Monday, December 06, 2004

Weekend thoughts

The organization of the protests has been great. That so many people can gather without major problems and without any major police presence is significant.  Apparently the crime rate in the city has dropped by 40%.


There has been a broadening of television coverage of the protests. Inter and 1+1 have started to be more open in their coverage and these two channels have far more resources than Channel 5. Channel 5 will be always be remembered as the channel that kept the truth on the air while being under tremendous pressure to alter its coverage. I suspect that both Inter and 1+1 will suffer long-term harm from their one sided, power oriented coverage. That Inter broadcasted the first few days of the protests from the Yanukovych campaign headquarters, renamed “Democracy Center”, sums up its campaign coverage.


The Russian television has poured a tremendous amount of vile and lies into its coverage. At some point the truth will leak into the Russian media and a great deal of back tracking will have to go on. If Ukrainians do move away from their dependence and acceptance of Russian TV, it will be a result of the Russian news coverage of the election.


In greater Kiev, life seems to go on. The food stores and bazaars were very full over the weekend. Public transport is running. There are a great many cars on the streets but heavy traffic has been a growing problem for the city for years now. The Kiev Metro system is being stressed but it is still functioning well. There appears no real food shortage and people do not seem too be hoarding.


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