Does ignoring the financial crisis make it less severe? In other words, is there any economic benefit from the censorship?
MOSCOW (Reuters) - When a Russian sociologist wrote a newspaper column last month suggesting the global financial crisis could cause social unrest, the state media watchdog advised the paper not to spread extremist sentiments.
"This is censorship," said Yevgeny Gontmakher, the author of the column and the head of the Academy of Science's Social Policy Center. "The situation in the country is changing; you can no longer utter the word 'crisis'."
The control exercised by the authoritarian press-controlling regime in Russia would have been more justifiable if the Russians had managed to clamp down on the excesses of their own boom. They could have kept more money abroad to limit the size of the boom and make more money available after the popping of the bubble. Also, they could have shifted the ruble's value downward to boost the development of a manufacturing economy in spite of the oil boom. But they didn't. Not so impressive.
Police in European Union member Latvia jailed an academic for two days for saying in an online debate people should not trust the banks, and launched a case against a singer who made similar comments at a concert.
The European Union has a long way to go before it has press freedoms as strong as in America.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2008 December 29 03:30 PM Russia|