Saturday, June 05, 2010

A hidden nugget in this story

The thrust of this report from The Moscow Times is that residents of one particular Russian community remain upset with how they are being treated as preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics continue.

But there is a nugget in this story that you shouldn't overlook. Protest leader Alik Le said:

"The regional media block all information about us. No one in Russia knows what is going on. Only foreign journalists visited us, they call us now and then and show their support."

Owing to my interest in media issues and Soviet history, I continue to examine the state of the Russian media. And the comment made by Alik Le is spot on -- whatever openness (and let's admit there isn't much) exists in Moscow and St. Petersburg for news media organizations is not on display in Russia's other areas. There, powerful politicians rule with little regard for the press. A Soviet-era attitude of a servile press exists, and as a result the regional media ignoring controversial issues is not at all surprising.

Nevertheless, the bluntness of Mr. Le is appreciated by those of us who want to see a more robust media throughout Russia.

Meanwhile, Russia must keep tabs on the real potential for more severe attacks against the preparation of the Games (not to mention once the Olympic contests begin).

And for what it's worth, it appears Russia also needs to examine its domestic airline services that currently take people to Sochi. This report from the Vancouver Sun had me thinking if I had ever been on a worse flight. Perhaps I don't want to remember, so I'm going to say I haven't.

No comments: