On November 2, 2014, elections were held in eastern Ukraine. Backed by Russia but condemned by Ukraine and its allies, the election marked the latest chapter in the battle between Moscow and Kiev. For the most part, news organisations based in Kiev stayed away from the story, partly because they did not want to legitimise an election they viewed as a sham, and because the story has become too dangerous for them to cover.
Coverage of the election is just one of the many media angles to this convoluted geopolitical story and talking us through the elements this week are: Dmitry Babich, a journalist with Voice of Russia; Dr Vlad Strukov from Leeds University in the UK; Olga Tokariuk, a journalist with Ukrainian news outlet Hromadske; and the UK Guardian’s former Moscow bureau chief Jonathan Steele.
On our radar this week: In Egypt, hundreds of journalists have rejected an earlier pledge by media workers to refrain from criticising the country’s state institutions; the media venture set up by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar loses its first high profile name; and in Kosovo, a journalist alleges that he was threatened by the local EU body there after he published stories on corruption within the organisation.
Tunisia’s media landscape
Tunisia is known as the birthplace of the Arab Spring and compared to Libya and Syria, it is viewed as a success. The media landscape since fall of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 has changed dramatically too, with a host of new outlets operating under a new set of rules.
On the surface this all looks good, but scratch a little deeper and the problems are exposed.
The Tunisian media market is over-saturated with outlets, many of which look economically unsustainable. As a result, outlets have come to rely on covert political funding for survival. And that could have an impact on the coverage of election, due later this month.
In the second half of the show, Nic Muirhead looks at the media in post-revolutionary Tunisia. Plus, we highlight some of the alternative outlets filling in the gaps.
Most of us have had the experience of chomping on a chilli pepper that has ended up leaving you sweating and in tears. Now imagine downing a habanero pepper – reputed to be one of the hottest red chili pepper anywhere – and trying to play a clarinet or a French horn. That is exactly the challenge conductor of the Danish National Chamber Orchestra – Chili Klaus – decided to give to his musicians. The result has been captured and uploaded to Youtube.
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