TBILISI, Republic of Georgia, Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Republic of Georgia Independent Television Station TV9's senior management announced today the formation and membership of TV9's international advisory board.
The Advisory Board members include (in alphabetical order):
- Les Gelb: President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Correspondent and Editorial Page Editor for New York Times.
- Lee Hamilton: Former Congressman, Co-Chair of the 9/11 Commission, and former President of the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.
- Larry King: Nationally syndicated host of "Larry King Live" on CNN and philanthropist.
- Giorgi Margvelashvili: Dean, Republic of Georgia Institute for Public Affairs
- Robert Menard: French Journalist and Internationally Acclaimed Proponent of Media Freedom
In announcing the new TV9 Advisory Board in Tbilisi, Georgia today, Mr. Kahka Bekauri TV9's President and Chief Executive Officer stated:
"TV9's management and staff are proud to have such a distinguished group of international journalists, former senior government officials, and human rights experts serving on its Advisory Board. TV9 will be relying on our Advisory Board members to promote and protect the editorial independence of TV9 in its goal of enhancing and preserving freedom of the press and a voice of independent news and views in the Republic of Georgia."
Larry King added:
"I am very proud to become a member of TV9's Advisory Board. As a journalist and media commentator, protecting the rights of journalists, preserving freedom of the press and promoting and protecting human rights around the world has been a cornerstone of my career. TV9, like any other new, independent news gathering organization, faces unprecedented challenges from the Georgian government in its mission to serve the people of Georgia as a free and independent source of news and information. Its young and idealistic staff deserves the support of Americans and Europeans who share its mission."
TV9 commenced programming in May 2012 as an independent news and information media outlet serving the people of the Republic of Georgia at an especially challenging time in Georgia's economic, political and social development. Although financially supported by Ekaterina Khvedelidze, wife of noted Georgian philanthropist Bidzina Ivanishvili, TV9 is editorially independent from the Georgian Dream Coalition of Political Parties, and is dedicated to providing its viewers unfettered access to objective, factual and verifiable news and information.
Former Congressman Lee Hamilton added the reasons why he agreed to join TV9's Advisory Board:
"As a long-time observer of the Republic of Georgia, I am increasingly concerned that its Government is engaged in a concerted effort to silence the voice of independent media and to violate the basic tenets of press freedom and the rights of its citizens to peacefully express their views. TV9 represents an important new independent voice for the rights of the citizens of Georgia. I look forward to working with my fellow advisory board colleagues and TV9's senior management to fulfill its goal of serving as an outlet of freedom for the people of Georgia."
Les Gelb stated:
"The American people have by word and deed consistently supported the principles and ideals of the Rose Revolution and the aspirations of the people of Georgia to live in peace and security within internationally recognized borders. As a journalist I am concerned that the government of Georgia is increasingly resorting to undemocratic conduct unbecoming of a democratic government by preventing independent media outlets, such as TV9 from serving as an independent media outlet for the people of Georgia. As a member of TV9's Advisory Board, I hope to lend my voice to the cause of media freedom in Georgia."
Robert Menard, European journalist & international press freedom activist made the following comment:
"I have committed my professional career to the goal of protecting media freedom around the world. TV9 represents a noble initiative to offer the Georgian people a truly independent source of news and information. However, for purely political motives, the Government of Georgia is attempting to prevent TV9 from fulfilling this goal. My decision to join this Advisory Board is premised on my determination to focus global attention on the challenges TV9 faces from a hostile Georgian leadership."
Giorgi Margvelashvili, Dean of the Georgia Institute of Public Affairs expressed the following:
"It is an honor for me to join this respected board, taking into consideration its declared cause and members. For the last ten years, together with my Georgian, American and European colleagues I led training of the new generation of journalists in Georgia. We believed that high standards of journalism are crucial to ensure Georgia's future as a democracy and as a contemporary state. Unfortunately, the Government of Georgia is pursuing a course of action directed at suspending the system of checks and balances by weakening the legislature and the independence of the judiciary. A similar campaign by the Government of Georgia has been undertaken to limit freedom of the media. Hence, my mission serving as a TV9 board member is to strive to ensure a better environment for a viable journalism and hence democratic development in Georgia."