Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 6/23/2003 6:04:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/23/2003 6:05:12 AM EDT by Airwolf]
[url]http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/news/6150260.htm[/url] Last independent television station in Russia is gone By Alex Rodriguez CHICAGO TRIBUNE MOSCOW - The Russian government pulled the plug on the country's only remaining independent television channel Sunday, renewing doubts about the progress Russia has made in nurturing a free media. Viewers watching television station TVS at midnight saw a commercial suddenly replaced by the message "Goodbye -- we have been switched off." Moments later, a test pattern was broadcast. The Press Ministry explained its decision by describing TVS as a deeply troubled enterprise mired in debt and organizational chaos. "It was necessary to protect the interests of the viewers," the ministry said in a statement. TVS executives, prominent journalists and some lawmakers said the move was not surprising given the continuing curtailment of press freedoms in Russia. "Of course it's censorship," said Alexei Venediktov, editor in chief of Ekho Moskvy, Russia's leading radio station. "TVS was probably the only channel that was producing information with an independent voice. Now the state has a monopoly on television broadcasting." Unlike other state-owned television networks, Channel One, Rossiya and NTV, TVS was seen as the sole source of news coverage considered free from Kremlin influence. Now in the last of his 4-year term, President Vladimir Putin has failed to remove doubts that the media operates freely in Russia. After last year's deadly Moscow theater standoff with Chechen guerrillas ended with 129 people dying, Putin allies rushed through legislation imposing severe restrictions on media coverage of "extremist" acts. Under intense pressure from the media, Putin vetoed the bill. In January 2002, the U.S. State Department expressed concern about the likelihood of political pressure tainting a Russian high court's decision to liquidate TV6, a network critical of the government. Seven months earlier, the state-controlled gas monopoly Gazprom snatched control of the independently owned NTV network, a move NTV journalists claimed Putin engineered. Those journalists found work at TV6 after the Gazprom takeover. When TV6 was liquidated, they landed at TVS. On Sunday, TVS journalists were stunned and saddened to learn they were out of work again. "I love television very much, but it seems to me I should give my profession up," anchorwoman Ksenia Turkova told Ekho Moskvy radio. "I know the situation on state-run channels, and I have no desire to participate in this." By Sunday afternoon, the Press Ministry's actions had begun to stoke a furious debate over whether the move was censorship or the legitimate shutdown of a flagging enterprise too disabled to recover. TVS employees had not been paid in three months. Moscow's cable television company, Mostelecom, claimed TVS owed it $8 million. Within a year of its existence, the ministry's statement said, "the channel went into a phase of financial, staff, organizational and management crisis." It added that a state-owned sports channel would occupy the broadcast frequency. But TVS executives said they believed powerful shareholders with ties to the Kremlin were deliberately starving the station of money to force its demise. "Everything that has happened to our team of journalists has been guided by absolutely clear motives," editor in chief Yevgeny Kiselyov told Ekho Moskvy. "I don't know what I should do, laugh or cry." Parliamentary elections in December and a presidential election in March fuel speculation of a political motive to the shutdown. Last winter, the ouster of Boris Jordan as head of NTV was seen by many observers as the Kremlin's way of securing favorable election coverage. Though run by Gazprom, NTV had maintained a reputation of providing more critical political coverage than the other two state-run networks.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 6:08:04 AM EDT
So russia has been slowly back sliding to the old russia, so what would happen if they were to go back to being a communist state? What types of problems would that create.........
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 6:18:37 AM EDT
I can't imagine that they would slide all the way back. Too many people have seen other ways. I know there's a hard-core element that does want to go back. Hell, there's even those that want to bring the Tsar back! I heard someone say that a lot of Russia's problem is that all those people and institutions that had a moral compass, a true sense of right and wrong, have been purged from the system decades ago. There's no one left to step up to the plate and provide that direction, so the old party leaders and their followers just changed names and continued on with small changes. It's a ripe opportunity for another Socialist system to grow up. Between the tanked economy, the corruption and graft in the system and the Russian Mob, Ivan Six-Pack is ripe to become a ward (and servant) to the State again.
Top Top