joi, 16 octombrie 2008

Romanian politicians exercise censorship

Media and IT came to be nowadays an important way in which Romanian politicians try to get their message to voters.
Before the local elections in Romania took place in June 2008, many politicians started to write on their blogs but they forgot about this when they won the elections.
For some years I´ve been living in a university city located in the Romanian province of Moldova. This city is called Iasi.
I started to write about politicians and politics in Iasi in February 2008.
There are many politically-influenced local news sites in Iasi: newsiasi.ro, iasimedia.ro, iasicastiga.ro, iasiplus.ro, iasiinfo.ro and many other sites.
Newsiasi.ro is a website owned by Iulian Micu, former political advisor for the National Liberal Party in Iasi. Newsiasi offers information from second-hand sources only. They have no reporters.
In fall 2007 this media owner concluded a contract with the strongest local leader of the Democratic Party. Iulian Micu had to provide full media coverage for Dan Carlan, a representative of the endeangered species of old politicians in Iasi. Iulian Micu pretended that Newsiasi had nothing to do with this contract because, he states, the contract referred to a business related to political consulting, and not to the news site properly.
This local news site promotes bloggers from Iasi by posting on the home page a list of bloggers who entered a weird campaign.
At the beginning of my activity as a political blogger in Iasi I felt the need to criticize more the local leaders of the Social-Democratic Party. Following some huge political errors made by local leaders of the Democratic-Liberal Party (succesor of the Democratic Party) I decided to withdraw my support for politicians I no longer trusted. And I began to publish harsh critics about these politicians.
In retaliation, politicians from the Democratic-Liberal Party put preasure on Iulian Micu, the owner of NewsIasi, in order to expel me from the list of bloggers promoted by NewsIasi. No official from NewsIasi ever contacted me to explain me why I was expelled from the list posted on the main page of NewsIasi.
In order to be promoted by NewsIasi bloggers had to post on their blogs a banner in which they referred to newsiasi.ro. In blogging this is called networking or referring: "I help you to be known and you bring me as many readers as you can".

Remark
Short history of the Democratic Liberal Party
  • It was formed in January 2008, when the Democratic Party merged with the Liberal Democratic Party.
  • The Democratic Party was called at the beginning of the 1990s the National Salvation Front
  • The National Salvation Front brought together former members of the Romanian nomenklatura.
  • The National Salvation Front was headed by an influential member of the Romanian Communist Party, Ion Iliescu.
My objectionable expulsion from newsiasi took place immediately after I had dared to criticize the activity of Dumitru Oprea, Member of the European Parliament, EPP-ED, Romania. I published a partial report on Oprea´s activity on my blog in which he had showed himself as a very lazy MEP. I used a webpage of the European Parliament in order to advocate my arguments. This page was the webpage with details about Dumitru Oprea as an acting MEP. I was referring to his activity at that time, 18th of May 2008, 6 months after he had been elected.

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