08TBILISI287, TBILISI REQUEST FOR TV CO-OP ON POLITICS AND ENDOWMENTS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI287 2008-02-20 11:41 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO2416
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #0287 0511141
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 201141Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8930
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TBILISI 000287 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
FOR EUR/CARC, EUR/PPD AND PA/OBS/BS - GSANTULLI 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: OPRC OIIP KPAO GG
SUBJECT: TBILISI REQUEST FOR TV CO-OP ON POLITICS AND ENDOWMENTS 
 
1. SUMMARY: Embassy Tbilisi requests that a TV Co-op on politics and 
secondarily focused on endowments be scheduled for April 2008. The 
timing of this TV Co-op program is especially fortuitous as Georgia 
held highly contested presidential elections in January and will 
hold parliamentary elections in May. 
 
The end product has a guaranteed placement on highly-rated 
commercial TV Company Rustavi 2 which has nationwide coverage which 
will capture diverse audiences to promote U.S. democratic values in 
Georgia. PAS hopes that key messages on different elements of the 
U.S. political culture, such as the role of debates, the importance 
of accepting the results of elections, the role of an ethical and 
professional media - will resonate with the Georgian public and 
encourage discussions between the government and opposition. END 
SUMMARY. 
 
2. TIMEFRAME: April 2008 
 
3. JUSTIFICATION: Embassy Tbilisi asks for support for a Rustavi-2 
crew to cover the primary election process in the U.S., 
attend/observe and report on primaries with a focus on the U.S. 
electoral process and the democratic culture of American elections. 
The U.S. is widely perceived in Georgia as primary strategic partner 
and the Georgian public closely watches U.S. political life. This 
co-op will help the Georgian public get a better understanding of 
the political culture in the U.S. which will facilitate the process 
of enhancing public awareness of the democratic election processes 
in Georgia. The timing is also perfect for highlighting these topics 
as Georgia gets ready for parliamentary elections in the spring of 
2008. While the U.S. is seen as an ardent supporter of Georgia's 
democracy some Georgians are uncertain in case the next U.S. 
president is a democrat if he/she will continue to support Georgia. 
This TV co-op will also dispel these fears and emphasize U.S. 
foreign policy's bipartisan nature. 
 
The crew will also benefit professionally from working with an FPC 
producer.  PAS expects the experience gained in the U.S. to serve as 
a tutorial for covering the Georgian parliamentary elections. 
 
Rustavi-2 crew's interviews with U.S. political figures, could also 
focus on federal, state, local, primary, general and election, as 
well as ancillary topics such as polling, exit polling, vote 
tabulation, etc.  All the above will contribute to creating a 
political culture within Georgian communities.  The Georgian 
opposition still questions the legitimacy of President Saakashvili, 
if only as a political tactic, even though international observers 
qualified the January 5th Presidential election as complying with 
essential western democratic standards. 
 
4. As a secondary topic Embassy Tbilisi suggests a focus on 
endowment practices in the U.S.: Georgia does not have an endowment 
law.  Educational, cultural and civil society organizations must 
depend on Western donor or on limited Georgian Government financing. 
To educate the Georgian public on what an endowment is, and to 
develop public support for the introduction of an endowment law in 
Georgia, PAS Tbilisi proposes a TV Co-op dealing with endowments as 
a secondary theme. Co-op reporters could visit a U.S. university 
such as Georgetown to speak to university administration and 
financial officers about their endowment, and film footage of 
buildings or facilities supported through an endowment.  The 
reporters could also visit a premiere U.S. cultural institution such 
as the Smithsonian Institute or the Kennedy Center to discuss 
financial planning for cultural institutions and also film footage 
of exhibits or performances supported through endowment funds. 
 
5. NOMINEES: Embassy Tbilisi nominates three persons for the TV 
co-op: 
David Kikalishvili, anchor of Post Scriptum, weekly TV magazine, 
Rustavi 2, DOB: 16 March,1968 
Arkadi (Aka) Jorbenadze, cameraman, Rustavi 2, DOB: 31 Dec, 1979. 
PAS Staff member Khatuna (Hatia) Jinjikhadze, DOB: 24 Dec, 1966. 
 
TEFFT

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