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Latvijas Avīze - Latvia | 27/07/2015

Latvia must defend itself against Kremlin propaganda

Poland and the Netherlands want to found a Russian-language news agency to react to Russian propaganda. Latvia should also be involved in the project because the country is not making much headway with its plans to establish its own TV channel for the Russian-speaking population, admits the national-conservative daily Latvijas Avīze: "Latvia really ought to participate in the project because we have no money or time to create a decent Russian-language channel. The EU High Representative Federica Mogherini has also failed to show any resolve in taking effective steps against the Kremlin's disinformation campaigns. At the same time in Latvia we had to register a branch of the Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya although its boss Dmitry Kiselyov has long had a place on the EU list of sanctions." (27/07/2015)

The Irish Times - Ireland | 22/07/2015

Tories poised to defang the BBC

Britain's conservative government last week announced in a Green Paper that it would be conducting a review of the BBC. The centre-left daily The Irish Times sees the document as a direct attack on the British broadcaster: "There is little doubt that the unspoken subtext of the UK government's Green Paper announcing a major 'review' of the BBC is the deep antipathy in which it is held by many Tory MPs, their conviction that it is politically biased and needs to be defanged. .... This means it now faces a serious existential threat to its character and mission. … Unencumbered by a coalition partner, the Liberals, Tory government now has the opportunity to do things which the party has been dreaming of for years. Many are worried, with reason, that the 'discussion' just launched will be nothing of the kind. The BBC has every reason to be very scared." (22/07/2015)

Dagens Nyheter - Sweden | 23/07/2015

No one exposing Russia's fairy tales and lies

The independent Russian newspaper Nowaya Gazeta, which has always reported critically on the situation in Ukraine, has been issued yet another warning by the Russian media watchdog. But the West is also to blame for the arduousness of the fight against Russian propaganda, writes the liberal daily Dagens Nyheter: "To expose the fairy tales and lies that are disseminated we need journalists who are prepared to dig for the truth. … While this may be punished with death in Russia, the problem in the West is the lack of funds. Few media companies can afford expensive foreign correspondents. And journalists grappling with the war in Ukraine are particularly at risk. … If we want to know what is happening on the other side of the Baltic Sea we have to find out for ourselves. Of course it is strange that the Russian majority is not protesting. But you have to remember that 'press freedom' is not much older than the Nowaya Gazeta itself." (23/07/2015)

The Sunday Times - United Kingdom | 19/07/2015

Unhelpful panic over Nazi salute

Over the weekend the tabloid The Sun published photographs that date back to 1933 showing a 7-year-old Queen Elizabeth II performing a Nazi salute - obviously under the encouragement of her uncle Edward. The publication is a chance to reflect critically on the past, comments the conservative Sunday Times: "Nobody believes that the Queen, or her mother, were Nazi sympathisers. ... What if, instead of abdicating in 1936 over his planned marriage to the divorcee Wallis Simpson and becoming the Duke of Windsor, Edward VIII had remained king? ... That is why these pictures are fascinating. Did the abdication save us from having a Nazi sympathiser in the palace? We need to know more, not less. Correspondence between the royal family and its German relatives is locked away in the royal archive, as is much else. But time has moved on. Germany is now an ally, not an enemy. The more we lift the lid on this piece of history, the better. (19/07/2015)

De Volkskrant - Netherlands | 13/07/2015

New language rules won't solve migrant problem

The centre-left Dutch daily De Volkskrant has decided to no longer use the word allochthoon [foreigner] in future but instead to use a hyphen to add the ethnic origin of Dutch citizens, for example Turkish-Dutch. Writing for the paper columnist Elma Drayer doubts this will be of any use: "In the 1970s alternatives were sought for words like 'minorities', 'guest workers' and 'foreign workers' - terms that came to be seen as nonsensical or stigmatising. Allochthoon sounded more neutral. But it wasn't long before it took on a stigmatising taint too. … A euphemism simply isn't enough. The positive impact one hopes it will achieve wears out with time. Above all if the problem the new term addresses remains a sensitive issue. We can see its dismissal 'as a new opportunity', but for now these people are still sitting at home without jobs. We can refer to allochthoons as 'fill-in-the-space-Dutch', but that won't make the us-and-them mentality disappear as if by magic." (13/07/2015)

The Daily Telegraph - United Kingdom | 13/07/2015

Childish talk of coup on Twitter

Under the hashtag #thisisacoup, Twitter users are describing the agreement on a new bailout package as an attempted coup and are particularly critical of Germany's behaviour vis-à-vis Greece. The conservative Daily Telegraph dismisses such views: "Here's a quick Politics 101 lesson for the #thisisacoup mob: Greece is not a direct democracy. It is a representative one. That means that the Greek people elect their governments to make decisions on their behalf. Referendums are not binding in Greece. … Yes, Greece is under a lot of pressure to accept another bailout, and some of the conditions being attached to that bailout are stupidly harsh. But that is not the same thing as Greece being compelled by force to accept. If the Greek people do not like the deal that their current government is about to accept, they can sack that government and get another one ... This is not a coup. Anyone who thinks it is should grow up and join the real world." (13/07/2015)

Avvenire - Italy | 10/07/2015

Greek crisis: Crying pensioner symbol of a dying country

A photograph of a pensioner crying outside a bank in Greece has been circulating the globe on social networks and in the media since the start of July. A man from Australia recognised the subject of the photo as a friend of his deceased father, and now plans to help him out. The picture has become a symbol of the crisis, the Catholic daily Avvenire comments: "The old man is desperate. He doesn't know what to do or what's happening to him. He is outside the world; the world has rejected him. The glass wall behind him is that of a bank - the fourth that had refused to pay out his pension. Homo sine pecunia est imago mortis, a Latin saying goes. It means that everyone flees a man without money just as they would flee death. But in Greece this saying has taken on a different meaning. Everyone has little or no money, no one is fleeing, everyone is sitting, as if chained, outside the bank - empty. And despite the help coming [from Australia] one thing sticks in our memory: an old man on the ground, crying. This man who lives in a dying state has become a symbol." (10/07/2015)

Kristeligt Dagblad - Denmark | 08/07/2015

Media's idiotic mockery of devote minister

The new liberal Danish minister for education and research and theologian Esben Lunde Larsen has publicly acknowledged that he favours both scientific and creationist accounts of the world's origin, earning ridicule and criticism in the media. Such reporting is incompetent, the Christian daily Kristeligt Dagblad comments: "The media should do more to train journalists who cover the topic of religion. ... If they did, the reporting on the education minister's belief in a creator God would have been more informed. Everyone has been stressing that Esben Lunde Larsen can't represent the interests of science. More to the point, however, would have been to ask the critics what science a scientist with his belief in a creating force or God is hindering. And then to ask why some of the best scientists have been able to combine their strong personal belief in God with their scientific work." (08/07/2015)

Õhtuleht - Estonia | 07/07/2015

Freedom of Panorama must be preserved

The European Parliament will vote on Wednesday on a copyright reform law that foresees restrictions on the photographing of buildings and other public objects and the publishing of such photographs. Photographer Kaupo Kikkas vents his anger in the daily Õhtuleht: "Although the legal discussion focuses on social use of the photos, this legislation affects us all in a very personal way. Sticking to the letter of the law, once it is passed we won't be able to post on Facebook or anywhere else any photos of buildings whose architect hasn't been dead for at least 70 years. ... It's incredible that in an era in which we continually extol the freedom of competition, the freedom of thought and the freedom of expression, people are now trying to push through on the quiet such backward legislation that only serves the interests of a small group of people. It belongs in the dustbin of history." (07/07/2015)

The Press Project - Greece | 05/07/2015

Oxi a victory over the mass media

With their no in the referendum the Greeks have also defied the panic-mongering of the mass media, the anti-government website ThePressProject explains: "In the last few weeks the task of the mass media was, as usual, to spread a sense of terror and thus put pressure on society. … They successfully created a virtual world in which they depicted the developments in Europe. What they clearly hadn't reckoned with was that after the TV viewers switched off the news reports on supermarket shelves almost bared of goods after panic purchases, petrol stations where petrol is running out and skirmishes in front of cash points, they would see the real world and a different reality. … The photos of the grandmother from South Africa in front of a cash point [which were used by certain media] failed to have an impact. Fear did not prevail." (05/07/2015)

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