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Rustavi 2 Broadcasting, GEO TV receive award for international broadcast excellence

Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company in Tbilisi, Georgia, and Geo TV in Karachi, Pakistan, have received the National Association of Broadcasters' 2004 International Broadcasting Excellence Awards.

The awards, established in 1995, recognize international broadcasters who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in providing services to their community. The awards were presented at the NAB International Reception Monday, April 19.

Rustavi 2 is an independent station near the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. Founded June 1, 1994, this tiny local station, which initially broadcast from two rooms in a local hotel, has become the recognized voice of independent television in Georgia.

In addition to performing public service, such as telethons for charities, sponsoring kids' sports teams and forming a national literary prize, Rustavi 2 has produced a deep menu of independent and sometimes controversial public affairs programming and investigative journalism to serve diverse audiences.

The station has been recognized around the world for playing a pivotal role in the November 2003 non-violent popular uprising of "Rose Revolution," after which Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze stepped down.

Geo TV was launched on multiple stations across Pakistan Aug. 14, 2002. Breaking the molds created by the state-owned media, Geo initiated independent, live news coverage and programs based on many important issues never before addressed in the Pakistan media.

Lending Pakistanis a unique new identity by reviving the Urdu language, Geo's programming stresses the need for moderation and tolerance and providing a soapbox in its communities for all to speak out.

Facilitating social contact and understanding between India and Pakistan has been one important mission, as evidenced by its program bringing Pakistanis and Indians together to discuss their cultures on camera.

Geo also undertakes public service campaigns that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for many local causes.

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