Conflict & Justice

Journalist with Russian TV speaks out

(How come you resigned from your job?) On Saturday I was asked to do a live TV interview with the studio in Moscow and I was asked about the situation in Georgia, so I read about reports that the Russian military had bombed the Georgian town of Gori. Subsequently throughout the rest of the day I was supposed to be consulted more times about the situation in Georgia, and those were all canceled because of my mention of the Russian bombing of Gori, and I thought I was prevented from doing my work so I could no longer do my job. (Did anybody actually say to you, you can't say that?) No one ever said that to me. I did hear through the grapevine was that my other interviews had been canceled because of my mention of the Gori bombings. I'd like to stress that whenever I did mention Gori, I said these were alleged reports, and nothing was confirmed. (What do you think their problem was?) In general, they're not interested in the Georgian side of the story, they want to report just what's conducive to their agenda, and reports of bombings in civilian areas in Georgia does not aid their agenda. (How long had you worked for Russia Today?) Slightly over a year. (Was this the first time you had run into constraints on your ability to report?) No, it was not the first time, but it was the first time that the issue had been the bombing of a civilian town. If I can't report very significant news like that, there's no point in me working there. (Do you know if Russians are getting the Georgian side of the story at all�and for that matter if the West is getting it right as well?) Certainly the Russian media is biased in one way, but the Georgian media is also not exactly prepared to consider all angles. But I think there's no comparison between Russian and Western media when it comes to the degree of slant. I'm not saying Western media is totally unbiased, but it's just not even on par at all with Russian media.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

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