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Tbilisi Protest Rally in Georgian TV News
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 26 Nov.'10 / 02:23

Student tuition fee protest in London was a bigger news story for Georgia's two major nationwide broadcasters on November 25, than the protest rally in Tbilisi center, which was the largest one in last 18 months, since opposition's lengthy street demonstrations in spring, 2009.

The most watched Georgian TV station Rustavi 2's main, 9pm news program, reported about the Tbilisi protest rally 40 minutes after the bulletin's start. Rustavi 2 TV opened its primetime news program with 17-minute long report about a concert of Spanish opera star Placido Domingo in Georgia's Black Sea resort town of Batumi and his meeting with President Saakashvili on November 25; the bulletin then included news about financial probe into over 100 Georgian betting firms and a story about student tuition fee protest in London, followed by report about settlement in Moldova, built with Georgian assistance after flooding there and about President Saakashvili's visit to that settlement on November 24; then came some crime news and four-minute long story about the Tbilisi protest rally.

Another major nationwide broadcaster, Imedi TV, in its main, 8pm news program, reported about the Tbilisi protest rally about 32 minutes after the program's start, dedicating to the event two minutes. The news about the rally was reported after stories about tensions on the Korean peninsula and the student tuition fee protests in Europe.

The Georgian Public Broadcaster's main, 8pm news program's news lineup differed from the two other major channels with absence of a story about student tuition fee protests in the UK. The public broadcaster reported about the Tbilisi rally about 28 minutes after the start of the news program, after reporting about Moldova settlement story, some crime news and a lengthy report about Placido Domingo's concert.

Unlike the three nationwide broadcasters, the November 25 rally in Tbilisi was a top story for news programs of two Tbilisi-based television stations, Kavkasia and Maestro, with this latter also providing live footage from the rally in its afternoon news program.

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