Issue 4, 2011. August-September

   

EYE ON GEORGIA: CNN HIGHLIGHTS REFORMS AND TRADITIONS

A week of reports on the world's largest news network put Georgia and its successes and obstacles in living rooms around the world. Now it is up to Tbilisi to hold viewers' attention and turn exposure on CNN into tourism and investment.

From First Lady Sandra Roelofs' second job as a delivery nurse to new discoveries in Dmanisi, CNN viewers had a front row seat on life in Georgia during a week-long profile on the network's Eye on Georgia program.

The profile was the last in a string of programs dedicated to developing economies.

". . . we have been to India, we have been to Ukraine, Germany - they are going to Mongolia next - I think you just try to look for countries that don't get a lot of exposure but are interesting... We have this huge Arab spring going on and all these different revolutions in all these countries.

It is important to go back to a country that had a revolution a while back," commented the program's presenter, Paula Newton.

Ms. Newton also suggested that now is a good time to look back on the changes that have happened since Georgia's Rose Revolution.

". . . it is a good opportunity to access what happened, what are the challenges - what has worked, what hasn't worked...What can you accomplish, what can you get done in an eight year period."

The profile looked at reforms to the police force and the education system, the government's experiment to revive the agriculture sector by bringing farmers from South Africa to cultivate the land, as well as the First Lady and the latest discoveries in Dmanisi.

Newton, an international correspondent who last visited Georgia in 1999, stressed that the program ran live during prime-time for European audiences and as a result it should bring Georgia to the attention of a whole new audience.

"We believe that our viewers are interested - whether that interest in the story really pulls through and gives Georgia any long term recognition is an open question that I can't really answer," she said.

"At the same time if you see that people are searching on cnn.com [for Georgia], considering that we have millions of unique viewers every month to our website in general ... that has got to say that it is reaching people that it would not have if we were not here."