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17.07.2010 00:36

Radio GIPA

David Mchedlidze
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The radio was based at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs, (GIPA) therefore without much thinking the station assumed a name of GIPA. Initially they wanted to make a students radio. Then after applying to the Georgian National Communications Commission for the license they decided to make a far more serious channel.Radio GIPA was granted a right to broadcast on FM 94.3 and its coverage area is spread across Tbilisi. The radio was founded by the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs in collaboration with the US and Polish Embassies in Georgia.

"We were in the process of forming the radio when the US-based National Public Radio and BBC offered to cooperate. We launched re-broadcasting of their programming. It's an important project, I think, since we can listen to the production of the world leading media outlets," said Guga Sulkhanishvili, the radio GIPA director.

A one-hour BBC program in the English language is aired for times per day. It covers various topics and the listeners, in addition to news, have a possibility to hear economics and sports news, as well as interviews on different issues. At 1 am GIPA rebroadcasts a one-hour BBC program in Russian.

National Public Radio programs are available on GIPA three times per day. The running time of each outlet is one hour.

Radio GIPA also offers its audience Georgian journalists' authorship programs. Every Thursday Ninia Kakabadze's Free Opinion starts at 18:00 hrs. On Wednesdays the Diversity Discussions talk show is being on. The program is dedicated to minorities and is anchored by the radio chief Guga Sulkhanishvili.

From March 2010 radio GIPA broadcasts news at 19:00 hrs on a daily basis. The first block mainly covers social and political news, followed by culture, sport and foreign news.

The news is produced by the GIPA master's course students.

"The program is important since the students in addition to studying have a good practice, whish is conducive to forming them as professionals. It has turned into a normal job for them," said Bidzina Makashvili, news editor.

The students for the news were selected through the competition. The news program is being produced by 4-5 journalists. Three of them anchor the news. According to one of the anchors Irina Aliashvili the institute itself enables a student to have a good practice. It's an additional motivation for studying, the salary issue turned out important too though.

"I had to cover half of my fee for studies. Even though my salary is not so high I added some more and paid it off. It's very important is terms of practice and finances. It helps us grow in a professional manner," Ani Berukashvili, news anchor said.

Radio GIPA does not focus on selling advertising, since its programs are being funded by USAID, UN Association and the Open Society Georgia Foundation.

Their technical equipments are rather good. Six PCs have been apportioned for editing. The studio is well equipped too. In total 12 people are employed at the radio, six of them are journalists.

Radio offers its audience music too. Mainly rock music is being heard. Blues and jazz music is available too though. In addition every half an hour the radio broadcasts modern Georgian music.

Radio management is planning some changes from September. The radio programming will be added a morning program to be anchored by Guga Sulkhanishvili. Radio GIPA is also planning to produce a permanent program on sport.

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