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IPFS News Link • Free Speech

Suspended For Providing Balanced News On Ukraine

• by Tony Kevin

They concern a Radio New Zealand, or RNZ, broadcasting employee — unnamed, but everyone in the small New Zealand broadcasting world will soon know who it is — who has been placed on leave while their professional conduct is investigated. Obviously, a career hangs in the balance. 

The malign ghosts of Orwell's 1984 stalk this story.

'Russian Garbage'

This unnamed person in RNZ committed the cardinal sin of "inappropriate editing" of incoming Reuters news feeds on the war in Ukraine to insert "Russian garbage" in the contemptuous words of Paul Thompson, chief executive of RNZ. That is to say, they drew on Russian news sources to insert balancing pro-Russian material to the incoming Western news agency feedsThe Guardian tells us that in fact accurate information about Ukraine was added to the Reuters copy:

"The articles in question made a range of amendments: adding the word 'coup' to describe the Maidan revolution; changing a description of Ukraine's former 'pro-Russian president' to read 'pro-Russian elected government'; adding references to a 'pro-western government' that had 'suppressed ethnic Russians'; and on several occasions adding references to Russian concerns about 'neo-Nazi elements' in Ukraine." 

And more truth was added to the story, The Guardian says:

"In one article, a paragraph was added reading: 'The Kremlin also said its invasion was sparked by a failure to implement the Minsk agreement peace accords, designed to give Russia speakers autonomy and protection, and the rise of a neo-Nazi element in Ukraine since a coup ousted a Russian-friendly Ukrainian government in 2014.'