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You're reading: Vox Populi with Brian Bonner: We asked foreigners during the 64th World Newspaper Congress in Kyiv: What are your observations about the Ukrainian news media and freedom of speech in the nation?

Timothy Peter Wall,
Editor-in-chief, The Moscow News
“The situation here is looking like a repeat of Russia in the early 2000s, when Vladimir Putin consolidated power by taking control of the media. In Russia, these were state companies. Here you have private companies, but they’re controlled by oligarchs. The problem is that independent media end up looking like hunted and endangered species. The danger is the government starts believing its own propaganda and stops listening to the people.”

Alexei Pankin,
Moscow journalist
“My main observation from actual exposure to Ukrainian TV is that morning shows are presented by similar-looking blondes. They’re all pretty, but when you switch the channels, you can hardly tell the difference…I spent several days in Mykolayiv Oblast. TV is still the main medium.”

Jacob Mathew,
Executive editor/publisher of the Malayala Manorama Group of Publications in Kerala, India.
“The media business is not very lucrative here.”

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