Sunday, March 30, 2008

Week 24-30 March: Fourth Estate

If, when, how a fact should be reported happens to be a big issue.

In Georgia Patarkatsishvili’s “heirs” are disputing the destiny of Imedi TV. The control of one of the main independent media raises political interests. Although the opposition’s hunger strike, after the appeal of the Church, has finished, its present visibility may influence the electorate, and the election campaign is getting closer, with the parliamentary vote planned for the 21st of May. Moreover, in Saakashvili’s administration, image is a determinant factor, both internally and – may be even more – internationally, with the Bucharest summit at the doors. That’s why, Sukhumi insinuates, Tbilisi is pressing for new solutions in its conflicts, just to seem more acceptable to NATO potential partners. Its new proposals are unlimited autonomy, joint free economic zones, the vice presidency, representation in central authorities, the right of veto on decision affecting Abkhazia.

In Armenia, Gala TV is charged with a huge sum of money for alleged back taxes. 26,899,986 drams collected till now are not enough and the Inspectorate may expropriate the company’s real estate. As for the other information sources, the pro-government ones are underscoring the availability of the majority to dialogue with opposition. Levon Ter-Petrosyan is losing the battle to keep all opposition’s info media compactly on his side, with some reminding that if you push towards a full frontal confrontation, you cannot complain afterwards for harsh outcomes. And the responsibility for the tremendous suffers of the victims, arrested, shocked persons, of the further loss of credibility of Armenian political system, falls on whoever is acting moved by personal ambition and selfishness. Inside or outside the government.
It all draws quite a mean picture, that doesn’t give justice to the peaceful behavior of that part of the civil society protesting in clever and original ways in Northern Avenue, against the new law on restriction of freedom of assembly.

In Azerbaijan the unofficial presidential campaign goes on, with some media already demolishing any hypothesis for the opposition to find a credible challenger to Ilham Aliyev. After the hangover of the diplomatic success, waters calmed, and the President now accuses Armenia of provocations.

The manipulation of information is not only relevant for present events, but also for the interpretation of the past, in Caucasus and around it… In Turkey finally Youtube is back online after many days of blackout imposed on it for the images denigrating Atatürk, and Ukraine wants to be given by the Russian Federation the “Baturinskij Archive”, with Mazepa-related documents. Nation building has its rules.

No comments: