A free media plays a key role helping people engage in society as well-informed citizens. Fact-based journalism helps enable democratic development and makes it possible for society to address challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sirusho Antonyan is a journalist at Channel 9, the local TV station in Akhaltsikhe. Her station participates in a USAID media development program which provides equipment, training, and technical assistance to help local independent media outlets provide their communities with information about the issues that matter most.

Each day, Sirusho and her team broadcast to thousands of people in Samtskhe-Javakheti in both Georgian and Armenian languages, and their web portal attracts about 200,000 unique visitors per month.

Sirusho views her profession as an opportunity to provide members of her community with fact-based information and help members of the ethnic Armenian community better integrate in Georgian society:

“I always wanted to direct my efforts at improving the lives of ethnic minorities. I wanted to provide them with information in their native language to be even better protected from the propaganda coming from various sources. This desire gradually grew into strong motivation, and I made Channel 9 my second home.

Working with the USAID-funded program and Channel 9 gave me an opportunity to understand my role in the daily life of the ethnic Armenian population, to develop as a person, to see the world through different lenses, and to be a mediator between people and news. Television helped me to make my first steps in this direction.

To realize a dream, we have to leave our comfort zone and face something strange and difficult. It may force us to step back, but that is when we have to meet the challenge ahead and find motivation. And then the goals we thought to be unimaginable and unattainable, will become conquered peaks.”


Sirusho Antonyan