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Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson
#31 - JRL 9313 - JRL Home
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2005
From: Boris Raymond <BRAYMOND@DAL.CA>
Subject: re Western journalists and Russia

Dear David,

At the beginning of your list #3907 you wrote: "There are those who feel that Western journalists are too harsh on Russia and Putin. I would like to have some concise, restrained, polite, impersonal, substantive discussion of this issue."

I am probably unduly pessimistic in my view of this very topical question, but I can see improvements here only if the following three conditions are met:.

1. If a clearly defined meaning of the term "democratic" becomes a prerequisit to all political discussion by journalists. Today, the term is used carelessly to mean anything a person chooses it to mean, and has become a tool for propaganda rather than for rational political discussion. Confusion with regard to the meaning of key terms inevitably obscures important issues. No effective dialogue can be sustained when key terms are vague, or so general, that it is possible to interpret them in any way one pleases.

2. If there is a demand by the reading public for a comparative treatment of Russian and American political practices, for example, a comparative evaluation of the relative access to television by Putin and his competitors with that which existed during the recent presidential elections in the U.S. between all presidential candidates, including Ralph Nader.

3. Finally, and most importantly, the most important precondition - the refusal by all political commentators to accept on the side financial rewards by Berezovsky and friends for stories favorable to them and hostile to either Russia or Putin.

Prof. Boris Raymond
Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.