Media of Varkana
Media of Varkana consist of several different types of communications media: television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and Web sites. They are characterized by a tradition of "pillarization" on the one hand and an increasing degree of commercialism on the other.
National media centers and organizations
Klow dominates the media sector in Varkana: national newspapers, television and radio are largely based there. The Telephone Herald started in the capital in 1893. STV and major privately owned channels such as STS are based in the commune.
Kaspi is also a significant national media hub. VTV is based there. In the country, media is spread through the forms of TV, newspapers, magazines, websites, and radio. Kaspi is the hottest place to receive media information.
Other Key centers
For the music industry, Senaki is the main center, with numerous labels and recording companies based there. Gali and Borjomi are also important centers of newspaper and broadcasting production in their respective regions.
Television and radio
Television and radio are provided by a system of public-broadcasting organisations (sharing three television and five radio networks) together with a number of commercial channels.
Public service broadcasting
The Varkana Public Broadcasting arose from the former practice of pillarization, in which the country's various religious and social groups all organised their own institutions, with financial help from the government. These institutions included broadcasting. Although the system of pillarization largely collapsed in the 1970s, the broadcasting associations themselves have remained active. Most have several tens of thousands of members, and they are allocated broadcasting time on the public channels in proportion to the size of their memberships. In addition, a number of other broadcasting foundations, established by the government, receive air time.
The system is financed from three sources:
- grant-in-aid payments from the government, raised from general taxation;
- the income from on-air advertising, regulated by the KR-SSK, a public body;
- the dues paid by members of the broadcasting associations.
The broadcasting associations share three national television channels (STV 1, STV 2, STV 3) and seven radio channels (SRK 1, SRK 2, SRK 3, SRK 4, SRK 5, SRK 6, and SRK 7). Each of these television channels have their own profile: thus STV 1 is oriented towards news, economics, and politics, STV 2 towards culture, arts, sports, family programming, and religion, while STV 3 concentrates on youth and progressive programming.
There are also several communal television channels, which are organised by the communes. In recent years, these channels tend to switch to Intranet broadcasting only.
Commercial broadcasting was banned until the late 1980s. In the 1970s, before they were allowed to join the public television system, several stations or networks were broadcast as off-shore pirate stations from Aetolia. In 1988 commercial broadcasting was legalized. Aetolian-owned channels dominate the commercial broadcasting market in Varkana, including the popular VTV. International networks are also available, including ??.
Newspapers and online journals
All newspapers are privately owned. They were historically linked to the pillarization system, with some titles having strong links to labor unions or political parties. These ties have all been severed now. The most important papers are the populist conservative tabloid Tribuna (ტრიბუნა), the progressive social-democratic Bechdvit (ბეჭდვით), the Armazist Matsne (მაცნე) and the progressive socialist Simartle (სიმართლე).
Smaller religious communities have their own paper, like the Magdalenan Cotidian in Vlahestian. The business community has the Ekonomisti (ეკონომისტი), while the Aetolian minority has the Efimerida (εφημερίδα) in Aetolian. A recent phenomenon is the widely read free newspaper the Metro (მეტრო). There are also several communal newspapers.
Monamedia (მონამედია) is an important online investigative journal with around 150,000 subscribers.