Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:August 17th, 2006 04:22 EST

What we Have Today and Who is Responsible!

By Ann Poludenko

The first type country, “the most preferable for living”, the high society country – try to think over three main features of such countries. Now remember the countries that are often called “the third sort countries”, how would you describe them? How many times did you use the word “democracy” while thinking? This can help us to make a conclusion.  Democracy is an essential characteristic of an “average” country. Thus, the freedom of speech is one of the basics of democracy and is an important feature of well-developed countries in the 21st century. Ukraine was moving very fast on the stairs of democracy during the last two years, but whether its way was up or down we have to decide ourselves as the ideas of professionals differ constantly.  

Did the troubles really seem so far away yesterday? 

Although censorship was always forbidden by the constitution of Ukraine, still both politicians and the media workers always agreed about its presence. According to the researches there are several types of censorship. The first one: self-censorship appeared because of the fear of the negative consequences coursed by the publication of the material.   The second: censorship on an editor’s level. When an article is corrected in order to change the political key points highlighted by the author. The third: giving talks by the governing bodies on the topic of general character of the material that has to be produced. The forth: direct orders to the media leader or a journalist on behalf of a state structure. The fifth: refusal of presenting the material because of the political accents.

Talking about censorship in modern world we should mention that very often it is not the same as it that was even 10 years ago. It is improved, innovated and better hidden. No stamps with the words “forbidden by censor’, instead we had “imperative recommendations about what topic should be highlighted”.    It also becomes more and more popular among journalists to ‘sell themselves’. When the guards of democracy write what they are said to, without caring about anything else. Thank God, that most people always have a great desire to use their fundamental right to have truthful, accurate, fair and full information. 

Such desire was one of the reasons that made people of Ukraine organize the Orange Revolution. Did it work? Who knows, we never can tell even after a year or two. It is the same as with weight loss. You can loose 2 pounds in a month; stay that way for one more month and than get 3 more. Only a long lasting living without all the possible, innovated, improved types of censorship can let us feel what the real freedom of press means. This will also give us a true belief that the Orange Revolution that took place in Ukraine was an effective step towards democracy in the media.  

Almost two years has passed since the revolutionary days but the state of things in the country today does remind something.  Several attacks on journalists, some problems with getting the official permission  to translate the press-conference, more promises and no work about creating the social TV (that was talked about a lot), the absence of the official organization in the country that could offer  journalists real protection.  What is that? Is that an echo of yesterday?

Who knows, we’ll see.

Time has a power to answer questions.