Saturday, April 21, 2007

Monopoly on Russian Radio

I apologize if this is a little off topic, but I couldn't resist:

From this New York Times article:

"At their first meeting with journalists since taking over Russia’s largest independent radio news network, the managers had startling news of their own: from now on, they said, at least 50 percent of the reports about Russia must be 'positive.'

"In addition, opposition leaders could not be mentioned on the air and the United States was to be portrayed as an enemy, journalists employed by the network, Russian News Service, say they were told by the new managers, who are allies of the Kremlin.

"How would they know what constituted positive news?

“'When we talk of death, violence or poverty, for example, this is not positive,' said one editor at the station who did not want to be identified for fear of retribution. 'If the stock market is up, that is positive. The weather can also be positive.'


"The change leaves Echo of Moscow, an irreverent and edgy news station that often provides a forum for opposition voices, as the only independent radio news outlet in Russia with a national reach.

"'For Echo of Moscow, this is positive news,' Mr. Venediktov said. 'We are a monopoly now. From the point of view of the country, it is negative news.'”


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