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“Hope” springs eternal in the human breast2009-10-29 15:05
Journalist Oleg Panphilov (see photo) was appointed OSCE Representative for Matters of Media Freedom in Georgia. Panphilov acquired Georgian citizenship and a professor's rate at the Tbilissian University for his "correct" coverage of the August war events.
The newly-sprung citizen of Georgia has got rather an interesting career. He was born in the town of Leninabad in Tadzhikistan. He turned to journalism when he was middle-aged, engaging in historical programs on Tadzhik TV. He worked as an observer for Young Communist of Tadzhikistan, a news-writer for Independent Newspaper in Tadzhikistan and a string correspondent for Associated Press agency. After the collapse of the USSR he settled in Moscow, where he found a pretty good job in Moscow office of the American Committee to Protect Journalists.
In 1994, he became Director of the Glasnost Defense Foundation Monitoring Service, and since 2000 he headed the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations of the Union of Journalists of Russia, enjoying a grant from Soros Foundation. At present, he is the citizen of Georgia and the owner of real property in Adzharia occupying an actively pro-Georgian position in the Russian-Georgian conflict.
The latter does not prevent him from feeling quite comfortable within the walls of the Union of Journalists of Russia. Now, having acquired the citizenship of Tadzhikistan, Georgia and, perhaps, some other "homeland", this man can see to the freedom of media in Russia and other countries except Georgia. Firstly, because there is practically no freedom of media there and secondly (though it might be regarded as "firstly" as well), several hectares of land in the subtropics of Adzharia given him by Mr. Saakashvili as a present for the extreme journalistic support will not allow Panphilov doubt the "Georgian democracy with its flourishing freedom of speech and the independent and unbiased media".
We are not going to forecast Panphilov's chances of obtaining the post of OSCE Representative for Matters of Media Freedom, the more so as they are not that great for the same reason of the incapability of the free media in "the most democratic republic" withing the post-Soviet territory. Instead, we will just give you a number of examples.