Reaching Mountainous Communities with the Information They Need

Speeches Shim

Monday, August 2, 2021
Eter Pangani, Producer of Information Centers Network

A strong, independent media sector provides citizens with the information they need to participate in democratic processes. USAID continues to support local independent media outlets to carry out this important mission as part of our efforts to help Georgia build a more resilient, democratic, and prosperous society. 

Eter Pangani is a journalist based in Gurjaani, where she works in content production and project development for the Information Centers Network (ICN), a non-profit media group that unites Mtisambebi.ge, Reginfo.ge, and Radio Way - three digital media outlets that serve rural communities in Kakheti and Mtskheta-Mtianeti.

Together, the three websites reach 100,000 people each day, providing visitors with fact-based information on topics ranging from COVID-19, to upcoming local elections, to the economic and social issues facing citizens living in remote mountainous communities. 

Eter views journalism as a way to give back to her community and to contribute to development in Georgia’s regions. 

“After graduating from university, I decided to find a job in the region [Kakheti].   I believe that young people can help improve the situation in Georgia’s regions through our work, and create opportunities for others to live and work in the regions as well,” she said. 

“Since 2015, I have worked in Gurjaani and Pankisi, where we founded a community radio station [Radio Way, which primarily broadcasts to the residents of Pankisi Gorge].  I feel lucky to work in an organization where I share not only my work, but also my values and goals with my team and partners.

With support from USAID’s flagship media development program, ICN was able to modernize its equipment, establish video and FM radio broadcasting studios, and provide training for its journalists. Eter credits this support with helping her organization continue to build a network of strong local media outlets that serve Georgia’s rural communities:

“With the help of USAID and IREX [the implementer of USAID’s media development program], we have implemented several projects to support ICN’s organizational development as well as our professional growth and success. We learn from professionals and we receive advice from them. I have become acquainted with many journalists in Georgia and abroad, from whom I can learn and who are always ready to help us. These relationships are highly valuable. This support increases our motivation and gives more opportunities to journalists and media organizations working in Georgia’s regions.” 

“I would advise those who plan to become journalists to fully comprehend the importance of this profession, to understand the role and responsibility of journalists in today’s world, where information spreads quickly and news is so readily accessible, to choose to tell the truth and never lose a desire to learn more, to not submit themselves to censorship or self-censorship. I would wish for future journalists and for those who are now working as journalists, a safer and more protected working environment.”  

 

 

Last updated: September 23, 2021

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