Voice of America’s Georgian Service, which first went on the air May 26, 1951, is being hailed for the role it has played in helping bring democracy to the former Soviet republic.
In a message marking the 60th anniversary of the service’s creation, Georgia’s Ambassador to the United States, Temur Yakobashvili said, “Without any exaggeration I can say that the VOA Georgian Service has played a big role in spreading America’s voice to the people of Georgia and making it possible for me to represent a sovereign nation here in the United States. VOA’s Georgian Service is as relevant today as it has always been in the past.”
VOA began broadcasting a one-half hour daily program to the Georgian people during the most frigid days of the cold war, when Georgia was still a Soviet Socialist Republic. For the past sixty years, through the country’s transition to democracy, the service has continued to provide accurate, balanced and comprehensive news and information to the people of Georgia.
Among its many admirers is Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who has praised the service as “unique and important in covering events in and around Georgia.”
VOA’s Georgian Service radio broadcasts were increased to one hour daily in August 2008 following Russia’s military incursion into Georgian territory. The Service broadcasts seven hours of original radio programming a week, reaching listeners via the FM network of Georgia’s Public Broadcasting Corporation, the country’s most powerful FM distribution facility. The broadcasts are also heard on shortwave frequencies.
Since November 2010, the VOA Georgian Service has also produced a weekly 15-minute TV program that is broadcast by Georgia’s Public Broadcasting Corporation. The Service’s video reports, along with its daily radio programs, are also available on its website and through Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.
Visit VOA’s Georgian Service at www.voanews.com/georgian/news.