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28.05.2010 21:21

Program That Unites 21 TV Channels

David Mchedlidze
Media Discusions

Regional TV companies regularly air weekly TV journal Mravalkutkhedi (polygon). The stories for the program are produced by regional correspondents; the show is edited in Tbilisi studio of Association of Regional Broadcasters of Georgia and then sent back to the TV channels. The program's duration is 1 hour. Mravalkutkhedi covers many different topics - human rights, ethnic minorities, education and culture.

"Topics and respondents of the TV stories are agreed with the main producer of the program, we pay particular attention to politics and select the topics that are important for the regions, those topics are rarely covered by nation-wide TV stations. Actually the regions exchange news through this program, a united informational area is formed, which encourages cooperation between regional TV companies and their development" - Director of Association of Regional Broadcasters Natia Kuprashvili noted, who's at the same time the head of the project.

Mravalkutkhedi is produced by Association of Regional Broadcasters of Georgia through financial assistance from Dutch organization Press Now. The program has been aired since December 1, 2009.

The project titled Supporting Media Project on Regional Issues in Georgia involves 21 regional TV stations. Two TV channels - Trialeti (Gori) and Mega TV (Khoni) refused to participate in Mravalkutkhedi program. Ninotsminda-based TV station Parvana and Akhalkalaki-based TV station ATV-12 were also initially involved in the project; however, the program was aired only a few times by them as their mostly Armenian-speaking viewers couldn't understand the show, which is produced in Georgian language. According to Natia Kuprashvili, the Association is working on that issue and the program will soon have Armenian subtitles.

Only 4 persons work on the program in the Association's Tbilisi studio, Mravalkutkhedi has one anchor - Nina Chanturaia. Besides, students also take part in the production of the stories from time to time. Their technical equipment is quite scarce; however, they experience most of their problems in regional TV companies, because many of them don't even have professional cameras, therefore they have to produce their TV stories using amateur cameras.

"Due to the fact that various TV stations have equipment of varying quality the final product is quite uneven and I'm not happy about that. Initially our priority was to provide the viewers with interesting contents, which we achieved. Now we need to work on improving the technical aspects of the program. Initially, the project's duration was 9 months, but as the program really works and the donors like our product, the project will be prolonged by all means." - Natia Kuprashvili says.

Authors of Mravalkutkhedi have submitted an application to U.S. Embassy in Georgia asking for funds necessary for improving the equipment used by the program, they're currently waiting for the answer from the Embassy.  

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