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BBG Implements ‘Surge Broadcasting’ in Georgian

It increases content on VOA and RFE/RL and also delays scheduled handover of such content from VOA given ‘critical nature of events.’

The Broadcasting Board of Governors said it has increased programming in Georgian to respond to the situation in South Ossetia.

The U.S. broadcasting organization said it has “implemented surge broadcasting” in response to the crisis there.

Its channels to audiences in Georgia include shortwave radio, in-country FM, television and the Internet, it said. Programming is via Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

RFE/RL added an hour of radio programming in Georgian for a total of four hours each day. Programs are now broadcast via local FM and shortwave. It also has journalist blogs from Gori tracking Russia’s pledge to withdraw forces. It also has a one-hour weekly TV program via Georgian Public Broadcasting.

VOA Georgian broadcasts increased to an hour from a half-hour daily. Broadcasts are on an FM network as well as on shortwave.

“The Administration’s FY 2008 budget, as approved by Congress, provided that all BBG broadcasting to Georgia was to be done by RFE/RL after Sept. 30, 2008,” the organization stated. “However, given the critical nature of events in Georgia, this week the BBG approved continuation of VOA Georgian surge broadcasts for the foreseeable future.”