News / Europe

Georgian TV Beams Russian Language News to Russia

A news anchor provides the news from the studio of PIK [First Caucasus News], a new state-funded, Russian language TV channel designed to break Moscow’s information grip on the region, Tbilisi, Georgia, August 2011
A news anchor provides the news from the studio of PIK [First Caucasus News], a new state-funded, Russian language TV channel designed to break Moscow’s information grip on the region, Tbilisi, Georgia, August 2011

Multimedia

James Brooke

Russia and Georgia have had no diplomatic ties since their war several years ago. Georgians currently are reaching out, however, to their much larger neighbor through a new Russian language TV channel.

Three years ago, Russia's hard power rolled south into Georgia. Now, Georgia's soft power is beaming north into Russia.

Georgia’s nationalist government discourages the use of Russian. It makes an exception, though, for PIK, or First Caucasus News, a new state-funded, Russian language channel designed to break Moscow’s information grip on the region.

Katya Kotrikadze studied journalism in Moscow. Now home in Georgia, she broadcasts back to Russia.

"The main idea is to show information about the region, which is an informational background now on the stage," Kotrikadze said.

Disrupting the status quo

As news director, she said that through the Internet and via satellite, PIK can shake up local news monopolies.

"This is the only Russian language TV channel which is on satellite which is not controlled by anyone. We don’t have censorship here. This is very good for us," Kotrikadze said.

After launching six months ago, PIK now broadcasts around-the-clock. Its bilingual English-Russian website draws some 50,000 viewers a day.

Robert Parsons, a Radio Free Europe veteran, is director general.

Robert Parsons, a Radio Free Europe veteran, is director general of PIK, Tbilisi, Georgia, August 2011
Robert Parsons, a Radio Free Europe veteran, is director general of PIK, Tbilisi, Georgia, August 2011


"It is very important for Georgia that it has normal relations with the peoples that surround it. The information that the peoples of the North Caucasus receive from their own media, the Russian media, is entirely negative about this country," said Parsons. "So what the Georgians are trying to do  is trying to connect with the peoples of the North Caucasus - saying, 'Judge for yourself on the basis of real, objective, impartial information about what this country's about.'"

 

Making a connection

Since the Soviet Union fell apart two decades ago, Chechens - Georgia’s Muslim neighbors to the north - repeatedly have allied with enemies of Georgia’s central government.

Foreign Ministry Deputy Minister Tornike Gordadze sees PIK as part of a larger Georgian policy to reach out to neighboring groups in Russia.

"Georgia has to promote its positive image to the North Caucasus to avoid another problem like this, if one day Russia wants to reinvade Georgia, the North Caucasians who are used in the adventure would think twice before following Russia."

Criticism, and olive branch

Although PIK aims to broadcasts unbiased news to Georgia's Russian-speaking neighbors, opposition politician Nino Burjanadze warns that Georgia is pursuing a dangerous policy.

"Georgia is not some superpower who should be trying to intervene in the internal relations of another country - even a superpower should [not] be do [doing] that. But in these circumstances, this is a really provocative step," said Burjanadze.

But so far, Russia has been giving PIK a seat at the table. Russia President Dmitry Medvedev invited Kotrikadze to join two Russian reporters for an hour-long interview marking the third anniversary of the August 2008 Russia-Georgia War.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid