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Russian Journalists Quit Over Censorship

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the rebels-with-a-cause dept.

Censorship 162

A state-controlled broadcast center in Russia has just seen the result of censorship restrictions imposed by the Kremlin. In a rare show of protest a group of journalists all resigned stating that they could no longer work under the harsh restrictions imposed by the state. "Artyom Khan, one of the reporters who resigned, said restrictions were introduced when new management was imported last month from Channel One, the state television station that documents Mr Putin's every move."

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162 comments

Well, (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19211665)

It's a nice gesture, but the poor guy has a long road ahead of him.

Re:Well, (2)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211815)

In Soviet Russia, nice gesture=waaaaaaay better than a syringe full of polonium.

Re:Well, (2, Funny)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212147)

Wait, does that mean in the rest of the world a syringe full of polonium is better than a nice gesture?

Re:Well, (1)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212193)

He didn't assert that it's true only in Soviet Russia.

Re:Well, (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212533)

I was responding to his post as if it were one of these [wikipedia.org] , which are quite common on slashdot, as opposed to a somewhat serious response.

Disgruntled Russian journalist video-blogs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19211981)

http://youtube.com/watch?v=N560NCIsaS8 [youtube.com]

It's been subtitled for the youtube link.

In Soviet America: +1, Interesting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212121)


Censorship quits over journalists.

Wake up and smell the Fuhrerbunker [whitehouse.org] .

Seditiously as always,
Kilgore Trout, Physicist

Death of Independent Journalism in Russia (2, Informative)

reporter (666905) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213351)

The "International Herald Tribune" has just published a report [iht.com] summarizing the state of independent journalism in Russia. The Kremlin is trying to seize the offices of the Russian Union of Journalists, which is the largest organization of independent journalists. Meanwhile, the Russian government uses its satellites to transmit "Russia Today", a government-funded pro-Kremlin program, to audiences in foreign countries like the USA and Germany. Also, Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian News Service (RNS) to broadcast pro-Kremlin news. One Russian listener of RNS commented on the new format by writing, on the RNS web site, " Down with Kremlin censorship! Yesterday elevators were discussed. Today, buckwheat. Are not there any other topics? "

Next up, Channel One Exposes Number Two... (4, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211707)

Channel One, the state television station that documents Mr Putin's every move...


Czar Putin, you sure that's a good idea?

"Next up, Channel One Exposes Number Two..."

Re:Next up, Channel One Exposes Number Two... (2, Funny)

WhyDoYouWantToKnow (1039964) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211767)

That's Mr Number Two to you Mister.

Re:Next up, Channel One Exposes Number Two... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212371)

Putin: "KHAN!! KHAN!!! KHAnNnNnN !...!!....!!!..."

To Putin (2, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211715)

I've done far worse than kill you. I've hurt you. And I wish to go on hurting you. I shall leave you as you left me, as you left her: marooned for all eternity in the center of a dead planet, buried alive. Buried alive.

Re:To Putin (3, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211861)

PUTIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!

Re:To Putin (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212213)

... du merde!!!!!

Re:To Putin (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213117)

I was hoping someone had made the comment already. My thought upon reading:

"Artyom Khan, one of the reporters who resigned, said restrictions were introduced when new management was imported last month from Channel One, the state television station that documents Mr Putin's every move."

My first thought was "KHAAAAAAN!!! [youtube.com] "

Re:To Putin (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213997)

Why not link to here [khaaan.com] instead?

In Soviet Russia ... (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211719)

... Kremlin mods YOU down!

In current Russia ... (5, Insightful)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211963)

You will MOD yourself down! Or face the consequences!

And you thought Britain was bad for cameras! (4, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211733)

Whats a few surveillance cameras when poor Putin has a camera crew following him everywhere!!

right.. (4, Funny)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211735)

the state television station that documents Mr Putin's every move.
 
If you were trying to run an oppressive state, why would you want your every move documented?

Re:right.. (4, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211779)

Because he is trying to build up a personality cult. It would appear Mr Putin has deigns on power greater than the Russian Presidency.

Re:right.. (2, Funny)

MadJo (674225) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213205)

Wait, what? He wants to be Russia's Next Top Model?

Re:right.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19211921)

Secrecy is hardly a requirement for oppression! Acting in full view, oppressing despite the fact everyone knows you're doing it, produces true despair in the oppressed and illustrates your power. The project for a new american reich^Wcentury didn't act in secret - they transformed america into a fascist state out in the open, while hand-wringers looked on crying "woe". Just knowing or pointing out that something is wrong DOES NOT FIX THINGS. No number of liberal bloggers ranting puts a bullet through the brain of a neocon!

Re:right.. (1)

guaigean (867316) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212419)

No number of liberal bloggers ranting puts a bullet through the brain of a neocon!


I didn't realize liberals believed in the right to bear arms.

*ducks*

Re:right.. (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213007)



>I didn't realize liberals believed in the right to bear arms.

Odd belief, not as well supported by facts as certain pundits would have you to believe.
For example, the liberal Democratic Governor of my state is responsible for Open Carry, Open Transfer, and "Shall Issue" CCW permits. All of the Democratic Sheriffs of the state concur.

In my experience, "Liberal" gun laws are those where you are allowed to have them, and the government does not make it its own business until a crime is committed. Gun control is not a universal, or even a core value, of the Democratic Party, or of liberalism in general.

Re:right.. (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213123)

I'm not fully sure how gun control fell into the Democratic bucket in the first place. Probably because the NRA are a bunch of idiots and make restrictive gun control look like a good thing. Actually, the first comprehensive system of gun control was created by a California governor named Ronald Reagan in response to the Black Panthers stopping one too many cycles of police brutality.

Re:right.. (1, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213231)

I'm not fully sure how gun control fell into the Democratic bucket in the first place.
As a straw man of the neocons in the NRA and the Republican Party. Gun control is a wedge issue used to create a false dichotomy between the Republicans and Democrats.

Corporate-allied Republican interests: The Democrats want to take your guns away! And kill babies! And force you to not go to church!

Mainstream Americans: Uh-oh, better vote Republican!
Republicans: Gee, thanks for getting us elected!
Corporate interests: No problem, now about those tax breaks and environmental law rollbacks we discussed...

Wedge issues like gun control are the reason that the white rural middle-class and poor consistently vote against their economic self-interest in state and national elections. It's identified with the Democratic Party because that makes the issue useful to the special interests that control the Republican party. Note that this works both ways, and the Republicans aren't the only part using wedge issues to divide the electorate...

Re:right.. (2, Interesting)

Khaed (544779) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213813)

You've obviously never heard of Senator Diane Fienstien, who said she would take every gun from Americans if she could.

Or the ridiculous Assault Weapons Ban, passed by a Democrat controlled congress and signed by Bill Clinton. A law that banned guns on cosmetic features and made a minimum impact on crime; most weapons used in crimes are not "assault" weapons (which are NOT machine guns -- fully automatic guns require a license and a yearly tax), they're stolen or otherwise illegally gotten pistols. When the bill was going to expire in 2004, supporters (Democrats) claimed there would be blood in the streets. And... nada. Three years later, it turns out it was just a bill passed to "feel good."

And to make Democrat supporters like the Brady Campaign happy. They support Gun Control. And look at how they rate elected officials. They rate Democrats higher. So, the gun control lobby likes Democrats. When a group likes a political party, that tends to imply that party supports the same thing that group does.

It's not *all* Democrats, just like not *all* Republicans are pro-gun. In fact, most suck on the issue. But they suck to a lesser extend than Democrats do on this issue.

This is an important issue to me, and it irritates the living hell out of me that my choices are between an idiot who wants to take all guns and an idiot who wants to take all non-hunting guns.

Also, the NRA is no more powerful than the Brady Campaign and mostly supports guns for hunting; I don't give a rats ass about hunting, so I could care less what the NRA says.

Censorship (2, Funny)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211739)

Too bad they don't have a writer's guild. They could regulate the censored censorship to regulate the censorship of Putin's Censorship.

OR they could just get a job at the Washington Post for a few weeks before it falls apart.

Re:Censorship (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213801)

Or they could do what Pasadena does. Outsource your reporters from India.

Cold War, take... Two? (4, Insightful)

u-bend (1095729) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211751)

You know, there are probably a lot of frustrated Washington bureaucrats and military types that would love to see a re-emergence of a Soviet Russian state--we'd be fighting real commies again, and not elusive and often invisible terrorists. And the wiretapping infrastructure is there to catch the red sympathizers at home now! Ah, Russia, how your people are always out of one pan and into another fire.

Re:Cold War, take... Two? (1)

CrimsonScythe (876496) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211873)

Well, I vote that we'll henceforth refer to this as the Nippy War!

Re:Cold War, take... Two? (1, Funny)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211937)

Well, I vote that we'll henceforth refer to this as the Nippy War!
Nippy War, wasn't that started by Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl?

Re:Cold War, take... Two? (0, Flamebait)

fritsd (924429) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212215)

With that tiny golden thingy that all those USians were afraid of for some reason?

I'll never understand what that was all about.

Re:Cold War, take... Two? (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212447)

No, that was ''Nipplegate'' [google.com] , one of the most watched events...

Re:Cold War, take... Two? (1)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211893)

Actually, I get the impression that at least some in Washington prefer an elusive and often invisible enemy. This way, it's a lot easier to just make shit up.

Re:Cold War, take... Two? (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212005)

You know, there are probably a lot of frustrated Washington bureaucrats and military types that would love to see a re-emergence of a Soviet Russian state--we'd be fighting real commies again, and not elusive and often invisible terrorists.


That's what Iraq was at least partially about. Saddam Hussein was a very visible public figure -- it gave the folks back at home something to 'rally around.' With the War on Terror we're now back to shadow fighting enemies that we know very little about who sneak around blowing up stuff and killing troops. Does this last description sound familiar? It should if you know anything about the Vietnam War.

If there's a big boogieman out there, we need to build weapons and tanks and planes and spend big bucks doing it. But the public rarely rallies behind a cause that looks confusing and hopeless... the American public likes the classic "the good guys (U.S.)" vs "the bad guys (Russia, Saddam, Ax1s of da 3v1l, etc.)", not us vs. some tactics.

Re:Cold War, take... Two? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19213651)

With the War on Terror we're now back to shadow fighting enemies that we know very little about who sneak around blowing up stuff and killing troops. Does this last description sound familiar? It should if you know anything about the Vietnam War.

Sure when you compare vapid soundbites about the Vietnam War with vapid soundbites about the War on Terrorism they do sound an awful lot alike. It's when you start studying the facts that start to realize just how wrong the comparisons are. Those who are against the war on terror, and who are actually familiar with the facts of both wars (a vanishingly small number) live in fear of the day that Joe Public starts to do that - as that day Joe Public learns just how badly they've been mislead for decades about both wars by those who oppose them.

Bogeyman (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213929)

If there's a big boogieman out there, we need to build weapons and tanks and planes and spend big bucks doing it.

At the moment, there're a couple of bogeymen: Iran and China. Hopefully we'll never have to worry about going to war with either one, because it would be damned ugly under the best circumstances.

Re:Cold War, take... Two? (0)

ni42 (268052) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212011)

Actually, elusive and invisible is good -- fear of the unknown. I mean, we don't want anything to be too tangible, or Americans might start to think that they are not likely to get bombed at any second by nebulous terro-commies! Then they would start demanding more "rights" and other dangerous things. *shudder*

Re:Cold War, take... Two? (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212015)

Wrong, we'd be fighting both. Namely elusive, invisible terrorists possibly funded and probably armed by the kremlin. We'd be moving towards all out war with Russia while trying to continue our game of whack-a-mole with the terrorists. More likely, the millitary would not be happy with a revived Soviet opposition, it would be too much. Though the traditional Soviet enemy was easier to deal with, and would be preferable, we can't have both at the same time. Too expensive.

Re:Cold War, take... Two? (1)

u-bend (1095729) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212187)

Perhaps poor wording on my part. My statement was a whimsical "what-if" which was inspired by a mental image of mostly older, mostly white guys in Washington mopping their brows and having private moments of nostalgia for the cold war days (especially the later ones). Sure, people died in the 80s (google Maj Nicholson), and Vietnam was a disaster, but we largely felt good about ourselves as the champions of freedom, democracy and capitalism. Now, while still ostensibly standing for those things, we're having PR problems abroad and at home, and are unable to wage an effective war with our opponents.

Re:Cold War, take... Two? (2, Insightful)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213173)

The Kremlin has never funded terrorists and the documents the neocons used to claim those things were in fact so-called "Black Propaganda" released by the CIA to dissuade neutrals from the USSR by associating them with terrorists. And of course, Islamic terrorism has always been a joke given that we've had only two attacks in the past two decades whereas white supremacists and anti-choicers* have made made over 32 attacks in 2007 alone.

*You lose the right to be called pro-"life" when you try to take the life of mothers and abortion doctors. (The hypocrisy of the rest of the movement is outside the scope of this post but I assure you it involves the correlated positions against birth control and methods of helping the mothers who have these babies)

Re:Cold War, take... Two? (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213315)

The Kremlin has never funded terrorists...

Never said they did, they have however funded our own enemies. Not to mention the fact that their are effectively two guns of war in the world, the AK-47 and the M-16. Someone is/was selling the AK-47s.

Re:Cold War, take... Two? (1)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213319)

The Kremlin has never funded terrorists

Don't be silly. History is quite clear for those that want to read it without ideological blinders: both sides in the Cold War preferred to let client states do the dirty work. The Kremlin may not have paid for things like the Lockerbie attack, but it damn well propped up the regimes that made these things possible, in the full knowledge what those folks were up to with their freshly-gotten military knowledge and materiel.

the documents the neocons used to claim those things were in fact so-called "Black Propaganda" released by the CIA

Oh no, not the almighty CIA again. I am not disclaiming that they didn't meddle in client states' affairs to the detriment of world stability, but the CIA is not the almighty bogeyman some folks make them up to be.

Let me guess: the next thing you are going to claim is that 9/11 was orchestrated by the Mossad?

Mart

Re:Cold War, take... Two? (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213513)

And of course, Islamic terrorism has always been a joke given that we've had only two attacks in the past two decades

Right. London, Madrid, WTC1, USS Cole, Dar-es-salaam, Nairobi, Bali, just for the more visible ones.

no new cold war (5, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212075)

if anything, europe is way more agitated than the usa. this is because the eu expanded into old soviet bloc countries and a russian awakening from its post cold war hangover is feeling rather nationalistic about it's old sphere of influence. witness the latest conflagration in estonia over just a world war ii statue of a russian soldier being moved

plus the recent summit in samara resulted in nothing but serious discord [spiegel.de]

so russia and europe are seriously butting heads right now, but the usa? not so much

the cold war was characterized by an ideology which directly threatened the usa. communism was dead set on taking over the world. so it was a real global struggle. now, russia is just a garden variety autocracy. if russia went into chile or peru or bolivia in the cold war, the usa would get agitated: communism spreading. but russia could go over now and give tanks and kalishnikovs to these countries and it would be no big deal: there is no ideological oomph behind the gesture, no real threat in terms of ideas. communism has died, lost its lustre, no one seriously believes in it anymore

and today? today we have islamic fundamentalists who are dead set on putting large swaths of the world under sharia law. and the meddling usa is a prime enemy of that effort, so it will be targetted big time. in some ways this new world is less dangerous, because massive world war of huge armies and scary war machinery won't be unleashed at the slightest gaffe or bravado. but in other ways, the threat of fundamentalist terrorism is more dangerous, since if someone sets a nuke off in times square, there is no clear line of accountability. if russia nuked times square, red square would cease to exist too. if times square gets nuked today, who can you blame?

Re:no new cold war (1)

Thirdsin (1046626) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212601)

You make a great arguement for EU being more agitated than the US. That said, here in the states we have a bright red target on our forehead for all those "Jihadists" "Terrorists" so inclined. I realize countries in EU are dealing with it also, Spain, UK etc, its just that in addition to having terrorists trying to kill us, we are too busy shooting eachother!
But regardless, I like your arguement.

Re:no new cold war (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212671)

if times square gets nuked today, who can you blame?

History suggests that we'd blame Sadam Hussein.

Re:no new cold war (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212831)

I'd blame Sylar. But it would really be Peter.

Re:no new cold war (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213327)

Just don't vote for Nathan--he'll send the country in the wrong direction.

Re:no new cold war (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213203)

Don't be so sure.

It could be Al Qaeda.

Or child pornographers.

No, people still believe in communism (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212685)

Like Hugo Chavez or Rage Against the Machine (maybe their just socialists). But I would say no one serious believes in Marxism anymore. History has laid bare its false claims.

Re:No, people still believe in communism (1)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213367)

What false claims by Marxism have been laid bare? Care to mention specifics?

Or are you denying that things like class difference exist? Or that the political power structure is a reflection of the economic structure of a society?

Marx may have made a few wrong predictions, and his assumptions on the merits of central control are grotesquely open to abuse, but one cannot say in all seriousness that he was wholly wrong.

Mart

Re:no new cold war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212989)

today we have islamic fundamentalists who are dead set on putting large swaths of the world under sharia law.

And we also have Christian fundamentalists who are dead set on putting large swaths of the world under laws based on fundamentalist Christian beliefs and we also have a whole range of other fundamentalists (that most people in the USA haven't even heard of) who are dead set on putting large swaths of the world under laws based on whatever they happen to believe.

I hate to break it to you, kid, but it's not exactly a new thing for religious fundamentalists to be trying to legislate their beliefs.

...and the meddling usa is a prime enemy of that effort, so it will be targetted big time.

Not exactly. The meddling USA is the prime facilitator of Islamic fundamentalism. Their are hundreds and hundreds of millions of people who are officially Muslim but who basically just want to live out their lives without too much suffering. When the USA does bad stuff (particularly, bad stuff to Muslims) then the religious leaders can hold the USA up as the big scary boogeyman to scare the hundreds of millions of casual Muslims into being more devout. The argument is: "The USA is bad, therefore USA culture is bad, therefore your suffering is caused by USA culture, therefore in order to avoid suffering you must reject USA culture by becoming a more devout Muslim".

The USA is not the enemy, per se. The USA's actions are merely a vehicle for promoting religion. Similarly, no one with any sense thinks that it is even remotely possible that the USA is going to (somehow be compelled to) adopt Sharia law.

in other ways, the threat of fundamentalist terrorism is more dangerous, since if someone sets a nuke off in times square, there is no clear line of accountability.

If by "dangerous" you mean "more likely" then I would agree with you in a limited sense. For the foreseeable future only a country like the USA can amass the resources to destroy the plant but a small group could possibly get a single nuclear weapon that, while insignificant on a global scale, would nonetheless cause a lot of damage on a local scale.

The problem here isn't Islamic fundamentalism or even fundamentalism in general. The problem is technology. As increasingly advanced technology becomes available to individual people, it becomes easier for individuals and small groups to build devastating weapons. The problem is that, as advanced technology becomes available becomes available to the billions of people in the world, inevitably there will be a few people who want to do as much damage as possible.

There's a good chance that sometime down the road an individual or a small group will actually build and detonate a nuclear bomb. There's a good chance - maybe even an overwhelming chance - that this group or individual will not be a religious fundamentalist. Maybe it will be some nerdy guy at a pharmaceutical company who discovered how to genetically engineer bacteria to separate isotopes of uranium at just the same time as he discovers that his wife is cheating on him. Maybe it will be some gang member who joined the military to get weapons training who happens to discover a nuclear bomb that got lost in transit (e.g. the bomb was disguised as a jet engine for transport and got mis-routed to an air base).

I'm not saying that the USA could not (or will not) behave in such an offensive manner that it causes a massive rise in Islamic fundamentalism - just that, when it comes to "terrorism", religious fundamentalism is not actually the root of the problem here.

Re:no new cold war (0, Troll)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213433)

The meddling USA is the prime facilitator of Islamic fundamentalism.
We also send quite a bit of money to Saudi Arabia, which is the most powerful Arabic nation in the world, and also runs the Wahabi sect, the most fundamentalist sect in the Islamic world. During the Cold War the United States fucked up its diplomatic relations with the Arab world incredibly badly, and now is reaping what it sows.

Re:no new cold war (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213845)

if russia nuked times square, red square would cease to exist too. if times square gets nuked today, who can you blame?


You mean, if islamists bombed Times Square, who can you *nuke*?

That's what it comes down to. We held off the Soviets because the Soviets were ideological, but they are atheists and so, they understood and properly weighed the costs of mutually assured destruction. In other words, they believed that if they died, they were dead and that was that. The communists may have been authoritarian and frequently brutal, but they weren't suicidal.

Islamists are trying to get to heaven, and dying is just fine with them, if they do it in the "right" way. Unfortunately, they believe that dying in the "right" way means that they need to take infidels with them.

You are only going to deal with Islamists if their base inside their homelands is neutralized. This may happen over time, just like Europe's Crusades tapered off, or it may end up causing a global war where those who are now slightly sympathetic to the islamists end up being polarized into taking a side.

It is crystal clear that there is no way the West can *impose* a solution short of naked conquest and subjugation. That would obviously entail a global war and would probably not work very well.

We need to get better at identifying what is best for the long term interests of the area and helping them where they need it, instead of our moves being dictated by oil concerns.

It's clear that our current alliances are built on who will keep the oil supplies flowing. However, you can't blame a government for seeing to the needs of its people. We want oil, and lots of it. And until we all buck up and work for a new solution to our energy issues, we are going to contimue to tell our government to keep butting in, whether we say it out loud or not.

Re:Cold War, take... Two? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212841)

Yes, because gods know we need to have a war on two fronts...

Oh? We do already?

Well, carry on then.

Censorship in Russia? (1)

ls -la (937805) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211753)

Whodathunk.

Not too different from MSNBC (4, Interesting)

Vicarius (1093097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211759)

Not saying there is no censorship in Russian media, but why can't "state controlled" network can't impose its own agenda like many other media companies do?

IMHO, if you want an objective news coverage, you have to look at the Internet, where an open uncensored discussion is possible.

Re:Not too different from MSNBC (4, Funny)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211969)

IMHO, if you want an objective news coverage, you have to look at the Internet, where an open uncensored discussion is possible.
This must be some usage of the word "objective" with which I am not yet familiar.

("Less corporate-dominated", I'd agree. But "objective" ...?)

Re:Not too different from MSNBC (2, Interesting)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212209)

Not sure I understand what "state controlled" means here. Is it financed by the state i.e. from the taxes? From what I can tell from wikipedia, Channel One is a privately owned company, no?

It does make all the difference. A public TV station should not use taxpayers money to promote a particular party or a politician. A private company can do whatever it wants.

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19211777)

In Amerika, you censor, in Soviet russia, Sore senses YOU!

Actually, this is good news (4, Insightful)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211825)

It speaks well of the net progress in the ex-USSR from the mid-eighties to now that a) these journalists weren't shot/sent to Lefortovo and shot/sent to cut down trees in Siberia until they didn't need to be shot, and b) that the rest of the world has heard about it.

On the time scale of massive societal shifts, things are still looking up. Backsliding, certainly, but it's still a far cry from the heyday of Soviet control.

Re:Actually, this is good news (1)

sd_diamond (839492) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212461)

It speaks well of the net progress in the ex-USSR from the mid-eighties to now that a) these journalists weren't shot/sent to Lefortovo and shot/sent to cut down trees in Siberia until they didn't need to be shot, and b) that the rest of the world has heard about it.

It's certainly an improvement from the days when they would have been shot and then sent to cut down trees in Siberia. Honest mistake and all, but that was one hell of a cold winter for everyone in the city.

Re:Actually, this is good news (3, Insightful)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212891)

It speaks well of the net progress in the ex-USSR from the mid-eighties to now that a) these journalists weren't shot/sent to Lefortovo and shot/sent to cut down trees in Siberia until they didn't need to be shot, and b) that the rest of the world has heard about it. On the time scale of massive societal shifts, things are still looking up. Backsliding, certainly, but it's still a far cry from the heyday of Soviet control.

Tell that to Anna Politkovskaya and Paul Klebnikov, or the other Russian journalists who have been assassinated in recent years. Trying to read this as somehow being good news sounds disturbingly like the Neocon concept that democracy is somehow the long-term natural outcome of the human history, Bush's "people want to be free" theory. That idea is misguided as best, and as Iraq shows, dangerously unrealistic at worst. Western democracy is no more the natural outcome for a group of people than a house is the natural outcome for a pile of plywood, nails, and two-by-fours. Like making a house, democracy takes a lot of hard work and design, and continual upkeep. The developments in Russia- along with Russia's efforts to spread fear with its polonium assassinaton, and poisoning Ukraining politician Viktor Yushchenko with dioxin- suggest a deep, broad move towards totalitarianism. The odds of Russia emerging with a free society are good, but the outcome is not certain. It is too soon to pat ourselves on the back.

Consider that the emergence of western-style democracies with individual rights and accountable heads of state is a recent development, something that has only become fully developed in the past few hundred years. Meanwhile, China has been ruled by totalitarianism of one form or another for thousands of years. So, looking at the big picture, isn't the sure money on totalitarianism to eventually take over the world, not democracy? Sure, the spread and success of democracy has been a remarkable success story... but for a while, it looked like Communism might well be the system to take over the world, and then that fell apart almost overnight. How can we be so certain that democracy won't be a similar historical anomaly? Remember how certain people were that democracy would take root in Iraq, and beat out the forces of the Baathists, radical Islamists, militias and criminals? Every time something went wrong, instead of looking at the possibility we were failing, we patted ourselves on the back and said, "Yes, but look at the big picture! It's so much better than it was under Saddam!". Democracy still may win in Iraq, but our arrogance and complacency, our certainty that it would win out over the forces of totalitarianism, religious extremism, and anarchy, have vastly reduced the chances that it will.

Don't read this the wrong way. I actually agree with the Neocons on one issue: democracies should promote democracy outside their borders. But I think we need to understand that while this fight may be winnable, fighting for freedom is a hard, uphill fight, and that we are not necessarily destined to win the fight.

Re:Actually, this is good news (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213159)

I didn't intend the comment as a statement of policy, but simply a comment on the fact that we're still better off (from a "spread of freedom as defined by western civilization" standpoint) than we were twenty, thirty years ago in that country.

By no means do I draw the conclusion that it's time to dust off our hands and claim our work here is done. I was just trying to provide some perspective on the story, as opposed to wailing and gnashing of teeth. The fact that they had to step down at all means that there's a long way to go, and there's no arguing that the country is headed in the wrong direction currently.

It's maintain, though, that it is good news on the time scale of sweeping societal change.

Re:Actually, this is good news (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212949)

On the time scale of massive societal shifts, things are still looking up. Backsliding, certainly,

Looking up: getting better or improving.
Backsliding: Slipping back; falling back into sin or error

Your sentence does not compute. Things are not looking up. it could have been worse but if this trend keeps up it will be worse. Nothing points to this as a lapse or minor setback, Putin has been clearly and constantly amassing power for many years now.

Re:Actually, this is good news (1)

orzetto (545509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213605)

It would be interesting to hear the opinion of a Russian who is old enough to remember the Soviet eighties, still lives in Russia, and can compare the two conditions. My impression is that the current regime is more violent than Gorbachev's Soviet Union. Maybe not as pervasive, since the state apparatus is not as extensive; but mafia "solves problems" so much faster.

As for the GULAG system [wikipedia.org] you allude to, which was officially shut down in 1960 in Kruschev's destalinisation wave, it was a long way in the past in the eighties.

a) these journalists weren't shot/sent to Lefortovo and shot/sent to cut down trees in Siberia until they didn't need to be shot,

Ever heard of Anna Politkovskaya [wikipedia.org] ?

b) that the rest of the world has heard about it

You are naïvely assuming that just because you heard about these, there are no others. Actual censorship is a very silent business, otherwise it would defy its purpose.

There is this great book I have been reading, "Manufacturing Consent". The main lesson is, wherever you live the information you get from the media will be biased in favour of the elite to which the newsmakers have to relate to. Not because there is a shadowy secret police, but simply because of social equilibria, cowardice, greed, and survival of the fittest. In Italy we have a saying, "being more royalist than the king himself": that's a good way to be liked by a king.

Being aware of this propaganda filter helps understanding which news are likely to be biased. News of the Pitcairn sex-abuse trials [wikipedia.org] is not likely to be forged (except possibly for sensationalism), because it is hardly something that jeopardises any elite's interest. News on hot political topics is very commonly biased. In the case of Putin's Russia, I feel that the situation is not especially worsening—it was bad all along, only now Putin is no longer the good lap dog of Washington, flooding the oil market to keep 10 dollars a barrel: now he's trying to get Russia back as a major power. That's why the bad news from Russia keep flowing, they paint the painting the elites want to see.

I mean, surely Pakistan is in worse condition than Russia. How often do you hear about democracy issues in Pakistan, a dictatorship, original home of many of the Taliban, and a nuclear power? That's because Pakistan is, for the time being, an ally. Just like Saddam's crimes were unworthy of noticed when they were committed (roughly the same time Rumsfeld shook hands with him), because he was an ally, and were later unearthed when it was convenient (when Rumsfeld got him bombed). Just like the Shah's Persia, Suharto's Indonesia invading East Timor, and bunches of other "rogue states" that did not elicit any words of condemnation from the "leaders of the free world".

I'd Quit over this too!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19211827)

ANALSAPIAN

Well, this is some interesting news. Avi Arad, producer of X-MEN and SPIDER-MAN, is bringing us a movie inspired by the best-selling gaybuttsecks robot, Analsapien. Arad has written a script for ANALSAPIEN with Max Botkin and Sean McNamara will direct.

What Putin should rather do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19211857)

... is to withdraw the broadcasting license of those that are damaging to the interests of the state. He would have gotten support worldwide.

On a more serious note - I have some sympathy for the possibility of limits on the writings of journalists. Language can be used as an effective weapon, and has so much flexibility in it that you can get around any formal guidelines.

E.g. of what I have seen several times:

- devote much more space to one view than the other
(Side 1 thinks X. Side 2 thinks A, however side 1 thinks this is wrong because Y and Z)

- when describing debates, quote widely-encompassing truisms from one side and pick unfocused and illogical sentences from the other
(Side 1 says noone can be held responsible. Side 2 says a public servide requires public accountability).

- if being editor of a debate page, accept submissions from both sides, but from the one you don't support, only pick the poorly worded ones

- consistently use unflattering pictures of your ideological opponents - ones where they e.g. have their mouth wide open, or look unsure

- describe those you support with terms with positive connotations and vica versa
('Jeremy Jackson hopes for sympathy from the Senegalese prime minister / Jeremy Jackson expects compliance from the Senegalese prime minister')

Can a situation arise where journalists do those things, and the majority of them in addition are of a distinct political colour? Very possible. If that is the case, which is a separate discussion altogether, then as it would not be acceptable for people with any other job to use their position to secretly fight for their side and sabotage their ideological opponents (e.g. banks refusing overdraft requests for some politicians, plumbers using poor seals for those who oppose plumbing) I cannot see why journalists should have the possibility either.

Too bad... (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211917)

Too bad that their resignations will somehow fail to appear on the evening news programs. That kind of limits (but doesn't totally erase, I suspect) the impact of their protests.

Re:Too bad... (2, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213437)

What resignations?

Wasn't there a ... rather unfortunate accident?

Russia is well on its way (2, Interesting)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211931)

back to Soviet times. But this time with a healthy mix of organized crime and even more corruption!

In a couple more years it might get to the point where being outspoken like this journalist will get you a one-way-ticket to the far East >_>

Re:US is well on its way (1)

Sad Adam (1036862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213113)

back to Mc Carthyist times. But this time with a healthy mix of corporate control of the state, Christianity and even more corruption! In a couple more years it might get to the point where being outspoken like this journalist will get you a one-way-ticket to Gitmo >_>

Re:Russia is well on its way (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213721)

In a couple more years it might get to the point where being outspoken like this journalist will get you a one-way-ticket to the far East

You mean the far south. Thanks to global warming, Siberia is now a happening place.
       

FTA (3, Interesting)

Cancer_Cures (1000619) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211959)

Eight reporters from the Russian News Service said they could not work under new rules that required them not to interview or mention opposition leaders such as Garry Kasparov and to ensure 50% coverage of "positive news". Kinda like how the U.S. main stream media does not mention Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul.

mainstream media (5, Funny)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212023)

Kinda like how the U.S. main stream media does not mention Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul.
Corporate media focuses on serious candidates, which are easily distinguished from non-serious candidates because ... um ... because if Kucinich or Paul were serious candidates, they'd be getting more media coverage.

Re:FTA (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212471)

Kinda like how the U.S. main stream media does not mention Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul.
Ron Paul was in the national spotlight last week and made an Ass out of himself.

Dennis Kucinich, was in all the Democratic primary debates back in 2004 amd made Howard Dean look like a moderate.

Just because the left and right nutjobs don't get to see thier candidates taken seriously in the media does not make it censorship. It makes your candidate a nutjob. Media companies are not going to waste time and effort on anyone with 100% of the nutjob vote.

Unlike America... (-1, Troll)

p4rri11iz3r (1084543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211989)

Where there's absolutely no censorship whatsoever. Wait...

In democratic America, the government STILL censors you!

Putin sounds like a /. mod (1, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212061)

how dare you disagree with me!

-1 TROLL

Congratulations! (1)

$lingBlade (249591) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212065)

Congratulations Comrades! You and your journalist friends have just been selected for a trip to Political Re-education Camp! You'll spend 6 years and 6 months enjoying our fabulous new facilities located in sunny Siberia. You'll enjoy a rigorous exercise routine designed exclusively for our attendees by our award winning staff of high ranking former KGB officials! You'll marvel at our state of the art housing facilities with all the amenities you've come to know and love, such things as fresh running water (piped directly from the ultra pristine wells of Chernobyl), candle light (for ambience and relaxation after a hard day's exercise) and best of all food prepared fresh daily by our chef Kuzma who specializes in cooking the world's finest gruel! You'll savor the flavors of not one, but three, yes three, fine gruels including Rice Gruel, Millet Gruel and even Flour gruel! So please, pack lightly, all clothes and exercise equipment will be provided to you at no cost. Our highly qualified and competent staff of handlers will be along shortly to pick you and your comrades up!

Re:Congratulations! DISSENT is PROY-BEH-TED (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212521)

Butt, Dysentery... is NOT...

(I'm not a STUNNING linguist, but I'll settle for "cunning")

The good news... (4, Insightful)

TrappedByMyself (861094) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212101)

...is that we know about this story. The journalists didn't disappear into the night before they could be heard. It may not seem like it, but it is progress.

Re:The good news... (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212379)

Help me take back Slashdot. When did 'News for Nerds' become 'FUD and Conspiracy Theories for Extremist Nutjobs'?

Good question. I'd guess sometime between users number 105495 and 861095.

I kid, of course.

Re:The good news... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212811)

Must be a hell of a lot closer to 105495 than 861095, because this place was a hotbed of conspiracy theories before I got here - and I lurked for quite a while before creating an account. Incidentally, though, conspiracies are everywhere! They're utterly commonplace.

Re:The good news... (2, Insightful)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213027)

That, or they got lucky. It's not like certain other journalists [wikipedia.org] that disagree with the Kremlin don't get murdered on Putin's birthday.

Obligatory Quote... (2, Funny)

LEX LETHAL (859141) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212197)

Someone has to do it...

"Khaaaaaaaaan!!"

Freedom of the press (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212201)

Belongs to the owners of the presses.

can at least follow russians' suit? (2, Insightful)

superwiz (655733) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212305)

How many journalists quit in post-911 self-imposed editor censorship? Is this what the world has come to? Russian journalists have more ethics than ours?

Re:can at least follow russians' suit? (1)

bucket_brigade (1079247) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212395)

It's not that russian people are unethical - some of them are very decent (and some are the worst possible scum you could find on earth) but it's the political system that sucks there, and the majorities need to be proud slaves.

Re:can at least follow russians' suit? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213765)

It's not that russian people are unethical

I think the poster meant that those journalists had more ethics than ours because ours stopped questioning 9/11 issues and went with the W flow.
     

Happens Here, too (1, Troll)

soren100 (63191) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212359)

This type of thing is not limited to Russia -- it's very common in America, although a little more subtle. For example, Rupert Murdoch told the NY POST Not to publish news critical of China [huffingtonpost.com] Because he was trying to do business deals there. In the runup to the Iraq war, all you could see on TV was retired generals, and MSNBC cancelled Phil Donahue's show during the month that it had the highest ratings on their network because he was anti-war and had guests with ant-war viewpoints [allyourtv.com]

.He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration's motives." The report went on to outline a possible nightmare scenario where the show becomes "a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity."
The myth that America has a free press allows these types of things to go unchallenged, but the truth of the matter is that America has a "corporate press" that does what its conservative masters wants. The press used to be known as the "4th estate" because it was another tool that held the government in check and kept it accountable, but now it is just "info-tainment". How bad has America's press become? Viewers of "Fake News" Comedy shows (The Daily Show and the Colbert Report) were found by one study to be more informed [thinkprogress.org] than viewers of other "real' news shows.

Re:Happens Here, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19213827)

These are actual incidents in US news.

Russia is not the only place with censorship, and mentioning that America's corporate press has problems too is not "trolling".

LA Times front page today (4, Insightful)

sjw02001 (820841) | more than 7 years ago | (#19212527)

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-f g-gazeta21may21,1,1616926,full.story?coll=la-headl ines-world&ctrack=3&cset=true/ [latimes.com]
For those who don't RTFA, this basically says there is one independent newspaper which publishes 3 times a week, is funded mostly by Gorbachev and another prominent politician, incurs huge losses, and has had mysterious accidents including death happen to several reporters. Any political scientist can tell you that this is not a sign of a healthy free press, and without a healthy free press democracy suffers due to lack of good information. Basically, the West has been worried about Putin and his backsliding into authoritarianism for quite some time but hasn't had the balls to do much about it. Yes, there is the internet, but you assume that a) everyone in Russia who wants to can get their news from the net, which is not true for many poor elderly folks, and b) those who might be politically savvy are tech savvy enough to find the independent sources on the net. If you lived through Soviet times, you'd be skittish about seeking out politically sensitive info if you had any sense.
In other words, this is a big deal.

FP TROLLKORE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19212797)

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Channel One (1)

GrapeSteinbeck (970275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213363)

Channel One, the state television station that documents Mr Putin's every move...

We have one of those here in the states, it's also called "Channel One"; only this time they track all of the president's moves and broadcasts them to schools across the country.

Well, that not entirely true, they also have constant advertisements for various branches of the US military.

This is nothing compared to AMERICA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19213439)

Lol... I can hear the slasholes whining now... After all, America is an evil censoring state!

This is progress! (2, Interesting)

$criptah (467422) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213677)

Khrushchev and Kennedy are talking about freedom of expression. Kennedy says, "In United States, anybody can come out and scream 'Kennedy sucks!' Nothing will happen to that person because we have freedom of expression in the United States." Khrushchev smiles and says, "So what? If a person goes to the Red Square and shouts 'Kennedy sucks!' nothing will happen to that person too!"

We have a bunch of folks who resigned because of the censorship. That is awesome! At least they did not up in Siberia like my ancestors. I bet writing a letter and saying "I do not work here anymore." was easier than living on a bread-and-water-and-beatings diet in prison. I am not going to engage into a debate on us-vs-them because every governmentt in the world has a dark side.

In the past, way too many Russian journalists died under interesting circumstances. These guys are alive, so the country is heading somewhere when compared to its neighbor, Belarus.

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