Media for Transparent and Accountable Governance (M-TAG)

Media for Transparent and Accountable Governance (M-TAG)

M-TAG is a five-year, USAID-funded program that is strengthening journalism and improving access to independent, reliable, and balanced information in the Republic of Georgia.

The program works with Georgian journalists to improve the quality of reporting and professionalism, and with regional media outlets to improve their financial viability and sustainability.

Two journalism students in a newsroom

M-TAG is a five-year, USAID-funded program that is strengthening journalism and improving access to independent, reliable, and balanced information in the Republic of Georgia.

The program works with Georgian journalists to improve the quality of reporting and professionalism, and with regional media outlets to improve their financial viability and sustainability.

Quick Facts

  • IREX and our partners have trained over 1,000 media professionals.
  • With the program’s support, 17 media outlets have become sustainable, well-respected, and influential watchdogs that have more effectively communicated citizens’ concerns.
  • After applying lessons learned on audience engagement, participating media outlets are seeing up to a 130% growth in their web traffic.
  • More than 1,000 students have taken classes at the Multimedia Education Center supported by the program.

Goals

  • Journalists accurately and ethically report on public-interest issues, including progress toward key government reforms.
  • Regional media outlets improve their financial viability and transparency.
  • Citizens in the occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have increased access to balanced and relevant information.
Thanks to M-TAG… our team has new skills and we work better. Readers trust materials we prepare for them in our new newsroom, our audience keeps growing, and advertisers think that qartli.ge is a worthwhile platform to invest in. Saba Tsitsinakshvili, founder of Gori-based tri-lingual (Georgian, Ossetian, Russian) web publication qartli.ge

Project Activities

  • World-class journalism education: M-TAG supports the Multimedia Education Center (MEC)—a cutting-edge facility where teachers train journalism students in a studio environment with tools that are comparable to those used in global newsrooms. IREX established the MEC in 2012, under the USAID-funded G-MEDIA program, and registered it as a local nonprofit in 2017.
  • Strengthening media outlets: Staff work intensively with 17 regional media outlets to improve editorial content, production quality, and market viability through tailored media sustainability plans.
  • Support for inclusion: M-TAG staff train partner media organizations in diversifying their reporting to include gender and minority issues. The program also supports media organizations that have audiences in the occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
  • Transition to digital broadcasting: In the first year of the program, M-TAG supported regional television stations in understanding technical and business implications of the country’s transition from analogue to digital broadcasting.

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