“Neighboring” Ukraine


Last night all hell broke loose in “neighboring” Ukraine, where at least 100 thousand protestors braved a new law prohibiting public demonstrations and clashed with police near the parliament.

Instead of writing a lengthy analysis of the news coverage (especially here in Romania), I decided to put in a few hours and assemble a video so you can see for yourself what happened. I have to say that I feel sorry for the people of this country (especially anyone that only speaks Romanian) as they are quite badly served by the domestic news media.

As you can see, although B1TV (uniquely) updated its chyron as events unfolded, most Romanian news channels focused on trivial bullshit throughout the night instead of giving the events in Kiev the attention they deserved.

Furthermore, while independent L!feNews and two state-owned Russian channels had the courage to send reporters to the scene, no Romanian channel did so. Adding insult to injury, the Romanian channels began simply either to lie and say they had a live feed from the scene when they did not (and were using Reuters footage) or else just stole the feed from Espreso TV (which is streamed online via YouTube) and then did their best to blot out Espreso’s logo and ID.

By this morning, B1TV had stooped so low as to both steal footage from YouTube as well as to use a video editing program to pixellate and completely remove Espreso TV’s logo, a pathetic and unethical thing to do. Espreso TV is a small, privately owned station which only began broadcasting last year and has a tiny staff, so I’m sure B1TV knows full well that Espreso will never find out and thus it’s “okay” to steal their content.

While the protests in Ukraine have been ongoing for more than two months now, the subject is given scant treatment in the Romanian news despite the fact that the main issue at hand is Ukraine’s future admittance into the European Union, which would have vast consequences for Romania.

Ukraine compromises over half of Romania’s borders and yet you’d never know it from this country’s domestic media. Furthermore, if Ukraine was a member of the EU, it would make its capital city Kiev the fifth largest city in the EU, with a population bigger even than Paris, France. And yet, as far as anyone living here is concerned, Ukraine is just a weird rural place where people write with a funny alphabet, and if a couple hundred thousand people are calling for a revolution, well that’s just a curious tidbit of news to slot in between dead celebrities and sex toys.

to all the real journalists out there, I salute you

to all the real journalists out there, I salute you

AND NOW YOU KNOW!

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2 Responses »

  1. Sam, since you are not Romanian and your understanding of the area’s history is that of an outsider (that’s not intended to as a reproach, don’t get me wrong) let me clarify why these protests are not better reflected in the press here: everyone knows that whatever happens Ukraine will never become part of the European Union or NATO. Russia will never allow it; in fact they will have a war rather than allowing Ukraine to break away from them (I mean really break away) and the West is not strong (and stupid) enough to defy Russia like that.

    So the best case scenario (which is also most likely) is that some sort of compromise will be reached and Ukraine will remain what it is, respectively a “grey area” (a buffer state) and the worst case scenario is that there will be war. I’m sure we’ll hear about it if things will go down that path.

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