David Kakabadze is the Director of RFE's Georgian Service. We sat down with David to talk about media freedom, journalism - and sports!
David Kakabadze is the Director of RFE's Georgian Service. A renowned sports reporter within Georgia, Kakabadze joined RFE's ranks in 1993. He has a Ph.D in German literature and has served as an editor and correspondent in Tbilisi for various Georgian and Russian newspapers and magazines. We asked David three questions to get a better sense of the Service and his background.
What impact is Radio Tavisupleba having in Georgia?
: Well, Freedom House lists Georgia as “partly free.” Most media is in the hands of the government or the opposition. Given that the Georgian government is trying to position itself as a democratic country striving towards western-style democracies, the media situation is very poor. We are in a position to make a difference.
What is one popular program or aspect of your service that is making a difference?
Given that the Georgian government is trying to position itself as a democratic country striving towards western-style democracies, the media situation is very poor.
: Last year we started Ekho Kavkaza
, a one hour radio program in Russian featuring on the ground reports from journalists in the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as news and analysis from the rest of Georgia. I highlight this program because it really brings people together with different opinions. In one hour you can listen to several completely different perspectives. This is important because for more than 18 yrs, we’ve been lacking this kind of dialogue. What motivated you to get into journalism?
: How I got here is a long story, but before I started at RFE I followed in my father’s footsteps. He was the founder and editor in chief of the first sports daily in Georgia, called Lelo. From childhood my dream was to become a sports writer and work for this paper – which I did!