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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Head: Breach Won't Happen Again

Julia Pierson tells a House panel investigating a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid