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Panphilov’s satellite dish2010-01-15 17:04
Strange things have been happening since the beginning of the year in the field of the Georgian media. The First Caucasian TV channel that started Internet-broadcasting at the beginning of January is also going to launch satellite broadcasting on January 15. It is notable that the opening of the channel, which even the Georgians consider to be anti-Russian, was followed by a scandal. The rest of the PTG structures had to squeeze up, so long as the First Caucasian Channel was established on the basis of the Public Television of Georgia (PTG). For instance, it was officially stated that the Public Radio of Georgia, which is part of the PTG, will be shifted onto the "reorganization mode"
since February 1, which means its significant reduction. About 200 journalists and technical staff are planned to be dismissed from the radio.
As was stated by member of the Georgian parliament Giorgiy Tsagareishvili, "it is quite obvious that the so-called reorganization and the dismissal of 200 employees are related to the start of the broadcasting of the Russian-speaking First Caucasian TV channel based on the Public Television of Georgia. Let us remind you that when the TV channel was in project the Georgian authorities promised to make sound financial investments into this propagandistic startup. In fact, it turned out that the broadcasting in Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia will be realized at the cost of prejudicing the rights of the already existing media. According to deputy Tsagareishvili, "in case of dismissing, the employees of the Public Radio of Georgia are intended to assert their rights via protest actions".
At the same time, the few employees of the First Caucasian Channel feel quite optimistic. For instance, journalist Oleg Panphilov, who has acquired the Georgian citizenship not so long ago, believes it to be a true achievement that the TV channel website was visited by "approximately one hundred thousand people" within the first week of existence. But let us leave the deceitful figure on the head of Panphilov, who has distinguished himself by utterly fierce anti-Russian performance in the days of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict and was more than once found out in a lie and facts distortion. It is quite obvious that the statistics of the first week of the Internet broadcasting, just like the statisticsс of any Internet project life, which has been preliminarily "promoted", is not really indicative. The more so, as we are talking about the last week of the New Year holidays when the satiated Internet users tend to search the network for something extremely exotic, and the First Caucasian Channel can surely be characterized as such.
By the way, it is absolutely unclear why the project needs satellite broadcasting, so long as it is primarily meant for the Russian audience, and the people will hardly tune in the satellite dishes to have a look at Alla Dudaeva. And, naturally, the probability of including the First Caucasian Channel into the cable television packages is still lower. Nevertheless, the pro-Georgian magazines seem to feel quite optimistic about the future. For instance, Pavel Sheremet has written the following in his weblog: "The fact that Moscow's reaction will be rather sharp and close to hysterical cannot be doubted". On the other hand, the expert on CIS affairs, former employee of the Russian President's administration Modest Kolerov has stated in his interview to the BBC Company that "Russia has got nothing to worry about". Besides, Kolerov believes that the basic task faced by the new channel team implies "the destruction of the informational and defensive, in a broad sense of word, Russian infrastructure in the North Caucasus". That is why Panphilov's promise to make an "objective" cover of the events in Georgia and the Caucasus leaves serious doubts.