Covering the environment is challenging and can be dangerous in any country. But fostering environmental journalism in emerging democracies is one way to hold government officials and powerful businesses accountable.
An unstable mediascape<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTU3NTM5My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMzgyMTczOX0.P0WggnZNULt_5113kWqCYg22JewXpybHm2-Pwcidoyk/img.png?width=980" id="453bb" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1def836809bc479c141142f3492d1df9" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Georgia's habitats range from alpine peaks to river floodplains and the Black Sea coast. (Credit: Giorgi Balakhadze/Wikimedia, CC BY)<p>Levels of press freedom, autonomy and media sustainability have fluctuated since Georgia became independent in 1991. The latest constitutional change greatly strengthened Parliament and <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46376344" target="_blank">eliminated direct election of the president</a>, whose office is primarily ceremonial.</p><p>The governing <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgian_Dream" target="_blank">Georgian Dream coalition</a> has become increasingly anti-press over the past two years. <a href="https://cmds.ceu.edu/sites/cmcs.ceu.hu/files/attachment/basicpage/1435/mimgeorgiaregulationcorrected.pdf" target="_blank">Georgia's mediascape</a> is fairly diverse but dominated by its two largest television channels. </p><p>The 2019 World Press Freedom Index ranks Georgia <a href="https://rsf.org/en/georgia" target="_blank">60th out of 180 countries</a>, a substantial improvement from 100th in 2013. However, it notes that media owners still often control editorial content, and threats against journalists are not uncommon.</p>