Got my EYE on Georgia
07 July, 2011

Last week wrapped up the Eye on Georgia, a CNN country profile. The point of the profile was to open up different cultures to CNN viewers. Here’s a link to the special report http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/eye.on/. The article does a brief overview of Georgian History and then presents photos of Georgia and Videos on Georgian topics. One of the videos was titled ‘Georgian TV targets Russian audience’, and it focused on a new Georgian government funded Russian speaking TV channel based in Tbilisi. 

As the Russian run television stations in Russia seem to focus on presenting Georgia in the worst possible lights, the counterpart, PIK (ÏÈÊÅ) is determined to show a balanced view of Georgia to its Russian viewers. Robert Parsons is the  Director General of PIK TV. He states that the point of PIK is not to antagonize Russians, but to present  a balanced view of Georgia. Disinformation in Russian media is the number one weapon against any country that is perceived as an enemy. With full on hate towards Georgia by the Russian media, Russian citizens are forced to believe what they see and hear on their TV. Georgia has been portrayed as brutal dictatorship, broken and eager for Russian intervention. This is done with a sole purpose of showing their own citizens how bad life can be once you are no longer under Russia’s watchful eye. The fact that their own country is in shambles and ready to fall apart into different states, is no concern, but Georgia, now that’s a country according to Russian media - that presents the gravest danger to  Russia. And in a way, I guess it does, for what good can come out of realizing that countries can do better without Mother Russia?

For most normal people the good fortune of a neighbor would lift their own spirits and raise their own hope for their possible good fortune too. But these are not normal people. For them a neighbor who does well, is an enemy. The collective thought is, if they don’t have good fortune, then they will do everything in their power to destroy others. If they really like what the neighbor is doing, which often times they do, instead of learning how to do it themselves, they will simply invade and take what they like. I report this all from previous experience. Not until I left Russia, did I realize just how damaging the propaganda and ideology was. Of course at that time, the enemy was USA, and not Georgia.

There are of course websites and blogs with voices of dissent, but with the death rate of Journalists who speak out against their government so high in Russia, is it any wonder there aren’t too many who are willing to voice their opinions? PIK TV does what Russian ‘independent’ media should be doing, investigating and reporting fair and balanced without fear of retribution. As that is unlikely to happen on Russian sponsored TV stations, instead of denying every libel in public, Georgian government made a choice to fight propaganda, with a truth.

There is of course,  as there normally is, criticism for this TV station. Georgian  Media experts believe that a state funded TV station is a threat to Georgian independent media. Answering such allegations, Mr. Parsons, tells CNN he hasn’t received one directive from Georgian government. If this is true or not, can only be determined by watching the channel.