Euronews & Its New Georgian Branded Affiliate


As of August 31, Euronews Georgia started broadcasting in Georgian, featuring morning, afternoon and evening news, 24 hours a day.

Euronews is a leading international news channel and one of the best known and most trusted news brands operating across Europe. Worldwide, Euronews is broadcast in 160 countries and distributed in almost 400 million homes. Every month, Euronews reaches almost 150 million people, both on TV and digital platforms, according to the Global Web Index (Q1, 2020).

To learn how Euronews Georgia was established and the values that the channel upholds, GEORGIA TODAY sat down with Michael Peters, Euronews’ CEO. Last year, he and Giorgi Ramishvili, the Chairman of Silknet’s Supervisory Board, signed a partnership agreement between Euronews and Silknet to officially launch a branded affiliate of the European mammoth organization here in Tbilisi as Euronews Georgia.

Tell us how the launch went in Georgia, especially as it happened simultaneously with the pandemic.

Everything has been going well: our partner Silknet took all the necessary measures to provide for the smooth running of the Euronews Georgia team’s work. As a result, all stages were successfully managed.

It has been a crazy time, and I think Euronews Georgia achieved a near-miracle by successfully and timely launching a full channel during the pandemic. Euronews Georgia was launched almost simultaneously with branded affiliates in other countries; today, Euronews Georgia’s operations are fully running, while the process has understandably been halted in other countries due to the pandemic. Georgia has proven to be an easy country for us to invest in, because of the culture here that we find so close to ours, and due to the hardworking and honest endeavor on the part of our partners.

Tell us about the recruiting process. What are the core values that Euronews sought to detect or nurture in Georgian employees?

Overall, the recruitment process went quite smoothly. The main challenge was that a lot of potential recruits had previously worked for more-or-less polarized media channels, so we decided to focus on young people with little experience who would better merge with the core values that Euronews upholds. It was the main and a somehow risky challenge. But the time and effort was worth it, as journalism is all about journalists and the values they uphold and share. The good thing is that we found many people that share our values.

Euronews’ mission is to empower people to form their own opinion through providing the greatest diversity of viewpoints. Euronews Georgia stands for the same values: editorial independence and impartiality. “All Views”, is the main message of Euronews, as well as Euronews Georgia’s.

The arrival of Euronews in Georgia is expected to have a very positive effect on the media system here. Euronews will offer an objective overview of internal politics and will objectively cover interparty relations.

It’s good that you say this endeavor will be positive. But you’ll see it’s much more challenging than you think. It’s more of an intellectual approach, we don’t want to be ‘show off’. As humans we like ‘spicy’ things, but our main mission is to help viewers keep an open-mind and to try to always give both sides of the story. Many people are stuck in a bubble of opinion, and to get them out of this biased living is no easy task.

What has the feedback from the Georgian public been so far?

Some people in Georgia are accustomed to receiving biased perspectives from a lot of media outlets, so the feedback so far has been multi-faceted; many say in their feedback on social media that what they see is “different.” But we’re not here to be loved; we’re here to be different and to offer a different perspective.

Our message right now is that Euronews Georgia is a complementary channel for people, together with the type of news they normally follow, as it is so hard to change deeply ingrained habits in a short period of time. When people have been watching their own news in their own way for years, how can you change this in a week? It’s impossible. So I think it best to allow the process to be honest and gradual. We will wait and let the Georgian public judge whether they like Euronews Georgia and the values it upholds.

By Elene Dzebisashvili

24 September 2020 17:12