There is a bleak mood hanging over the editorial office of the Nakanune.kz website these days. The news site, which has won plaudits for its hard-hitting coverage in Kazakhstan’s beleaguered media environment, has run afoul of the country’s judicial system.
Officials in Kazakhstan and Russia contend a European court ruling sets a precedent that allows them to exercise even greater control over the Internet. Both are already notorious for press censorship and blocking critical websites.
Proposed changes to Moldova’s broadcast regulations are creating a free-speech conundrum. The amendments are primarily meant to counter propaganda from Kremlin-friendly Russian broadcast outlets, but they also could end up placing curbs on journalists’ ability to cover the Moldovan government.
The doggedly independent Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy is facing an existential crisis this week, with its editorial leadership and its operations due to be scrutinized in a snap shareholders meeting on November 21 called by state-owned Gazprom-Media, which holds a controlling stake
An authoritative Central Asia-focused news website has defeated attempts to silence it in Kyrgyzstan: authorities have unblocked it. Yet under the prevailing interpretation of a parliamentary resolution, the website, Fergana News, still appears to be banned in the Central Asian nation.
Amid a lingering climate of fear hanging over southern Kyrgyzstan, journalists there are embracing a Soviet-style survival tactic: rather than run the risk of reprisals for writing freely, they are self-censoring and reporting only on what are considered safe topics.
When his United National Movement lost control over Georgia’s parliament in early October, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili also lost the remote control for the country’s national television broadcasters. In a country that watches TV round-the-clock, that means drastic changes in news coverage.
In a country with no daily newspapers and soft-hitting state media outlets, the Internet is where an increasing number of curious Tajikistanis go for news and information. That’s apparently got officials worried.
It’s no secret that the Caucasus and Central Asia are inhospitable places for free speech and independent journalism. But a recent survey by IREX, an international organization that promotes civil society, found even countries that experienced so-called “color” revolutions have been unable to produce lasting, positive changes in their respective media environments.