the Board of media union "ObiekTV" until 2014.
Among research subjects were media outlets „Georgia and the World“ and „Saqinform“ characterized by their distinctly pro-Russian attitudes. They tend to frequently invite far-right leaders as respondents: Dimitri Lortkipanidze, Nikoloz Mzhavanadze, Sandro Bregadze, Zviad Tomaradze, etc. These platforms have often shared articles from another of DRI research subjects, the informational agency „News Front”. The platform is run from Moscow by Shota Apkhaidze, who has close ties with the far-right Georgian movement “Georgian March” and is known for his pro-Russian rhetoric. Another media outlet with far-right agenda is“Politicano”, a media platform with direct ties to the Evgeny Primakov Georgian-Russian Community Centre. The Primakov center has direct connections to far-right leader Dimitri Lortkipanidze, who is the Director of the centre since 2018.
All six media platforms have editorial policies characterized by propaganda, disinformation, and pro-Russian rhetoric. In the hands of far-right political actors, they are important tools for mobilizing voters and spreading their political agenda.
Far-right groups and their leaders actively use social media platforms for planning and organizing their rallies. Media coverage increases the publicity of far-right actors and lends their political and public activities more legitimacy. Media support, be it direct or indirect, contributes to the spread of far-right ideas in the wider community as well as to their mobilization and consolidation.
The court terminated proceedings against 6 persons and applied only verbal reprimands against 2 persons.