Thursday, November 30, 2006

Media Filtering/Censorship or Media Incompetence?

I find myself with a growing concern about media censorship/filtering.

The news coverage of the Orange Revolution had broken previous method of operation by the Western media to covering breaking news in Ukraine. The press had covered the story fully and fairly accurately.

Prior to the Orange Revolution the news of events in Ukraine had been covered by journalists based in Moscow. The stories always had a Russian flavor/taint to them and thus tended to portray events in Ukraine in a negative light.

In the last year, the Western media has fallen into old habits. Major events in Ukraine either do not get covered or with that Moscovite flavor that leaves many people with a bad aftertaste.

Two major events have occurred this week that have received zero coverage in the Western Media.

The first was the November 28th 2006 enactment of a Law in the Ukrainian Parliament that declared that the 1932-1933 Holodomor (Famine-Genocide) was an Act of Genocide carried out against the Ukrainian people by the brutal Soviet regime of Joseph Stalin. This was based on extensive evidence declassified by the Ukrainian security services of Soviet OGPU & Government records of the era. This is an extremely important issue as 10 million Ukrainians had perished in such a short time.

This first act was heavily covered by the Ukrainian media in a positive light while it was covered with disdain by the Russian media. The Western Media just ignored it.

The second was the November 29th 2006 resulting bombing of the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow by a "youth group" protesting the enactment of the Ukrainian legislation. This is a serious act of terrorism carried out on Russian soil. The Ukrainian media has covered it. The Russian media has ignored it and the Western Media is nowhere to be found.

Is this media censorship by the Western Media or just plain incompetence?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Interview with the Telnyuk Sisters

For those who can read and understand Ukrainian, Lvivska Hazeta has published an interview with Ukraine's fabulous Telnyuk Sisters!

The interview can be found here.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Vancouver audio archives for Nov. 26, 2006

Vancouver's Nov 19 Ukrainian radio audio archives are now available for download and streaming on the website ... and for podcast subscribers there's now an RSS feed for Nash Holos!
Chetverta Khvylia archives are updated to this past Sunday, so tune in to get the latest in Ukrainian news and views, exclusively in Ukrainian, with host Pavlo Manugevych.

On Nash Holos ... our veteran cooking instructor, Sylvia Pidraziuk Molnar, has an unusual Ukrainian kolach that is found only in certain regions of Ukraine, called knysh. On Travel Tips, Fr. Bruce takes you to another on Solaway Travel's upcoming summer tour to Eastern Europe, this time to the birthplace of the Genome project. He also shares A Spiritual Moment in which he commemorates the victims and survivors of the Holodomor, the soviet-engineered famine of 1932-33 in Ukraine.

And as usual, there's the Proverb of the Week, items of interest to the local (and global) Ukrainian community and, of course... plenty of Great Ukrainian music.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Telnyuk Sisters on YouTube

Just heard some exciting news about a fabulous musical duo in Ukraine!

After more than a three year absence from Ukraine's musical arena, The Telnyuk Sisters are taking a new approach and pre-empting the release of their 9th album – *About Both Sides of the Sun and the Moon,* with a premiere of their video of their song *Vechirnyk* from the album.

The video is available here.

Since their appearance on the Ukrainian music scene in 1986 the Telnyuk Sisters have been Laureates of the the 1989 and 1991 editions of the Chervona Ruta festivals, were awarded First Prize at the "New Names" National Competition and the Vasyl Stus Award in 1998. They have recorded seven albums: The Magic Span of Time (1991); Halya and Lesya (1994); Silence and Thunder (1998); Concerts in Canada (2000); U.B.N. Songs from the Play (2001); Wind of the Century (2002), Firebirds (2002), and their double disk compilation CD entitled Selected (2005).

"Incorporating elements of Eastern European folk, New Age, and pop/rock into a gorgeous, melancholy, and ultimately defiant mix, this Ukrainian duo is an anomaly both globally and in their own country," says Rostislav Shtyn, principle of DANAPRO Ltd, which since the end of October of this year has been managing the duet. "In a just world, the Telnyuk Sisters would be international pop stars."

If the folks managing the duo is doing it right, they soon might be! This video is the first I've seen (or heard) of the Telnyuk Sisters and they are dynamite! I can't get that song out of my head now ... They deserve to be international stars! As soon as get their music I will be sharing it with Nash Holos listeners.

The Telnyuk Sisters will be doing a mini-promo tour of their album in six Ukrainian cities, starting on December 13th. For more information contact Nazar Stryhun, Director of Media Relations for DANAPRO in Kyiv (380-44) 526-9458.

Grand-nephew of Welsh journalist Gareth Jones comes to Canada

Late November is when Ukrainians traditionally commemorate the Holodomor. If you're in the "Golden Triangle" area, don't miss this:

In commemoration of the Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine, 1932-33.

International guest speaker: Nigel Linsan Colley, author and independent researcher from the UK, and grand-nephew of acclaimed newspaper journalist Gareth Jones.

Title of talk: Gareth Jones: The Man Who Knew Too Much. How a Welsh journalist exposed Soviet Ukraine's famine-genocide and met a tragic fate.

TORONTO: Monday, Nov. 27, 2006, 7:00 p.m. at the Ukrainian Canadian Art Foundation, 2118-A Bloor St. West, Toronto

OTTAWA: Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2006, 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul's University, 223 Main St., Ottawa, Amphitheatre, room 1124, Guigues Hall.

MONTREAL: Nigel Linsan Colley speaks on: The Gareth Jones Diaries, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2006, 2:00 p.m., Faculty Club, McGill University, 3450 McTavish, Montreal, and Friday, Dec. 1, 2006, 7:00 p.m., St. Sophia's church hall, 6270 12th Avenue, Rosemount.

Contact: Prof. Yarema Kelebay: (514) 398-4972 or (514) 481-5871.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Vancouver audio archives for Nov 19, 2006

Vancouver's Nov 19 Ukrainian radio audio archives are now available for download and streaming on the website ... and for podcast subscribers there's now an RSS feed for Nash Holos!

On Nash Holos ... our veteran cooking instructor, Sylvia Pidraziuk Molnar, is there to help you get a head start on your holiday baking, with a couple of easy, delicious Ukrainian festive recipes. On Travel Tips, Fr. Bruce gives a sneak preview on two cities in Poland he and Myrna will be taking visitors to on Solaway Travel's summer tour to Eastern Europe. He also shares A Spiritual Moment in which he reflects on Pylypivka, the Ukrainian version of Advent.

As usual, there's the Proverb of the Week, items of interest to the local (and global) Ukrainian community and, of course... plenty of Great Ukrainian music!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Remembering the Orange Revolution

Interesting article on the anniversary of the Orange Revolution, with a message for Ukraine's president “Having come to power, you should have wielded it”

In all fairness, that message should also be directed at his one-time supporters, particularly Yulia Tymoshenko. Sad to think what national glory was sacrificed on the altars of their egos.

In the diaspora, however, the Orange Revolution isn't regarded quite so dismally. As the article points out, it was as much a demonstration of democracy as a call for a regime change. As an exercise in self-awareness for a nation, was a huge success.

Also, it put Ukraine on the world map. These days, whenever a non-Ukrainian Canadian asks "What was the Orange Revolution?" all I have to say is "elections in Ukraine ... remember the guy who was poisoned?" Of course, everyone remembers the news stories about Yuschenko's poisoning, and along with it, the vote-rigging and demonstrations against it.

I appreciate that it's easier to be sanguine when you're far removed from the day to day realities. Still, I take great comfort in knowing that even the most obtuse must realize there is no more need for long-winded explanations starting with "In 988 Ukraine accepted Christianity ...."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ukrainian Film Club

If you're interested in Ukrainian movies and films, check out the Ukrainian Film Club.

It operates on the principle of the Book of the Month and other similar clubs. Only difference is the Ukrainian Film Club has better prices, and better quality products! ;-)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Podcasting getting easier

According to this article, they've come out with a new podcast player that picks podcasts for you. Looks like there are still a few bugs to work out, tho....

Noisely is a new podcast search site that is described as an “intelligent podcast audio player.” ... The site needs to provide more information about the podcasts in its search results. At a minimum, it should provide the podcast feed URL for the podcasts to allow users to subscribe to podcasts that they like.

Still, it's good to keep an eye on these things.

Media industry overlooks the obvious

Well, will wonders never cease. A broadcasting association notices an identifiable ethnic group (read: "market") in its audience and deigns to "study" it. All kinds of moguls have opined on the value of studying this market. Maybe one day they will also notice that the wheel has already been invented.

The Country Radio Broadcasters have announced that they will collaborate with Edison Media Research to undertake the first-ever study of Hispanic Americans and their relationship with Country Radio and Country Music.

Here in Canada, Ukrainians as well as other identifiable ethnic groups have since day one been routinely disdained and disregarded by the mainstream media and its marketers. Maybe one day the moguls will ditch the arrogance and bigotry that keeps them from recognizing and catering to ethnic audiences. (Yeah, right... on about the same day there's world peace.)

Anyway, here's the article.

Vancouver audio archives for Nov 12, 2006

Vancouver's Nov 12 Ukrainian radio audio archives are now available for download and streaming on the website and for podcast subscribers there's now an RSS feed for Nash Holos!

On Chetverta Khvylia, join host Pavlo Manugevych on Chetverta Khvylia (4th Wave) for the latest news and views from Ukraine, exclusively in Ukrainian, as well as some great tunes!

On Nash Holos ... our veteran cooking instructor, Sylvia Pidraziuk Molnar, has some fascinating info about poppy seeds, tips on flour and a yummy recipe. As well, Fr. Bruce has the scoop on an upcoming tour to Eastern Europe, and A Spiritual Moment in which he shares a poignant personal memory of Remembrance Day.

And of course, there's the Proverb of the Week, items of interest to the local (and global) Ukrainian community and, as usual ... plenty of Great Ukrainian music!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Resisting progress ...

This article just underscores how unimaginative major record labels have become.

Someone tell 'em that resistance is futile ... ya can't stop progress just because *you* don't feel like changing with the times!

Here at Nash Holos, we're a bit more forward ... we've been on the net for ages, and now we are podcasting "for real" i.e., with an RSS feed, and continue to bring listeners information about the local (Vancouver) and global Ukrainian community, along with plenty of the best Ukrainian music being produced. And there's always lots of new stuff coming out!

Meanwhile, the Luddites continue on their merry way. Oh well. If they really believe that 100,000s of lemmings can't be wrong, let them. It's (still) a free world. ;-)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Ukrainian language chic

According to this Radio Polonia report, Ukraine's Orange Revolution president, Viktor Yushchenko, is a champion of Ukrainian language rights for Ukrainians.

Happily, speaking Ukrainian is apparently considered very fashionable, which will certainly help him, and the cause!

Payola still "business as usual"

Do humans have genetic some predisposition to repeating history and some blockage that prevents people from learning from recognizing and learning from the mistakes of the past?

We're just hearing about lawsuits involving payola to record companies in the "good old days" of radio.
Now, according to this article, MicroSoft is doing pretty much the same thing. ...
Microsoft has announced that it will be giving a cut of the sales of its Zune portable music player to the Universal Music Group in order to create closer ties with record companies and steal market share away from Apple’s iPod. Microsoft has made similar offers to the other major labels.

If successful, Microsoft’s move could lead to higher prices for portable media players ... The move could backfire, though, since more and more people are using portable players to listen to podcasts and indie music. ...
The major label RIAA members have been looking for ways to get a cut from digital music players ...
The best we can hope for, I guess, is that the monopolistic moguls outsmart themselves and the whole thing does backfire.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

podcasting for students

This could be a dream come true for students of Ukrainian, be it language, history, music, or whatever ... for home study and/or between camps, classes, etc.

David Aldrich, Bradley Bell and Tim Batzel of the University of Washington have written a paper that looks at an automated podcasting solution for educational use.

Automated Podcasting Solution Expands the Boundaries of the Classroom (PDF) was presented Wednesday in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada at the University and College Computing Services (SIGUCCS) 2006 Fall Conference. The paper reviews design considerations for a university podcast solution and also includes a high-level look at the University’s final podcasting architecture.

... Podcasting is being used increasingly in education, especially at the university level ...

Some interesting viewpoints here... http://www.podcastingnews.com/2006/10/20/professor-university-podcasts-are-totally-bogus/ ... there's a very lively discussion in the comments section.

Interesting how different people see things differently. What I envision is essentially a cyber-classroom for far-flung students that can't physically be together. Kind of a step beyon the brief residency requirements of some distance ed programs, such as at Royal Roads University in BC.

Speaking from experience, it can be a real struggle to study by correspondence! Podcasts would just enhance the course material by providing an audio component to the written material.

Anyway, I hope that this concept is being considered by Ukrainian educators.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Kyiv showman takes up country music

This Kyiv Post article gives afficiodandos of Ukrainian and country music hope. Someone should tell them, tho, that the genre already exists in the Ukrainian Canadian diaspora. It can be heard on the Zabava program, hosted by RJ Tomkins on CFCW Edmonton and CKJS Winnipeg. A major vendor is Baba's Records in Winnipeg. For decades, it has been identified by prairie-dwellers of all backgrounds as authentic Ukrainian music.

I haven't found out yet how to get a copy of the CD, but am sure interested to hear if there is any resemblance to Ukrainian Canadian country music.

Of all Western music styles, country somehow never gained much popularity in the former Soviet Union, including Ukraine. Some of the most outstanding representatives of the genre, such as Johnny Cash, are known among music lovers here, but no local musicians have yet made any serious attempts to perform country … until now.

Just recently Ukrainian showman Anton Mukharskiy released his first solo record called “Zlokokhuchiy Man” (the adjective “zlokokhuchiy” proved impossible to translate into English) – an album of country music adapted to Ukrainian realities. According to Mukharskiy, who released an album under a different first name – Antin, the works presented on the album are “songs of an agrarian country performed in the style of village glamour.”

Theater actor and TV-presenter Anton Mukharskiy is lately best known among wide Ukrainian audiences for his role in the commercial for “Tide” detergent ...

Antin-Anton claims that what really forced him into taking up a music career was his irritation with the primitive pop and r’n’b music that dominates Ukrainian radio and TV. His idea was to offer the audiences something fresh and new. And while the local music lovers have yet to appraise his debut record, Mukharskiy has announced the future release of his second CD to be called “Khersonskiy Ranger” (Kherson Ranger).


New ads ring a (tacky) bell

There's a Ukrainian proverb that says a drop of kerosene spoils a barrel of honey.

With ads like this, ad agencies might as well dump in a tanker full of kerosene. What a way to ruin a beautiful song.

The TV spots are set to “Carol of the Bells,” a highly recognizable song with its haunting four-note melody, originally written as a Ukrainian folk “winter well-wishing” song. One shows a guy, on a hunt for an evergreen wreath, lost in the woods, then driving through a bad neighborhood and even to a shipping dock.

Adapted as a Christmas carol in the 1930s in the U.S., the original lyrics, “Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say, throw cares away,” have been replaced in one Garmin ad with “Look, there’s a moose. Give me a noose. I’m lost again. Where’s Highway 10?”

This is so typical of a level of tackiness that is becoming all too common at ad agencies.

To hear it done properly, go here and click on "Shchedryk." When I was in high school at Sacred Heart Academy in Yorkton, SK, our Glee Club sang this English version. (I sang second soprano.) It was hard but worth the effort. For a bunch of kids, we did a great job of it!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Vancouver audio archives for Nov 5, 2006

Vancouver's Nov 5 Ukrainian radio audio archives are now available for download and streaming on the website and for podcast subscribers there's now an RSS feed for Nash Holos!

On Chetverta Khvylia, join host Pavlo Manugevych on Chetverta Khvylia (4th Wave) for the latest news and views from Ukraine, exclusively in Ukrainian, as well as some great tunes!

On Nash Holos ... find out how to cook with millet, Ukrainian style with veteran cooking instructor, Sylvia Pidraziuk Molnar, brought to by Obolon Beer. Fr. Bruce has some 'etiquette' tips for travellers to Ukraine on Travel Tips, as well as A Spiritual Moment in which he explores the meaning and significance of icons in Ukrainian religious tradition.

And of course, there's the Proverb of the Week, items of interest to the local (and global) Ukrainian community and, as usual ... plenty of Great Ukrainian music!

Friday, November 03, 2006

And on it goes

Sometimes you really get tired of it.

This morning I got an email request to write a letter to the editor about this article in The Weekly Online out of Atlanta, GA. I've written hundreds of letters to the editor pointing out the obvious, and many of them have been published. But some days, you just get weary of begging people to do their job properly.

From Russia with Love: Ukrainian Organist Koshuba and Pianist Daughter Perform at Emory's Schwartz Center

... on Nov. 5 at 4 p.m. in the Schwartz Center, Ukrainian concert pianist Viktoriya Koshuba will join her father, Volodymyr, on stage. In this recital, Volodymr performs an organ passacaglia of Dimitri Shostakovich, transcriptions of Tchaikovsky, a work by Borodin, and an organ arrangement of Mussorgsky’s “Great Gate of Kiev!”

OK, Ukrainians are generous people, so they can get away with the title as the composers are Russian, or commonly known as such. But there are limits ...

[Volodymyr] ... once served as pianist for the Kiev State Philharmonic Orchestra. ... In 1988 he was awarded the title “Honored Artist" of the [sic] Ukraine ...

Come on... "the" Ukraine? Still? Sigh.

It boggles the mind that they would give the article such a title, when everything they write about the musicians describes them as Ukrainian. There's not even a mention of them touring Russia!

So typical of journalism these days. Why waste time thinking up an appropriate headline when you can grab something cutesy out of the popular lexicon and get on with churning out more (just barely) passable copy?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

National Radio Company of Ukraine

A great site to keep you informed of going on in Ukraine is this one: NRCU, the National Radio Company of Ukraine.

Make sure to download the RSS feed, and a free feed reader (aggregator) if you don't already have one. (This is the one I use.)

I love RSS ... with it, you don't have to go and check your favourite sites for updates, your feed reader will let you know when there's something new. Neat, eh?