Friday, August 22, 2014

RFE/RL's Georgian Service

Radio Tavisupleba is a rare source of balanced journalism in a country where much of the press openly supports, both editorially and through the selection of news, either the government or the opposition.

Fast Facts

  • Language: Georgian, Russian
  • Established: 1953
  • Distribution: Radio (FM, satellite), TV, Internet (website, mobile, social media)
  • Coverage: Radio: Four hours 10 minutes daily; Georgian Public TV: one hour weekly
  • Locations: Prague, Tbilisi
  • Staff: 10 (Prague), 21 (Tbilisi), approx. 50 stringers (including those in breakaway regions)

Media Environment

  • The government continues its attempts to control news media and political tensions make journalists vulnerable to physical and verbal attacks.
  • Georgia decriminalized defamation in accordance with European standards in 2004.


  • The Radio Tavisupleba Media School opened in Tbilisi in April 2012. A joint effort of RFE/RL, USAID and IREX, the school and related externship program gives Georgian students hands-on training in multimedia production, digital media, and editorial policy, with the best of their work showcased on Radio Tavisupleba.
  • Blog posts by Georgia's most popular blogger, Ia Antadze, and others on Radio Tavisupleba's website routinely receive over 100 comments, while the Service’s Facebook page has nearly 25,000 “likes”, a high number for a small country with limited Internet access.
  • In June 2011, the Public Defender Office in Georgia recognized two RFE/RL Georgian Service correspondents for journalistic excellence and contributions to reporting on critical social issues.
  • In November 2010, the Georgian Council of Religions and Council of National Minorities named a Georgian Service reporter “Champion of Tolerance”.
  • In November 2009, the service launched “Ekho Kavkaza" (Echo of the Caucasus), a daily one-hour Russian-language program for Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. "Ekho Kavkaza" seeks to use impartial reporting to overcome mistrust between the peoples of these conflict zones.
  • The Georgian Service publishes an annual compendium of "Liberty Diaries," books (with a DVD with additional content) based on a weekly program in which Georgians from all walks of life read their work on air over a seven-day period. "Liberty Diaries" gives listeners, readers and viewers a personal, and often intimate, perspective and historical record of the main domestic and international events of the week.

Updated: 27 June 2013

Facts & Stats

4.512 million (World Bank estimate, 2012)

Most Common Languages:
Georgian, Russian, Armenian, Azeri

Press Freedom Index (Freedom House)
Partly Free, ranked 96 out of 197 (2013)

Press Freedom Index (RSF):
100 out of 179 (2013)

Corruption Index (Transparency Int.):
51 out of 183 (2012)

Global Peace Index (IES):
139 out of 162 (2013)

Human Rights Watch:
Report on Georgia (2013)

Amnesty International:
Georgia Report (2013)

Meet RFE/RL's Georgian Service

RFE/RL Georgian Service director David Kakabadze laughs during filming of the 'Inside Joke' feature.

Service Snapshots: David Kakabadze

David Kakabadze is the Director of RFE's Georgian Service. We sat down with David to talk about media freedom, journalism - and sports! More