Saturday, 14 January 2017

media circus or cause célèbre

Now that the press has managed to censor its own agency to report on the dirty laundry of the newly installed regime—squandered I suspect even when it becomes vital to do so in the future since the constituency that stands behind him seems unphased no matter what’s the scandal of the day, these words of experience from a Russian reporter, Alexey Kovalev—sometimes contributor to The Guardian, about journalism under a climate of control, disdain for the profession and hampered investigations I think is an important and chilling cautionary-tale.
There are a lot of points made here and of course the parallels aren’t perfect and there’s no one to one corres- pondence—at least he made the trains run on time—but one thing did particularly strike me as something that we can expect to see in future audiences that leadership deigns to grant to the Fourth Estate: favouring those soft-ball sorts of questions lobbed from plants in the gallery, “Mister President, Mister President—there are too many vagrants in our neighbourhood.” “Why are the streets in such bad conditions?” Certainly not matters for the president but as he’s ever only a tweet away and thus infinitely accessible, he’ll get to appear like a hero for directing a clean-up operation regardless of the costs and how it might impact other projects in the community (it coming out of the local budget of course) and he’ll get to shame the municipal authorities for letting this happen. What do you think? It’s early yet but we’ve already been treated to several highly choreographed events and at least one with the floor packed with shills to do the cheering and out-shout the boos and groans.