The Crisis in Crimea, Dissent on Russia Today, Streaming Media and More

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Friday, March 07, 2014

The effort to preserve journalistic freedom during the Crimean crisis. Plus, Bob Garfield issues a special report on the streaming video revolution.

RT Anchor Breaks The Rules

Abby Martin, an anchor for the Kremlin-funded news channel Russia Today, launched herself into the headlines this week by sternly denouncing Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine. On her show Breaking The Setshe said: “Just because I work here, for RT, doesn't mean I don't have editorial independence and I can't stress enough how strongly I am against any state intervention in sovereign nations' affairs. What Russia did is wrong.” Given that RT is widely regarded as a 24-hour propaganda machine engineered to polish Russia’s image abroad, Martin shocked many with her outburst. Bob talks with Martin about why she wasn't afraid to speak out. 

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What Exactly Is "Russia Today"?

 

If a journalist criticizing the government on Russia Today airwaves is a shock, how much journalism is happening there in the first place? Newsweek says “when it comes to Ukraine, RT is like going to a Cold War theme park, only without the breadlines.” The National Journal calls RT's characterization of the crisis in Crimea an adventure filled with “TV, sandwiches and selfies.” Bob talks with Julia Ioffe, senior editor at The New Republic, about how RT's coverage perfectly balances Putin-promoting and West-demoting. 
If a journalist criticizing the government on Russia Today airwaves is a shock, how much journalism is happening there in the first place? Newsweek says “when it comes to Ukraine, RT is like going to a Cold War theme park, only without the breadlines.” National Journal calls RT's characterization of the crisis in Crimea an adventure filled with “tea, sandwiches and selfies.” Bob talks with Julia Ioffe, senior editor at The New Republic, about how RT's coverage perfectly balances Putin-promoting and West-demoting. 

 


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The State of Crimean Journalism

Last weekend, as Russian troops flooded into Crimea, Ukraine, 30 armed men in unmarked fatigues broke into the office of the Crimean Center for Investigative Journalism in the region's capital. The incident is one of many recent acts of aggression against journalists in the region.

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Calling for Back Up

Despite the seizure of their office and most of their files and equipment by masked gunmen, the journalists at the Crimean Center for Investigative Journalism were prepared: over the weekend they had backed up their entire web history through the Archive-It service from the Internet ArchiveDavid E. Kaplan, executive director of the Global Investigative Journalism Network and one of the coordinators of the effort, tells Bob just how they managed to pull it off. You can check out what they've saved here and here.

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An Unusual Alliance

The Serbian government has established a commission to investigate unsolved murders of journalists. Remarkably, the commission includes both police and journalists. Bob talks with Politika editor Ljiljana Smajlović about what the commission has already accomplished and her hopes for what it might achieve in the future. 

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Dare to Stream

Bob goes to Hollywood to track down the future of television and locates it....in his laptop. A special report on streaming video.

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