News editors practice a trial live broadcast several days before the launch of Kanal Pik. (Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz)
A satellite news channel making its debut January 25 in Georgia receives government financing, but maintains that it will operate independently. The channel features two well-known Kremlin critics as show hosts, but executives insist that its mission is not to bash the Russian government.
The station, Kanal Pik, began broadcasting with a live call-in show with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. It is not the first Georgian sortie in the long-running information war between Georgia and Russia; Alania TV began broadcasting Russian-language news to separatist-controlled South Ossetia in 2005. The station faded from prominence after the 2008 war with Russia over South Ossetia, but, a year later, another Russian-language satellite TV station emerged.
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Paul Rimple is a freelance reporter based in Tbilisi.
Georgia: Russian-Language News Satellite Station Reborn