"Nastoyashchee Vremya," a new Russian-language television program, will launch this evening in Latvia, expanding its reach to audiences in five countries neighboring Russia.
"The aim of the program is to provide audiences in countries neighboring Russia with an alternative point of view on current events in their countries, in their region, and in the world," said Nenad Pejic, RFE/RL editor in chief and co-CEO. "It is committed to providing professional, intelligent journalism, and is guided by the belief in the power of good journalism to promote peace and democracy." .
The 30-minute program, a dynamic mix of live news coverage, interviews, original features, and political satire, will air nightly at 11:00 p.m. on Latvia's private Russian-language channel, TV5. In a press release announcing the program, Baiba Zuzena, the head of TV5's parent company MTG TV Latvia, explained, "The broadcast of 'Nastoyashchee Vremya' on TV5 is not an attempt to convince someone of something, but an opportunity we present to our viewers. Everyone can decide for himself or herself what information to believe, but it's important that Latvians hear every side and be aware of every point of view."
"Nastoyashchee Vremya," or "Current Time" as it is known in English, is a joint production of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Voice of America. It began airing in October 2014 and is carried by TV channels and internet portals in Georgia, Lithuania, Moldova, and Ukraine, in addition to Latvia.
On January 1, Latvia assumed the presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first six months of 2015, during which it has pledged to actively promote media freedom, the EU's Eastern Partnership program, and democratic institutions.