On December 4, 2009, 137 journalists signed an agreement to observe general professional standards, and with this signature became the founders and members of the Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics. The activity of the charter, as an organization, is defined by statute, and its 11 provisions are in accordance with international journalistic standards, which determine all the main professional principles of all the members of the charter. Currently, the organisation is the only independent self regulatory body in Georgia.
The goal of the Charter concerns the development of journalistic norms and professional standards, which includes their implementation and protection. Currently the charter is presented with 320 members.
The charter is managed by nine council members as selected by the charter’s members. The council considers the facts of any violation of professional standards on the behalf of the charter’s members on the basis of submitted complaints, whereas the administration of the organization is carried out by the executive director as selected by the council through a contest.
The Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics is administered by a council consisting of 9 members. The members of the charter’s council are selected through a quota system: three journalists are selected from journalists and/or editors registered in Tbilisi. The members of the charter are selected for a three-year term by a general meeting, but the composition of the council is renewed every year by one-third. The head of the charter’s council is selected for a one-year term by its members at the first sitting chaired by the oldest member. The same person can be appointed as head of the council for a maximum term of two times in succession. The charter’s council administers the charter, considers the claims submitted and publishes the respective decisions. Together with the secretary and the executive director the council sees that its goals and tasks are fulfilled. The first council was selected by the charter’s members on December 4, 2009. The activities of the council are defined by the Charter of Journalistic Ethics.
The executive director is selected by the charter’s council for a one-year term through a contest. He/she represents the charter in relations to third parties, tax and administrative bodies, banks, and legal and individual persons. The authority and competence of the executive director, as well as the limits of his/her activities, are defined by the regulations adopted by the council. The executive director is accountable to the charter’s council.
The Audit Commission
The responsibility of the audit commission is fulfill the norms of the charter’s statute and to make sure that the use of financial resources or other property by the head, council, and executive director of the charter, as well as by the officials appointed (approved) by them, is in compliance with the statutory purposes. The commission consists of three members who are selected on a two year-term by general meeting. In case where grave violations are found, the audit commission is entitled to convene an extraordinary session of the council or an extraordinary general meeting.