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Securitate Television – evidence of the journalistic practices of Romanian TV stations 26/06/2011

Posted by allthingsro in politics.
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As the target of numerous press campaigns, I asked myself at the beginnings of my political career why I am attacked so often. As I began to understand a little how things work in politics and the press, I realised that there are two answers: either it is blackmail, or it serves a political interest.
What’s more, as I’ve said many times, I’m attacked by those who want to hurt either the President or the Prime Minister and the government. As far as blackmail is concerned, I spoke in 2010 about the attacks by 24-hour news station Realitatea TV which followed the annulment of a promotional contract within the framework of the Regio programme. This contract had been entered into during the term of the preceding Minister for Development. It was cancelled because the TV station did not respect the terms of the contract.
Precisely because I responded to the masters of the press, the attacks have intensified and become even more brutal. I don’t think a day goes by without my name being mentioned tens or hundreds of times by Antena and Realitatea.
The last six months have brought with them proof of the oppressive practices of the two media trusts Intact (owner of the Antena TV stations) and Realitatea Media. First, the shorthand reports in which the owner of the Realitatea Media trust, Sorin Ovidiu Vântu, told various journalists employed by the trust what, how and how many times to attack, treating the journalists as if they were powerless hacks for hire, incapable of understanding his “enlightened” strategy.
Today Romanian newspaper Evenimentul Zilei published the third part of its interview with Stelian Negrea, the former head of the investigations department at Antena. He recounted in great detail how and why politicians were attacked. He also said that some gave into blackmail, others didn’t. If the attacks against me have not died down, it stands to reason that I am amongst the very few who have never given into the moguls.
The practices described by Stelian Negrea are identical to those of the communist Securitate. They have been taken further by their faithful soldier Dan Voiculescu, ex-Securitate informant, founder of the Intact trust, leader of the Romanian Conservative Party and senator. In Romania, at this moment, the two press trusts are a televised political police. They stop at nothing. They would trample under foot anyone who stands in their way.
Evidently, the movers and shakers in the media are on their side – you won’t find any of the leading commentators on Antena so much as mentioning Stelian Negrea’s confession. To recall the old Romanian saying, “If a tree falls in the wood and no one hears it, it means that it did not fall.”
If I didn’t expect that they wouldn’t mention anything from Stelian Negrea’s interview (no one has said that they are stupid), I would, however, have expected that journalists of good faith would investigate and call for inquiries. I would have liked to have seen a reaction from the Romanian Press Club and from the other professional associations. I would have expected Romanian civil society to react in one way or another, especially since journalism has taken so many blows as a profession in recent years. None of this. In the end, the tree did not fall.
On 10th May, I will refer the current practices of Antena, as revealed by Stelian Negrea, to the National Audiovisual Council of Romania.
As I write this commentary, Felix on Antena 3 gives his thoughts on what Romania should do, and the President is attacked on Realitatea TV. Some things don’t change. Ultimately, as I have said before, our battle is with the tele-opposition and only secondly with the powerless politicians of the opposition, bit-players in the play (I was about to write “press” – and I don’t think that would be an error either) directed by the moguls.

This post appeared on 9th May 2011 on Elena Udrea’s blog. Translation by Daisy Waites.



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